41% Of Malibu Sales Listings Are For Vacant Land After Fire, As Many Take $$$ And Run

Written by on May 15, 2019

It looks like many Malibu homeowners are going to take the money and run.

The financial Times newspaper of London has crunched the numbers … and determined that 41 percent of the properties listed is for sale in Malibu right now are vacant land.

That’s extraordinary.

There was almost no buildable land for sale before the Woolsey fire.

About 750 houses were lost in the city.

The Financial Times says one of the engines driving sales in vacant lots is the decision by Malibu City Hall to streamline the rebuilding process.

The city has made it simpler, quicker and cheaper for anyone wanting to rebuild a destroyed home.

Plus you can build it up to 10 per cent bigger than it was previously. T

he city has hired eight new plan checkers to speed up the application process. It has also co-ordinated with the California Coastal Commission, the state authority that grants approval to build along the coast, to reduce the usually painfully long times to gain the necessary permits.

Malibu’s city council has dropped the overall cost of the application and verification processes to just $3,000 from an average of $15,000 previously.

And these incentives are attached to the land, so subsequent owners can take advantage of them for at least two years after the fire.

Mayor Jefferson Wagner tells the London newspaper the obvious …

“It seems that many people are prepared to take their insurance money, walk away and let someone else deal with the headaches of reconstruction.”

But fair warning … the newspaper is also warning that fire insurance costs are about to skyrocket.

The California Department of Insurance says t homeowners who previously paid $800 a year for a policy could soon be charged $5,000 for the same coverage.

And that estimate was based on global warming risks .. before the Woolsey Fire.

And the Financial times worries about what psychologists call “the gambler’s fallacy.
That’s the tendency for people to underestimate the probability of the repetition of an event that has just happened.

Malibu is at severe risk for another disastrous fire.

Look at those yellow flowers turnng to brown weeds … and the total lack of brush control in the city and county … and think about that.

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