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Home ownership has become a luxury in California – but could the tides be shifting?

A realtor sign advertises a bank-owned house for sale in Pasadena.
A realtor sign advertises a bank-owned house for sale in Pasadena.
David McNew/Getty Images

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With mortgage rates spiking and housing costs remaining stubbornly high, it’s no wonder that only a quarter of California residents can afford to buy homes.

This week brought the latest numbers on mortgage rates in the U.S. and it’s not looking promising for buyers. Rates have risen to nearly 5%, and though the Wall Street Journal indicates that mortgage rates of 5-7% are historically normal, nearly a generation of buyers have become used to paying below 4% and may hesitate to commit to a purchase with more financial strings attached.

In addition to the creeping mortgages, housing prices continue to climb, and California remains one of the least affordable states for home ownership.

We speak with analysts and experts across the housing industry to dissect the numbers and see how the trends may influence SoCal residents.


Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics; his focus includes economic forecasting, employment and labor markets and economic policy

Oscar Wei, senior economist at California Association of Realtors; he tweets @oscarcwei

Stuart Gabriel, professor of finance and Arden Realty Chair at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the director of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate