by Jodi Summers It happens every Rose Bowl < people from all over the world notice that the Los Angeles area has magnificent weather on January 1st > and they decide to move to L.A. In a great year, L.A. builds close to 200,000 new units – but the number of new apartments never equals the number of people who move here and that exacerbates our housing crisis. It’s the problem all across our state. Between 2009 to 2014. California added 544,000 new households but only 467,000 new housing units. Currently, the state has a housing shortfall of around two million units. With home prices and rents hitting all-time highs, nearly half of the state’s households struggle to afford housing in their local market. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that housing shortages cost the U.S. economy between $143 billion and $233 billion annually; that’s before second-order costs to health, education and the environment. Much of the issue is because households are spending too much of their incomes on the rent or mortgage and not enough on consumer goods. California’$40 billion annually as a consequence people who are overburdened in paying rents. That’s 6% of California’s Gross Domestic Product. The McKinsey’s analysis concludes that it’s a three-part fix:

  1. Find Land.
  2. Remove local regulatory over-reach.
  3. Innovate development and construction.

Anyone know of large plots of available land in L.A. County? And does anyone know how to solve the affordability crisis? Gov. Jerry Brown is making a grand effort. In late September, he signed 15 bills aimed at helping the state’s housing crisis; lawmakers’ most robust response to California’s housing affordability problems in recent memory.   The “15 good bills” include a new fee on real estate transactions and a $4-billion bond on the 2018 ballot that together could raise close to $1 billion a year in the near term to help subsidize new homes for low-income residents. “It is a big challenge. We have risen to it this year,” Gov. Brown stated. If the bond is approved by voters in November 2018, the new real estate fee should finance about 14,000 additional houses a year – still leaving an annual shortfall of tens of thousands of units. In total, the bond money will build about 70,000 units. The state needs to build about 100,000 new homes each year beyond what’s already planned, simply to keep pace with California’s population growth. Currently, half the state’s households struggle to afford the roof over their heads. State homeownership is just over 50% — the lowest since World War II and the third lowest rate in the country. Nearly 70% of poor Californians see the majority of their paychecks go immediately to housing. To make it more difficult, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metro has the most severe wage/housing disparity in the U.S.  The L.A. area’s median income is $64,300 (a tad lower than the U.S. median income is $68,000 a year). Only 9.1% of the homes sold during the third quarter in L.A. were affordable to median income families. The California Housing Partnership Corporation recently parsed U.S. Census Bureau Data concludes that the county needs an additional 551,807 more affordable units to meet the needs of the lowest-income renters. The census bureau concluded that more than 400,000 households in L.A., and a total of 900,000 in L.A. County, have “precarious housing situations”; meaning the dwelling is substandard, or that families are doubled up, or that they spend more than half their income on housing…that’s not to mention the county’s 58,000 homeless people. In L.A. county, homelessness grew 30% over the past two years.  In 2016 rents grew an average of 4% there. Zillow approximates that a 5% increase in rent would result in an additional 2,000 homeless Los Angelinos. As a result, Los Angelinos are falling behind rather than getting ahead. Wages have been flat or in decline and rents are skyrocketing. A recent University of Southern California survey noted that practically 60% of Los Angeles companies said the region’s high cost of living was affecting employee retention. “We’re in a real crisis in terms of meeting this need,” observes Lisa Payne, policy director of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, which co-presented the report. “It’s not complicated. People need a home. We need to invest in creating and preserving affordable homes.” The report documents a 32% increase in rents in the county and a 3% decrease in real median income since 2000. Poverty rates have jumped to more than 25% — meaning one in four Angelinos is officially poor when local housing costs are considered. Locals need to earn $48.06 an hour or $8,330 a month just to be able to afford the median $2,499 two-bedroom apartment in the county; yet the median income is a little more than $28,000. Eighty percent of extremely low-income folks in L.A. County spend 50% or more of their income on rent, making the household “severely rent-burdened.” The problem is not just in the big cities. The top five of the country’s least affordable small housing markets are also in our Golden State. The least affordable small housing market in the country is Salinas, where 11.3%% of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the local median income of $63,100. **

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About Jodi Summers

Jodi Summers
SoCal Investment Real Estate Group
Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty’s legacy dates back to 1744. Respected as one of the world’s oldest and largest fine art auctioneers, Sotheby’s has a longstanding tradition of bringing together buyers and sellers of fine property. Today, Sotheby’s International Realty boasts nearly 13,000 sales associates, located in more than 660 offices in 49 countries and territories. Broker Jodi Summers is the founder of the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group, a top producing team with Sotheby’s International Realty in the Los Angeles area.

With more than $140,000,000 in listed inventory, Jodi and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group know finance, rules, regulations, procedures and methods. We are accurate, knowledgeable, timely and aware of how government shapes the cities of Southern California, including Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

A New York native, Jodi grew up working in the family business – marketing, Madison Avenue style. Childhood math quiz questions calculated demographic and psychographic percentages or analyzed the allocation of adverting dollars. Word games were for devising slogans.

“My marketing and communication skills have proven to be a true gift when it comes to promoting real estate,” observes Jodi. “And I am consistently able to get an exceptionally high price per square foot for my sellers.”

Discipline (Jodi holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do), organization, motivation, excellent communication skills and knowing & satisfying the needs of her clients have been her essentials for running a successful business. A passion for investment real estate explains her emphasis in asset-yielding properties.

The City of Santa Monica chose Jodi to be part of the prestigious 9-member Civic Working Group to analyze and offer feedback on the future of the 10.5-acre Santa Monica Civic Auditorium site. Additionally, Jodi is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Beverly Hills + Greater West Side Association of Realtors, Action Apartment Association of Westside income property owners, the Santa Monica Conservancy historic preservation society, the Friends of Sunset Park community group, the Real Estate Investors Club L.A., the American Solar Energy Society, Sierra Club, California Parks Association and the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club. She is currently the Communications Chair for the Ocean Park Association in Santa Monica, and a partner in Save the Civic – a community group involved with the City in the adaptive reuse of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and adjacent area.

An honors graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jodi moved to California in the mid-’90s to achieve her goal of living by the beach with a hibiscus bush in her yard.

She has thrived as an entrepreneur in the entertainment, media and marketing industries. She has three books in publication with Allworth Press – The Interactive Music Handbook, Making and Marketing Music and Moving Up In the Music Business. Making and Marketing Music is in second edition. Check out her work on

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