Housing

Housing

May Map of the Month: When Will Bay Area Cities Reach Plan Bay Area 2040 Housing Targets?

May Map of the Month

May's Map of the Month from MTC and ABAG Executive Director Steve Heminger looks at what year cities around the Bay Area are anticipated to reach their housing growth forecasts, assuming the annualized housing production rate since 2010 doesn't change.

From the Executive Director's latest report to the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board:

To beat a dead horse, May’s Map of the Month highlights the continued housing production challenges in the Bay Area, comparing Department of Finance housing production data between January 2010 and December 2017 with the Plan Bay Area 2040 housing forecasts by jurisdiction. This month's map shows the year that each city or town would meet its Plan Bay Area 2040 housing growth forecast if it continues on its recent production trajectory, during this lengthy economic expansion. Not surprisingly, most jurisdictions are lagging the Plan’s housing goals – meaning that the region won’t reach its 2040 housing goal until 2072 at the current pace.

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Housing

YIMBYs, NIMBYs and the Data That Unites Them

Aerial View of Sonoma County
Karl Nielsen

The latest dispatch from America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers from the U.S. Census provides an in-depth look at how data informs advocacy on both sides of the Bay Area’s housing debate. The story, NIMBY Meets YIMBY: Housing Movement Pushes for More Housing, shows how Census data is used to analyze everything from jobs to housing balance, rent burdens, building permit data and demographic change.

From the article:

Recently, the quest for housing affordability has dominated the national conversation. According to the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year estimates, 38.2 percent of rental households in the San Francisco Metro Area were spending at least 35 percent of their income on basic housing costs and 27.8 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were in the same situation.

Continue reading to find out more, and to see how your own county stacks up along a number of key measures. Read More

Housing

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Housing Market

Housing in Santa Clara County
Karl Nielsen

In "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," the great modernist poet Wallace Stevens explores what it means to know something, to show how different perspectives can be isolated while still pointing to some general (if elusive) subject.

I was of three minds,   

Like a tree   

In which there are three blackbirds.   

Every day in the Bay Area, we are bombarded with story after story about the housing market and our regional housing crisis. There are on-the-ground anecdotes and sophisticated research reports, micro assessments and macro assessments, and complex analyses of local, statewide, national and global trends. How does it all fit together? Does it fit together?

In the spirit of providing a multiplicity of perspectives, this post offers (maybe not quite thirteen) snapshots, news items, opinions and analysis looking at housing, from the granularity of a single California city to metropolises across the great round world. Read More

Housing

An Overview of the 2018 Housing Policy Landscape in California

Housing Near Milpitas BART Station
Karl Nielsen

Last year was a very active year for housing legislation in California, with approval of a housing package that included new funding for affordable housing as well as some modest regulatory changes. It appears, however, this may have just been a warm-up act for 2018. Currently, there are nearly 20 different major housing bills under consideration by lawmakers in the state’s capitol. Outside organizations are also organizing to place various housing-related measures on the statewide ballot in November 2018.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of these various bills and initiatives and then segue into a discussion of key policy considerations for MTC and ABAG in light of regional goals, particularly those articulated in Plan Bay Area 2040, the nine-county Bay Area’s long-range transportation and land use plan jointly adopted by both agencies in July 2017.

Overview of Housing Bills and Ballot Initiatives

Staff has grouped these bills and initiatives into a few major categories: State Zoning Preemption and Housing Production; Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA); Fiscalization of Land Use/Property Taxes; and Rent Control, Tenant Protections and Anti-Displacement. Continue reading on for the bill summary and policy discussion. Read More

Housing

The Crash and Rise of the US Housing Market, 2000-2017

Housing Construction in Vacaville
Karl Nielsen

Check out this very cool Tableau visualization from Jacob Olsufka at Decisive Data: The Crash and Rise of the US Housing Market, 2000-2017. It looks at a large number of cities across the United States and breaks down in chart, map, and graph form whether homes prices were increasing or decreasing in a given month and year between 2000 and 2017. It gives a good sense of just how widespread and long-lasting the carnage was during the Great Recession, and by contrast how healthy the overall housing market was (with a few notable exceptions) as of the latest available data in August 2017.

