A home under construction in California. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. has officially entered a house-permitting boom, with home builder confidence near all-time highs, according to a just released analysis from web-based housing broker Zillow.

But there is a long way to go before builders catch up with the lack of new homes for the market.

The new Zillow analysis outlines how much catch-up builders have to do to fill a 1.35 million new-home construction gap caused by a decade of underbuilding. 

The analysis found San Diego suffers from a shortfall of 64,000 homes over the past 10 years, a reason desperate buyers here have pushed the cost of a home here to more than $814,000.

The Zillow study also found:

  • A limited supply of homes for sale is a key factor in home prices rising so quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Great Recession of 2008-2009 resulted in a shortage of 1.35 million new homes in the 35 largest housing markets, including San Diego. That’s as if no new homes were built for 2.7 years.
  • Builders are scrambling to make up for lost time, but supply chain disruptions and labor shortages are slowing efforts.

* * *

University of San Diego board Chairman Donald Knauss and wife Ellie have donated $50 million for a new business school building. The new facility will be renamed the Knauss School of Business in return for the donation.

Knauss is a former CEO of Clorox, and the school said the donated amount is one of the largest in the history of the campus.

The 230,000-square-foot school building is set to open in the fall of 2022.

* * *

Surprising news popped up this past weekend involving two fast food chains mostly in the West.

San Diego’s popular burger and fries purveyor Jack in the Box said it is acquiring publicly held Mexican fast-food chain Del Taco. The deal was valued at $475 million, according to the official news announcement.

Del Taco operates 600 restaurants across 16 states. Jack has 2,200 units  in 21 states and Guam. Combined the two eateries will have more than 2,800 units spanning 25 states.

* * *

Commercial real estate development firm Douglas Wilson Companies has a new president, Michele Vives. She succeeds company founder and namesake Douglas Wilson, who said in a news release that he will continue to serve as CEO and chairman of the board.

Vives joined the company in 2014, and has managed various projects for the company with a value of more than $750 million.

According to a news release, Vives, a Chicago native of Cuban American descent, is active in the general community and within the real estate industry groups. 

* * *

Bank of America in San Diego has named the Urban League of San Diego and Ocean Discovery Institute as recipients of its 2021 Neighborhood Builders Program.

The bank says the program is the nation’s largest investment in nonprofit leadership-building.

According to a spokeswoman, the bank is giving $200,000 over two years to the two nonprofits to help scale their programs and provide additional leadership training to the organizations,

The spokeswoman said the grant will enable Urban League to serve 2,000 more residents with expansion of its various programs, as well as its Black Home Ownership effort, which provides counseling to buyers.

Ocean Discovery Institute will expand its leadership programs to serve 100 students, an increase over the current 50. The Institute was a neighborhood builders award recipient in 2008 and used the money to build a new facility in City Heights. 

Ray King, president and CEO of the Urban League, said the leadership training will further its programs “as well as developing new leaders to take the Urban League into the future and expand our reach.”

Shara Fisler, the top executive at the Ocean Discovery Institute, said the grant “will ensure many more young people enter high-paying fields, break generational poverty, and change the future of science.”

* * *

Lemon Larry, a Los Angeles-based website that offers information about the state lemon law for cars and trucks and also connects consumers with experienced lemon law attorneys, is now operating in San Diego

The assistance Lemon Larry offers is valuable, as many consumers are confused about what actually constitutes a lemon, according to a release.

The site offers consumers information at no cost, including a two-minute online pre-qualification process to determine if a vehicle may be defective. If the vehicle does qualify, the site makes a referral to a lawyer who specializes in California lemon laws.

One law firm estimates 150,000 Lemon Law Claims are made in the United States each year.

Another firm said more than 3,000 lemon lawsuits were filed in California courts in 2015 and estimates that one of 10 new vehicles sold suffers from a mechanical issue that might qualify under existing statutes.

* * *

Front Desk Supply, a San Diego hospitality supplier, says it is forecasting a supply-ordering frenzy for the final month of 2021 among hotel managers.

The company said managers are rushing to replenish stock and utilize calendar year budgets in the wake of supply chain stoppages.

“Hotels have been hit by repeated challenges starting with the pandemic and now are battling supply chain struggles, and they have admirably tried waiting it out,” said Mark Zisek, a spokesman for the company.  “Now, at the end of the year, we’re seeing that these orders can’t be put off anymore, and our data shows a spike of 30% in generic supply purchases into December.”

* * *

Finally…Encinitas-based waste management services provider Ingenium said it has acquired WSR Environmental and Safety Management. Terms were not disclosed

The company said it helps customers better manage their hazardous waste programs while maintaining budgets and meeting regulatory demands — and protecting employees and the environment.

A spokeswoman said that in acquiring WSR, Ingenium will add environmental health and safety consulting services to its business. The additional services will allow Ingenium to provide comprehensive waste management and environmental, health and safety compliance to its clients.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

Show comments