Has West Hollywood housing grown more or less than nearby cities?
Our recent report looked at housing growth in West Hollywood. Now we’ll compare that growth to three nearby cities.
The California Department of Finance estimates the number of housing units in each city. The chart below shows the percentage growth in their estimates over a 20-year period (1996-2016) and a more recent 5-year period (2011-2016). The growth represents new units built minus any demolished or otherwise removed from the housing supply.
Santa Monica led the way with 10% growth in the number of housing units over the last 20 years. Housing in Beverly Hills (5%), West Hollywood (4%), and Culver City (3%) grew at less than half that rate.
More recently, West Hollywood’s five-year housing growth rate (2%) was about the same as Santa Monica’s. Housing in Culver City and Beverly Hills grew less than 1%.
Split of housing growth among cities
How are the housing stock and growth split among the four cities? West Hollywood had 25,127 housing units as of January, 2016. That was almost a quarter of the total for the four cities. Santa Monica had 52,082, which was close to half. Culver City had 17,587 and Beverly Hills had 16,444.
The 20 years of housing growth was split up differently. Santa Monica had less than half of the housing stock but two-thirds of the growth. West Hollywood had almost a quarter of the housing stock but only 15% of the growth.
New housing in the pipeline based on building permits
The state’s estimates don’t include housing completed this year or still “in the pipeline.” We can get a rough sense of that by looking at recently-issued building permits. Permits issued in one year typically become housing in a later year, because construction takes time.
The US Census Bureau surveys local governments for building permit data. The Census Bureau says West Hollywood issued permits for 868 units since 2014. We don’t know if their numbers are complete. The numbers for the other cities are lower.
So West Hollywood may have two-thirds of the housing that’s in the short-term pipeline. That is significantly more than the city’s 23% share of the housing stock or 15% of 20-year housing growth.
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