Cornell Real Estate Review


California’s ethnic and cultural diversity has always influenced its housing market, lifestyle, and business investments. A great example of this is the increasing Asian-American demand for new housing in the Los Angeles Basin. Using The Olson Company as an example, this article investigates the interconnectedness and mutual influence between home builders and the Asian-American community. We will present demographic trends showing how the tenfold increase of Asian-Americans in California since 1960 has dynamically influenced Southern California’s inner and outer suburbs. Combined with an analysis of the Asian-American buyer profile from The Olson Company‘s home sales in Southern California, we find that demand for “smart growth” urban product is strong within this population segment. A psychographic analysis of these buyers draws conclusions for basic site and product design and marketing approaches. Several recent examples of projects in the West San Gabriel Valley highlight how the challenges of limited supply conditions in an essentially built-out urban landscape can be overcome via the interconnectedness of builders and homebuyers.


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