Young buyers want to live in the ‘burbs

October 2nd, 2015



Seniors, Not Millennials, Are Creating New Households

August 21st, 2015


August 18, 2015

By: Eric Morath


One factor: Those 65 through 74 are the fastest-growing segment of the population and older adults live in smaller households than younger adults.

The rate at which Americans are creating new households has increased over the past year to reach the highest level since before the recession began in 2007.

And it’s older Americans, not those ages 25 to 34, driving the uptick, according to new research from economist Jed Kolko of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

Americans created 1.27 million households during the year ended in June, Mr. Kolko estimates. That’s in line with Census Department figures showing year-over-year household formation topping 1 million for three straight quarters. A similar streak hasn’t occurred since 2006.

Of those new households, 860,000, or about two-thirds, were created by Americans between 65 and 74 years old. Just 159,000, or 13%, were created by young people between 25 and 34 years old.

A household is formed when an adult leaves the home of another adult and finds his or her own place. The property could be owned or rented. Say, a recent college grad leaves behind roommates or mom and dad and rents her first apartment.

But baby boomers were the only age cohort where the share of adults that headed households significantly increased from a year earlier, according to Mr. Kolko.

Why that’s happening is a bit difficult to pin down. One possibility is more older adults are getting divorced.

Another factor is those 65 through 74 are the fastest-growing segment of the population and older adults live in smaller households than younger adults. “So population growth among older adults adds more households than population growth among younger adults,” Mr. Kolko wrote.

The increased number of households among young adults entirely reflects population growth rather than a smaller share are no longer living with their parents, Mr. Kolko said. In fact, a separate report from Pew Research Center shows that a higher percentage of millennial adults are living with their parents than in 2010.



Behind the scenes, Cordova Hills moves ahead on multiple tracks

June 19th, 2014


Staff Writer- June 17, 2014

The land southeast of Rancho Cordova planned to become Cordova Hills someday isn’t seeing much action at the moment, but plans for the 2,700-acre master plan project are moving ahead on other fronts.

Cordova Hills President Ron Alvarado said the project is active on different tracks involving infrastructure financing, federal open space permits and looking for higher-education partners to put a campus in the project.

“We try to be a little ahead, but also respond to the market,” Alvarado said of Cordova Hills, which is planned to have hundreds of homes as well as open space and commercial development. “My best guess is we’ll be ready to break ground in two years.”

Before then, developers and their consultants need to finalize with the county a financing mechanism for services and amenities for the project, as well as acquire federally required permits for open space, another selling point of the project.

But who might put their university center at the heart of the project is the question observers probably ask the most. Though nothing’s been finalized, Alvarado said, he’s met with representatives from both U.S. institutions as well as foreign ones, and a consortium of both, about establishing their campus here.

“Our confidence does remain high,” he said, even though other developers for projects in the region also have expressed hopes of attracting a higher-education component. “I’m confident the harder we look, the luckier we will become.”

He added if more than one project can attract new higher education providers to the region, it can only benefit the region as a whole.



Sacramento County plans transit to serve future Jackson Highway developments

February 18th, 2014


Published: Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 – 10:48 pm

Lined with grazing fields, industrial businesses and pockets of housing, Jackson Highway doesn’t have many traffic jams. But snarls could worsen in coming years as developers expect to start work on four communities that will add 30,000 homes and at least as many cars along a stretch of the highway.

Already facing criticism for supporting residential projects on the urban fringe, Sacramento County is working on a proposal to add bus service to the area, in hopes of reducing traffic and auto emissions. The county plans to tax residents to fund the service, which would be provided by contract through Sacramento Regional Transit.

The plan, drawn up by the county, developers and RT officials, would add four routes between Watt Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard on Jackson Highway. Developers expect to start building four master-planned communities as soon as 2017 along that seven-mile stretch: Jackson Township, Mather South, Newbridge and West Jackson.


