Recently, I had the pleasure of hiking Taylor Mountain Regional Park’s east trail. It’s a pretty good cardio run at 1.6 miles up and 1.6 miles down. Steep climb with a few areas that level off at almost the perfect interval for recovery.
I like this park. It’s not to big, not to small, located in south east Santa Rosa making it easily accessible from 101 or Petaluma Hill Rd. It is almost as challenging for me as Sugar Loaf while taking 1/2 the time to get there. There is also an 18-hole disc golf course for those who partake and while I’m not a disc golfer, the views are pretty killer.
From the top of the East Trail you can see all of Bennett Valley, Rincon Valley, Montgomery Village, pretty much all of Santa Rosa all the way down to Rohnert Park. That is a lot of real estate to take in. And that real estate is getting to be very expensive, whether you’re buying or renting!
Sonoma County rents have risen 30% over the last 3 years alone and are likely to continue climbing for one simple reason; basic economics, supply vs. demand. Sonoma County ranks no. 1 in the United States in terms of rising rent costs in any metropolitan area. The price for an average apartment costs nearly $1,600/mo. This may seem like a small number in comparison to the other counties surrounding the San Francisco metropolitan area, such as Alameda, San Mateo and Marin, but for county residents who’ve lived here for more than 5 years, that number represents a massive change in cost of living and has some folks very concerned for their futures. Will they be able to live here if rents keep soaring?
Good news may be on the horizon though. There are several major housing developments in Rohnert Park that are coming to market over the next few years. The first, referred to as the University District by Brookfield Homes, will bring some 1645 new housing units to the area. A new 244 unit luxury apartment development, Fiori Estates, across from the new Graton Casino will add to the dismal supply of apartment choices in an already full Rohnert Park/Cotati rental market. Additionally, Rohnert Park has plans for a total of around 4300 new housing units to be built over the next 5 years.
While these new home projects are more than welcome, they won’t soon impact the regions escalating housing costs. The county’s rents are rising due to local hiring and to a lack of new rental units. These new developments that will open in Rohnert Park in the coming months will be the first built here since 2008. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do and until then, the cost of living in our beautiful county will be at the whimsy of supply and demand. #LoveMySoCoLife