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New Home California - Your New Home: California

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The rate of construction of new homes in California is dependent on the economy. In boom years, the addition of hundreds of thousands of new homes is not uncommon, while in recession years, somewhere between 50 to 60 thousand new homes are usually added. Different counties experience different growth rates depending on their particular industries, or their proximity to large urban areas that offer significant employment. Although Los Angeles is the largest city in the state of California, in 2009 other, smaller cities experienced the greatest rates of population growth. Southern California desert cities Beaumont and Coachella grew by 5.5% and 3.8% respectively, while Los Angeles grew by only 1.08%.

Many of the new homes in California are constructed either in the north, near or in the San Francisco Bay Area, or in the south, near Los Angeles. The central valley, especially Fresno, has also grown in recent years, with Fresno officially passing the 500,000 population mark in 2009. The central coast region of the state grows at a much slower rate, with Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties experiencing no significant addition of new homes, except in the cities of Nipomo and Santa Maria. Generally, when new homes are placed on the market, they sell much faster in coastal areas than in the inland areas.

The median price of a home or condo in California in 2010 was $255,000. When broken down by region, the median price of a home in the San Francisco Bay Area was $380,000, while Los Angeles county had a median price of $329,000, and Orange County had a median price of $432,000. The highest median price for a home in California was $484,000 in 2007, during the height of the real estate boom. The subsequent crash of the market in 2008 deflated the median price. After a year and a half of price adjustments and significant numbers of foreclosures, the market showed signs of rebounding. Part of the upsurge in the market was driven by people buying bank-owned properties as a form of investment.

In 2010, the Governor of California instituted a $100 million dollar tax incentive plan to encourage purchases of newly constructed homes in California. The tax incentive plan would allow taxpayers who purchased a newly constructed home to save up to $10,000 on their taxes, as long as they purchased the property before May 1, 2010, and were within the ‘first come, first serve’ window of the total funding allotted for the tax incentive program.

Due to the presence of so many seismic faults in California, all new homes built within the state must meet rigorous building codes to prevent them from collapsing in the event of an earthquake. Additionally, California also has adopted the California Green Building Standards Code. This code encourages energy efficiency in water consumption, separate plumbing systems for potable and non-potable water, and the use of non-toxic carpeting, insulation, and paint. California’s progressive reputation for pioneering environmentally friendly and safe housing has resulted in fewer deaths and property destruction during major seismic events.

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