Three of the new bus routes would receive about 2,000 riders each day, according to a consultant’s study. That would place them among the top 10 routes for ridership, based on RT’s latest figures.

“This is a very viable system,” said Dean Blank, a principal civil engineer for the county.

RT General Manager Mike Wiley agrees that the demand will be there.

“The question is how do we finance it?” he asked.

Like most transit systems, RT is heavily subsidized, with 25 percent of its operating costs paid by fares and the rest from government grants, he said. The consultant’s estimate placed the cost of the four new county routes at $9 million a year. As envisioned in the plan, riders could catch the buses every 15 minutes and ride them through the communities and to Rancho Cordova employment centers and nearby light-rail stations.

Wiley and Blank expect service in the Jackson Highway area to be funded by property owners, much as homeowners in three new Rancho Cordova subdivisions subsidize a shuttle service called the CordoVan. A levy is placed on property to fund the van and other transit in the area, and Rancho Cordova contracts with RT to provide the service. CordoVan charges a nominal rider fee as well.

Sacramento County agreed to impose a residential fee for the bus service after approving the massive Sunrise-Douglas development, before it was incorporated into Rancho Cordova. As with the Jackson Highway projects, Sacramento County also faced opposition from environmentalists over Sunrise-Douglas, including a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Council of Sacramento.

ECOS, which often sues the county over development, has raised complaints about the proposals along Jackson Highway. “When the plans came before us, we strongly stated that they needed a comprehensive transportation and transit plan,” said Ron Maertz, chair of the ECOS land-use committee.

“I question whether they would have done this without our pushing,” he said.

Blank presented the county’s transit plan to ECOS late last year. “What we’ve seen so far is going in the right direction,” Maertz said. “We’re still a little concerned about funding.”

Blank said the need to meet California Environmental Quality Act requirements helped drive the proposal, since new projects must show ways to offset pollution and traffic congestion. But the county is also motivated to create a new type of community, one that reduces car use also by offering a variety of services, goods and jobs nearby.

Ridership is not necessarily higher in urban areas than in suburban ones, RT’s Wiley said. Ridership is driven more by the density of development in an area, and the four communities on Jackson Highway will be more compact than suburban housing of years past.

Some of RT’s highest-use routes are in suburban areas, such as Route 1, traveling from the Watt Avenue light-rail station to the Sunrise Mall transit center.

Mark Thomas, a Rancho Cordova senior engineer, said bus riders are generally of two types: Those who have no other means of transportation and those who do. The CordoVan attracts about 160 riders each day in communities made up of people who have a choice, and he counts himself among those riders.

“It’s 25 minutes of relaxation I get twice a day,” he said. “It’s great.”



Hwy 50 office space seeing more demand

February 18th, 2014


Office space seeing more demand

Much of the recent interest in office space is in south Placer County and along the Highway 50 corridor, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal

Though downtown Sacramento may have a bright future, office users are finding other reasons to look at outlying areas a bit more, according to a study by commercial real estate firm Jones Lange LaSalle.

Last week, Jones Lang LaSalle tracked 32 tenants trying to find space in south Placer County, and another 31 looking on Highway 50. Downtown Sacramento had 27 such location requirements.

Senior research analyst Elliot Williams said though the numbers fluctuate from week to week, both the Highway 50 corridor and south Placer County are getting significantly more interest from office tenants, for a variety of possible reasons.

“With downtown, there really aren’t that many large spaces out there,” he said, even though big employers such as financial services or insurance companies often need 25,000 to 40,000 square feet. Though there are nine spaces of that size in downtown Sacramento, potential tenants might not like the rent, configuration, location or other disqualifying characteristics, he said.

In both Rancho Cordova and Roseville/Rocklin, he said, there are not only more options in terms of size, but other attractions, Williams said. Rancho Cordova has several office buildings in parks where rents are more affordable and nearby amenities.

