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CALIFORNIA

Report Predicts Job Growth, Housing Woes

April 13, 1999|DARYL STRICKLAND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

With strong job growth expected to continue in Los Angeles and Orange counties this year, the Southland's biggest challenge will be to provide affordable housing, according to a report released Monday by E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group.

There simply aren't enough homes being built in Southern California to satisfy growing numbers of employees, the study finds. It warns that a "growing scarcity of land" will continue "to push companies and their employees to Riverside and San Bernardino counties, or out of state, as a lower cost alternative."

"We cannot sustain double-digit increases in housing prices, and sustain our growth," said Gregory Gotthardt, a Leventhal senior manager, who wrote the report.

The study predicts that prices of resale homes in Los Angeles County will increase by 10% over the next two years, and that prices of new homes will rise nearly as much.

The report predicts that job growth will come close to matching last year's 81,600 in Los Angeles. In Orange County, the number of new jobs is expected to decrease about 20%, to 50,000, but that still would be the second-largest total of the past decade, Gotthardt said.

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