One of the hottest communities in all of the Sacramento region right now isn’t in Sacramento at all, but in fact, the independent city of West Sacramento. Lining the “other side” of the Sacramento River, West Sac combines a rich local tradition with new development, modern housing, a business-friendly atmosphere, one of the most significant ports in the world, and exciting new places to eat, drink and listen to music. Here are some facts about West Sacramento, often affectionately called “West Sac.”
West Sacramento demographics:
West Sacramento is really creating a buzz these days as a terrific up-and-coming community in which to live, work and play. In fact, The United States Conference of Mayors named West Sacramento as the Most Livable City in America in 2014 among cities with fewer than 100,000 people.
It’s also growing fast, from 31,615 residents at the 2000 census to 48,744 at the 2010 census and now an estimated 52,721 residents. West Sac’s population density is 2,133.5 people per square mile and the median age is 33.6 years.
West Sacramento located a city in Yolo County, California. It is contiguous with the City of Sacramento, yet divided by the Sacramento River, which is also the county line.
The United States Census Bureau documents the city of West Sacramento as spanning a total area of 22.8 square miles. Of that area, 21.4 square miles are land and 1.4 square miles (6.22%) are made up of water.
Housing in West Sacramento:
As per the last census, there were approximately 18,681 housing units in West Sac with an average density of 817.7 per square mile per housing unit 59% of all housing units in Wes Sac are owner-occupied, with 41.3% inhabited by renters. Homeowner vacancy rates are low, with a 3% average vacancy, but rental vacancies stand at 7%.
West Sacramento was first incorporated in 1987, but previously consisted of three separate towns: Broderick, Bryte, and West Sacramento, which was just the area north of the port canal and south of the railroads), as well as the Southport community area.
In fact, Southport, which now makes up about half of West Sacramento’s land area, was originally just rural homesteads and small, scattered neighborhoods. But these days, Southport is one of the major new communities in West Sacramento, with new subdivisions like Bridgeway, Gateway, River Ranch, and Newport springing up during the housing boom.
Real estate and home values in West Sacramento:
The average home value in West Sacramento is now approximately $327,500, which reflects a 10.9% increase since one year ago. The median listing price is $349,450,
Many national home selling sites forecast that home values in West Sacramento will “only” increase by 5.2% over the next year, but that doesn’t take in account the prolific growth expected in West Sac, revitalization with plenty of new home projects, and boost of value because of its proximity to downtown and the new Golden One Arena.
The median price per square foot in West Sacramento is now $202, which is lower than the Sacramento average of $212.
How do individual home values in West Sacramento breakdown? In June of 2016, there were 157 home sales in West Sacramento. That follows a consistent trend over the last 5 years, with typical summer months showing 150-210 home sales, while winter months dropping to 120-170 home sales.
Between August 24 and November 23 of 2016, all residential properties in West Sacramento increased 5.7% in value, an increase of 5.7% from the previous year.
However, thanks to the boom of new home building with studios, condos and townhouses, two-bedroom and one-bedroom units grew in value 29.1% and 52.2%, respectively.
Education in West Sacramento:
West Sacramento encompasses the Washington Unified School District (referring to its original name). It has seven elementary schools but only one public high school, River City High School. However, the school system does include five alternative program schools, four charter schools including West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter, Heritage Peak Charter School, Sacramento Valley Charter School, Lighthouse Charter School, Our Lady of Grace religious-based school, and a West Sac branch of Sacramento City College.
The educational offerings in West Sac includes the Sacramento Child Signature Program, or UP4WS, a partnership with the goal of offering high quality, accessible childcare and preschool to all children 0-5 in West Sacramento, including children from poor families and those who are learning English as a second language.
Notable in the West Sacramento community:
West Sacramento is home to the Sacramento River Cats, a minor-league baseball team. The River Cats are the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and play their home games in West Sac’s Raley Field, which has been named the best minor league ballpark in America. Raley Field is also home to other sporting events, concerts and gatherings.
The California Highway Patrol Academy is based in West Sacramento, as well as the CHP Museum.
When it comes to media, West Sacramento is well represented by CBS affiliate television stations KOVR and KMAX-TV. Local newspapers include The News-Ledger and the West Sacramento Sun.
The Port of West Sacramento is one of the largest on the west coast and facilitates moving agriculture out of the fertile Sacramento region, such as significant crops of rice. The port first opened in 1963 but today, about $145 million worth of cargo moves through it every year.
Business and employment in West Sacramento:
The Swedish furniture store chain IKEA opened a store near Reed Avenue in West Sacramento in March of 2006, which was followed in that Riverpoint Shopping Center by Home Depot in 2007, and then Target, Nugget Market, and Lowe's Home Improvement Center.
The corporate headquarters of popular NorCal and Central California grocery chain Raley's is located in West Sacramento, as are the offices of the California pension fund, CalSTRS.
Here are some notable and top employers in West Sacramento:
United States Postal Service
State of California
California State Teachers' Retirement System
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Washington Unified School District
Tony's Fine Foods/United Natural Foods
City of West Sacramento
Farmers' Rice Cooperative
Famous West Sacramento residents and native sons:
Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento since 1998
Malcolm Floyd, NFL Wide Receiver
Willie Jorrín, former World Boxing Council super bantamweight champion
Burney Lamar, NASCAR driver
Oleg Maskaev, former World Boxing Council heavyweight champion
Steve Sax, former LA Dodgers 2nd baseman
Look for part two of this blog coming soon with the fascinating and entertaining history of West Sac, and contact us if you're interested in real estate prices and buying in West Sacramento!