Solano County may be making the biggest strides among Bay Area counties in alleviating the region’s housing crisis, according to data on home starts from Metrostudy, a real estate market research firm.

Starts were up a whopping 122 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with a year ago, while starts were down in the eight other Bay Area counties, dropping 47 percent in San Francisco and 45 percent in Sonoma County. Areawide, starts were down 13 percent. Here’s the ranking of starts by county:
Solano: 122% Marin: 0%Contra Costa: -6% Alameda: -13% Napa: -20% San Mateo: -26% Santa Clara: -31% Sonoma: -45% San Francisco: -47%Sonoma: -45% San Francisco: -47%[bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”1. Solano” percent=”122″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”2. Marin” percent=”0″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”3. Contra Costa” percent=”-6″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”4. Alameda” percent=”-13″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”5. Napa” percent=”-20%”][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”6. San Mateo” percent=” -26″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”7. Santa Clara” percent=” -31″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”8. Sonoma” percent=”-45″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”9. San Francisco” percent=”-47″]The most housing units, 460, were started last quarter in Santa Clara County, followed by 451 in Alameda County. Only 40 units were begun in San Francisco compared with 75 a year ago. In Solano County, where prices are lower, 288 units were underway, up from 130 a year ago.

Aaron Stubblefield, Metrostudy’s regional director/senior consultant for Northern California, said that mortgage rates and prices were behind the slowdown. Mortgage rates increased by half a percent and home prices went up about $40,000 in the first half of 2018. Compared to 2017, housing starts in 2018 were up in the Bay Area.


Keith Burbank, Bay City News

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.