California Types of Housing

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California Types of Housing

Of the examined cities in California, Los Angeles has the largest number of townhomes with an estimated 88,923 units, followed by San Diego (51,795 units) and San Francisco (46,064 units). Apart from Fresno that was the first city in the United States to have adopted a zoning code that includes tiny houses, other cities just recently followed suit late 2019. The housing data for the five cities have been presented below.

Los Angeles

  • In 1930, Los Angeles banned (here and here) row houses. According to this source, "only maybe a dozen or so true row-houses were found to exist in LA."
  • As of December 2019, there were 3,763 condo buildings in Los Angeles with 831 of these having available inventory. In total, there were 11,200 available units in the 831 condo apartments available in the market.
  • It was not until last year that the City of Los Angeles passed the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance, which permitted the use of tiny homes as permissible and permanently habitable ADUs. As such, there isn't a lot of data available to go on at the moment.
  • Townhomes represent 6.1% of the types of homes in Los Angeles. Going by the total number of housing units in Los Angeles, then the number of townhomes in Los Angeles is 88,923 units (6.1% of 1,457,762).
  • By physical housing characteristics, the number of occupied housing units in Los Angeles include:

San Diego

  • The research team estimated that the number of condominiums in San Diego is 91,149 units (calculations below).
  • Townhomes represent 9.7% of the types of homes in San Diego. Going by the total number of housing units in San Diego, then the number of townhomes in Los Angeles is 51,795 units (9.7% of 533,973).
  • By physical housing characteristics, the number of occupied housing units in San Diego include:

San Francisco

  • The research team estimated that the number of condominiums in San Francisco is 43,410 units (calculations below).
  • Townhomes represent 11.8% of the types of homes in San Francisco. Going by the total number of housing units in San Francisco, then the number of townhomes in San Francisco is 46,064 units (11.8% of 390,376).
  • By physical housing characteristics, the number of occupied housing units in San Francisco include:
  • Only "1.7% of homes sold in San Francisco since 2010 have measured 500 square feet or smaller," that is tiny houses. According to Rent Cafe, 24% of houses built in San Francisco since 2010 can be classified as "tiny homes."

San Jose

  • The research team estimated that the number of condominiums in San Jose is 35,272 units (calculations below). "Condos and townhomes represented 17 percent of all housing in 2015 but 27 percent of new sales during the 12 months ending July 2017."
  • Townhomes represent 11.1% of the types of homes in San Jose. Going by the total number of housing units in San Jose, then the number of townhomes in San Jose is 36,798 units (11.1% of 331,510).
  • By physical housing characteristics, the number of occupied housing units in San Jose include:
  • Property Shark analyst Patrick McGregor reports "a big fat zero when it comes to tiny home sales in the San Jose." However, this figure is in terms of percentage. Between 2010 and 2018 there have been 36 tiny homes sold in San Jose. Also, 1% of houses built in San Jose since 2010 can be classified as "tiny homes."
  • Additionally, there were 311 ADU permits issued by the City's Housing Department in 2019, which was more than the 190 issued in 2018 and the 92 issued in 2017. As mentioned above, ADUs permit tiny homes to be added to existing dwelling units. However, the department notes that not all permits lead to units being built.

Fresno

  • Townhomes represent 2.5% of the types of homes in Fresno, California. Going by the total number of housing units in Fresno, then the number of townhomes in Fresno is 4,415 units (2.5% of 176,617).
  • By physical housing characteristics, the number of occupied housing units in Fresno include:
  • Fresno is considered as the "first city in the nation to have adopted a zoning code that includes tiny houses."
  • Between January and February 2020, 50 condominiums have been listed in Fresno and 36 of those have been sold, with a median selling and listing price of $156,000.

Research Strategy

Data on the number of row houses, condominiums, tiny houses, and townhomes in the specified locations were mostly unavailable in the public domain. We attempted to triangulate these figures using available data from local and national housing bodies, but were only able to do so for condominiums and townhomes. Even at that, we were unable to determine the number of condominiums for Fresno. In conclusion, we were unable to provide the exact number of row houses and tiny houses in the respective locations despite an exhaustive search of government websites, realtor association websites, and third-party real estate data portals. That said, the research team provided relevant insights and information as available during our research. Our calculations have been detailed below.

Calculations

San Diego

In 2011, there were 185,600 condominiums out of 1,087,100 housing units in San Diego county. Assuming the ratio of condominiums to total housing units still holds today and applies to San Diego City, then the total number of condominiums is:
Percentage of condominium in San Diego County: (185,600/1,087,100) * 100 = 17.07%

Therefore, the number of condominiums in San Diego city is the percentage * total number of housing units in San Diego City: 17.07% of 533,973 = 91,149 units.

San Francisco

In 2017, there were 189,700 condominiums out of 1,706,200 housing units in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area. Assuming the ratio of condominiums to total housing units still holds today and applies to San Francisco City, then the total number of condominiums is:
Percentage of condominium in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area: (189,700/1,706,200) * 100 = 11.12%

Therefore, the number of condominiums in San Francisco city is the percentage * total number of housing units in San Francisco: 11.12% of 390,376 total housing unit = 43,410 units

San Jose

In 2017, there were 70,000 condominiums out of 657,700 housing units in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area. Assuming the ratio of condominiums to total housing units still holds today and is applicable to San Jose city, then the total number of condominiums is:
Percentage of condominium in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area: (70,000/657,700) * 100 = 10.64%

Therefore, the number of condominiums in San Jose city is the percentage * total number of housing units in San Jose: 10.64% of 331,510 total housing unit = 35,272 units





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