The visualization is excerpted below but should ideally be viewed full-screen to really do it justice. Read More

Housing

International Comparisons of Intergenerational Trends: Income, Labor, Housing and Wealth

Tokyo Skyline
According to a new report from the Resolution Foundation, Japan significantly increased its per-capita housing stock between 1990 and 2015. The United States, by contrast, lost ground over the same period. Image Credit: iStock/Getty, yongyuan.

Led by MTC and ABAG, Vital Signs is the Bay Area’s performance monitoring initiative, tracking key trends related to transportation, land and people, the economy, the environment and social equity.  Vital Signs puts data in local, regional and national context by evaluating indicators over time, examining differences between cities and counties, and comparing the Bay Area with other peer metropolitan areas. 

Sometimes, zooming out to the international level can be just as illuminating. This new report – International Comparisons of Intergenerational Trends – from the Resolution Foundation, a British think tank, is definitely worth a look. The report “explores the extent to which the UK’s generational living standards challenge is replicated in other high-income economies,” focusing on trends in income gains and losses, labor markets, and housing and wealth for younger adults and millennials. 

The report has lots of fascinating findings (key points excerpted in full below), but one particularly interesting data point concerns relatively low housing stock levels, especially among primarily English-speaking countries – all of whose younger generations, it should be noted, are facing major housing price pressures.  Read More

Housing

ABAG Launches Exciting New Online Housing Data Portal, Regional Permitting Activity in 2016 Disappoints

Housing Permit Activity

On the Bay Area housing beat there’s good news and bad news. 

The good news is that at yesterday’s ABAG Regional Planning Committee meeting, staff unveiled an exciting new online housing data portal. The portal provides easy access to data related to housing permit activity as well as local adoption of housing policies in the 101 towns and cities and nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The permitting data will allow users to see the affordability level (very low, low, moderate, or above moderate income), housing type (single family, multifamily, mobile home, second unit) and location of every single unit permitted in the region from 2014-16. The policy data will let users see the housing policies and programs that jurisdictions across the region are using to increase housing supply and affordability, preserve existing housing choices, and protect residents from displacement. Read more on ABAG’s website or check out the portal for yourself. 

The bad news is, well, what the data actually says. Read More

Housing

Large Homebuilder Pulls Out of North Bay Rebuild Effort

North Bay fires

We recently discussed how record low unemployment across the Bay Area combined with a severe housing shortage could create unexpected challenges for the region, especially as relates to achieving ambitious policy goals that involve significantly increasing housing-related construction activity. Late last week brought unfortunate confirmation of the broader dynamics involved here, with news that a large homebuilder was pulling out of plans to rebuild homes lost during the North Bay wildfires. 

The reason? Financial feasibility concerns driven by a "general labor shortage in home construction" and – in particular – a lack of local framers. From the Press Democrat:

“Our fear is that this is a bellwether of the way things are going to go,” [said Jeff Okrepkie, chairman of the Coffey Strong neighborhood rebuilding group].

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Housing

Interested in Housing & Development Legislation? Attend the First "Planning Innovations" Forum of 2018 on February 13!

A construction worker working on the roof of an unfinished house.
Karl Nielsen

Given recently passed state housing legislation and lawsuits against local jurisdictions, cities face increasing scrutiny when approving or denying housing development proposals. MTC’s long-running Planning Innovations series kicks off 2018 with a timely workshop on these issues, How Objective is "Objective"? Effective Development Standards in the SB35 and Housing Accountability Act Era. The workshop will be held starting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 13, at the Bay Area Metro Center in San Francisco; register and see additional details here. Read More