August 1, 2015
New housing construction in east San Bernardino Valley has carefully and methodically reemerged from the recession. Encouraged by record low interest rates, lower developable land prices, and higher housing demand, local leaders in the housing industry are again building houses.
Development tactics have changed dramatically from the last decade where developers would quickly build out their projects to sell them to ready buyers with easy financing. While interest rates are exceptionally low, new banking regulations and lessons from the last recession caused by the housing bubble have made home loans much more difficult to obtain. Developers also are wary that the frail economic recovery could be reversed by any number of national or international economic upheavals that are now beyond government’s ability to intervene in.
So home builders have cautiously been building a small number of houses at a time and getting them under sales contracts before starting new phases, while keeping a close eye on the housing recovery and available housing supply within their markets.
Unfortunately, though, along with the slow recovery has come the reincarnation of antidevelopment groups in the region. Though many of the projects in San Bernardino, Highland, and Yucaipa have been on the books for years with approvals dating back to the 1980’s the resurgence of the “Not In My Back Yard” crowd has grown louder and become effective in pursuing new tactics. Using provably false narratives of fire hazards, traffic issues, and even planes crashing into homes, the NIMBY’s have evolved past the tired endangered species dogma that had long been cured by the effectiveness of developer environmental impact reports.
To read expanded column, click here.