Two other factors also push firms to look outside the city core, Williams said: Parking, and proximity to where employees live. If they can be somewhere that reduces commutes – including their own – business managers looking for a lease are as likely to go suburban as residents are when they’re shopping for homes, he said.

But regardless of location, there still isn’t enough demand for new office construction. While rents are likely to rise in the next few years, most of the users looking for space can find it, particularly at smaller square footages where a spec builder might consider doing something new, Williams said.



Sacramento Business Journal: Transportation money may not keep up with region’s growth

September 20th, 2013


As growth resumes, transportation resources critical for supporting it are in danger of falling behind, industry experts say.

With state transportation bonds running out and federal dollars harder to come by than ever, transportation advocates and transit agency executives say they are scrambling to pay for roads, buses and other methods of serving a growing population.

“We’re going to be literally at the brink of a fiscal cliff in money that’s available for transportation,” said Will Kempton, a former executive director of the California Depatment of Transportation and now executive director with Transportation California, an industry-based advocacy group.

Kempton said a combination of factors created the situation, including cutbacks at the federal level in transportation spending and little appetite among voters statewide for new transportation bonds that would have to be paid back.

In the Sacramento region, the local sales tax to pay for transportation, which voters renewed in 2004, provides a local source for funding. But with less money from other sources, the local funding doesn’t go as far as it used to as a local match, said Mike Wiley, general manager and chief executive officer at Sacramento Regional Transit.

“You used to get discretionary dollars with an 80-percent federal match,” he said. “Now you can’t get that, and at best it’s a 50-50 match.”

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SacBee Article: Home builders resume land development in Sacramento region

July 19th, 2013


Interesting post from the Bee about the state of new home construction in Sacramento area.


Home builders resume land development in Sacramento region

By Hudson Sangree
Published: Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013 – 12:57 pm
Big yellow earthmovers with tires taller than a man rumbled across the parched grassland of west Roseville this week, readying the ground for a bumper crop of hundreds of new homes.

The sight of construction equipment breaking up fields was common in last decade’s housing boom but nearly vanished the past seven years. Even after the housing market started to recover last year, many home builders were willing to build only on finished lots. They weren’t ready to spend the millions of dollars it takes to break ground, pave streets and lay sewer pipe.

Now, with home building companies growing more confident in the resurgent housing market, land development activity is back in the suburban areas of Roseville, Lincoln, Elk Grove and El Dorado Hills. Experts call it a major step in the evolution of the housing recovery.
Read rest of the story here:



SacBee Article: Environmental Shift is Needed

June 30th, 2013


Article in the Sacramento Bee


Viewpoints: Environmental shift is needed toward solutions

By Jay R. Lund

Special to The Bee
Published: Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 5E

California needs a new environmentalism to set a more effective and sustainable green bar for the nation and even the world.

For decades, we have taken a “just say no” approach to stop, prevent or blunt human encroachments onto the natural world – often rightly so. Early environmentalism needed lines in the sand against rampant development and reckless industrialization, and achieved widespread success. Our air and water is now cleaner even with population and economic growth. Industry, for the most part, is now accountable for its wastes.

Yet, despite these important gains, the classical environmentalism of “no” will ultimately fail. We must shift to “how better?”

Read more here:




Sacbee Article: New Watt Avenue Interchange

June 18th, 2013

Here is some information about how Sacramento is developing more pedestrian and transit ready infrastructure.



New Watt Avenue interchange makes room for walkers, bikers and buses

By Tony Bizjak
Published: Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

For more than a decade, Sacramento has been rebuilding the string of interchanges that serve Highway 50, giving each a muscular, modern design, preparing them for an expected east county growth boom in the coming years.

Sunrise was upgraded years ago. Zinfandel, Mather Field and Bradshaw, too. Now, it’s Watt Avenue’s turn.

Unlike the earlier interchanges, though, the $23 million Watt project, under way since November, includes an extra set of amenities designed to decrease the region’s heavy reliance on cars.
Read rest of the article here: