Housing demand rises, but supply doesn’t

Jackson Bell

The high standard of living along with interest rates at a 38-year

low were the driving force for Burbank’s strong home sales in

December, said Minnie Lush, the president of the Burbank Assn. of



Up 18.1% from the previous year, according to DataQuick

Information Services, the $359,000 price of last month’s median home

sales is a $65,000 jump. The rate is on par with the county’s 17.9%


increase, and is continuing the three-year streak of Burbank’s strong

real-estate market.

“As a result, we have more buyers than sellers,” Lush said. “We’re

short of inventory.”

She also said the main reason Burbank’s home sales surpassed the

national median of $164,000, California’s record-high figure of

$338,110 and $274,000 for the county is the attractiveness of such

highly regarded city services as the Burbank Unified School District


and the police and fire departments.

The other factor is that interest rates dropped to a low of 5.9%,

a level not seen since 1965.

In comparison, the rates 10 years ago were between 9 and 11%.

“It has inspired many renters to qualify for loans,” Lush said.

“As a result, they have been able to buy homes.”

Stuart Chase, the owner of Chase Realty, agrees.

“Rents are rising, and when the after-tax cost of a house gets


close to the cost of rent, you buy,” he said.

But with the lackluster economy, many people who have become

disenchanted with the stock market have decided to reinvest in


Lush said the healthy real-estate market is the engine that has

been driving the economy in Los Angeles County and through much the

rest of the country.

The demand for housing outweighs supply, Chase said, and is

related to the city government’s zoning efforts to keep Burbank’s

small-town integrity despite the increase in residents.

“They control the density, which controls the number of homes,”

Chase said.

“What they do is maintain the quality of life, which is less

traffic, fewer people and less obtrusive buildings.”