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Home Prices and Slow Growth

April 24, 1988

Written in response to Chapman College's analysis of the Orange County slow-growth initiative. The analysis projected that approval of slow-growth measures would have a negative impact on the county's economy.

Michael Flagg's article in the April 14 Business section reported that the "County's Average Home Price Jumps 18% in Year as Sales, Supply Decrease." With this information, one may easily apply the "creative arithmetic logic" used in the Chapman College $10,000 Board of Supervisors' study. The original conclusions given to and supported by the supervisors are reversed. The solution to the slow-growth initiative becomes quite obvious.

With the current building slowdown, the price of each dwelling in Orange County (new and older homes, condominiums and houses) has increased an average of $28,255 over the past year. Consequently, if slow growth continues and the slow-growth initiative is passed, each Orange County homeowner can look forward to an increase in personal assets exceeding $100,000 within the next five years.

The property values for just those residents who have purchased during the past 12 months will show a combined increase in value of over $77 billion, and this is only a fraction of the total number of Orange County residents.

Most homeowners will pay higher property taxes due to this increased property value. The Orange County Board of Supervisors could receive more tax revenues and do all those wonderful things that they (apparently) believe could only be accomplished with revenues from new construction.

Just think of the increase in property value if there were no growth!

ROY RICHARDSON

Huntington Beach

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