Tuesday, April 18, 2006

'If You Build It, They Will Come'

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The president of KB Home's Southern California division is upbeat on the Southern California housing market, sounding so very "Field of Dreams" in today's LA Times that I considered putting on my catchers mask and pads.

The saying goes somethign like "if you build it, they'll come." And Southern California builders are upbeat on building. Who cares if regular folks can't afford the price of admission, as long as there is sun and sand, the housing market's gonna be fine. This builder guy says so right here in the LA Times:
The latest housing forecast: Sunny in California and the West, and gloomy just about everywhere else.

A survey this month by the National Assn. of Home Builders and Wells Fargo & Co. found that optimism among builders of single-family homes across the country fell to its lowest level since November 2001, because rising mortgage rates and rapid price increases have finally slowed demand.

But count Jay Moss as one West Coast builder who belongs to the optimists' club. "As long as the economy's good here and Southern California is an attractive place to live, buyers will be there," said Moss, president of KB Home's Southern California division.

Unlike the early 1990s, when aerospace layoffs "took the starch out of the market," Moss said, today builders are having a harder time keeping up with demand in part because government regulations act as curbs on overbuilding.

"We are not providing the amount of housing that the demographics and the growing population are demanding — that's why" regional builders remain positive about the housing market, Moss said.

-- The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble/Los Angeles and Beyond