Malibu – Housing Characteristics
article courtesy of Malibu Coastal Vision and the City of Malibu
The average Malibu home size is 2, 721 square feet; but there are a number of much larger homes that skew this statistic. The largest home in Malibu is believed to be over 30,000 square feet, although a relatively small number of homes, perhaps 25 percent, in Malibu are over 6,000 square feet. New homes are becoming larger to justify the price of build able lots. This is similar to long-term housing trends in Southern California where ever-larger homes are being squeezed onto even-smaller lots. While the General Plan limits the number of dwellings that can be constructed per acre, it does not designate a specific Floor Area Ration (FAR), the General Plan/Zoning Ordinances have maximum square foot lot sizes. A recent capstone study found a steady decrease in median floor area ratios since Malibu’s incorporation.
The greatest percentage, 24 percent of Malibu homes were built in the 1970s, with 19 percent being built in the 1960s. The average age of Malibu homes is 34 years. The majority are three bedroom, three bath configurations built on average 1.93-acre lot; the median lot size is 0.38 acres. The median period of ownership is eight years. More than half of all residents moved into their current home within the past ten years. A brisk real estate market is the primarily cause for this turnover rate.
Malibu’s 72 percent owner-occupied housing compares to a Los Angeles County rate of 48 percent and a U.S. rate of 66 percent. While 84 percent of Malibu homes are occupied on a full time basis, 16 percent were classified as “vacant” homes. The majority of vacant homes are used for seasonal, recreational or occasional uses.
There are 12,645 people and 3,196 family households in the City. The population density is 634.8 per square mile, and the housing density average 339.2 units per square smile.
Increased demand for housing throughout Southern California has put tremendous upward pressure on all real estate, especially in desirable locations. As the population of Southern California has grown, the areas surrounding Malibu have become ever more crowded. This increases the desirability of rural location like Malibu – one that still provides easy access to the surrounding cities.
Malibu averages approximately fifty building permits each year. In the 1980s over eighty homes were built each year. The rate of new home building will continue to be affected by regional economics, the General Plan, zoning ordinances and the Local Coastal Program in Malibu.