Post-COVID boom: These are the fastest-growing cities in the Sacramento area and California

Xavier Mascareñas/

Most of the Sacramento region is in a home building boom. And the region has some of the fastest-growing communities in California.

While the region isn’t constructing as many new homes as it did before the Great Recession, some communities — especially the region’s most sought-after suburbs — are seeing significant growth in both their populations and new housing units.

The six-county region added nearly 29,000 new homes between 2020 and 2023, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of population and housing data kept by the state Department of Finance. That represents a 2.9% growth in the region’s housing stock over a three-year period. California has added more than 315,000 new homes since 2020, an increase of 2.2%.

The region’s population declined marginally since 2020, but at a far slower rate than the 1.5% decline statewide. Yolo and Placer counties both had population increases. The six-county region covers Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Yuba and Sutter counties.

Lincoln’s population has increased 5.2% since 2020, according to The Bee’s analysis. Winters has seen an 8.3% increase in its population. Roseville’s population growth rate of 3.9% was the biggest jump of any city in the state with more than 150,000 residents.

Folsom, West Sacramento and Rancho Cordova also had significant population increases.

After seeing its population decline during the first two years of the pandemic, Sacramento saw a rebound and was the fastest growing among the state’s 10 largest cities over the past year, according to state estimates. The burst of population appears to be at least partly tied to the city’s production of new homes. The city added 1,960 new units of housing in 2022, the fifth largest increase in California.

The fastest-growing place in the state the past three years was Paradise, where the numbers are skewed as the town continues rebuilding from 2018’s devastating Camp Fire,

Outside of Paradise, the fastest-growing city was Lathrop in San Joaquin County. Now considered a Bay Area “exburb,” the city along Interstate 5 grew by a whopping 22.4% between 2020 and 2023, according to The Bee’s analysis.

Lathrop and bordering Manteca also saw their housing stock increase by more than 10%.

Susanville in Lassen County had California’s steepest population decline, falling by 28% since 2020.

New housing in Sacramento suburbs

Among cities in the region with at least 20,000 residents, Lincoln had the largest percentage jump in new housing units, according to The Bee’s analysis. The number of housing units in the south Placer County suburb surged by 9.5% the past three years, the ninth-highest increase in California.

Paradise added 1,872 new homes, an increase of 75% over 2020. Winters, a city of about 7,500 people in Yolo County, added 291 new homes, an increase of 11.5%.

Other big increases in housing units were seen in Folsom (8.5%), Roseville (7.9%), Rancho Cordova (6.1%) and West Sacramento (5.8%).

The jumps in those cities don’t surprise new home industry experts.

More than 570 new homes were sold in the region in August, the second-highest number for an August since 2005, according to the North State Building Industry Association. Roseville, Folsom, Elk Grove and Lincoln combined to account for more than half the region’s new home sales.

“There’s such strong demand in the suburbs where people want space. They want to have a single-family home and backyards and access to good schools and parks and safety,” said Chris Norem, the North State BIA’s political director and senior policy adviser.

Still, planning experts contend the region’s housing variety is off balance.

Just 23% of the new homes built the past three years in the region were attached residences such as condos, townhomes and apartments, according to The Bee’s analysis. By comparison, 56% of the homes built statewide were attached. Many experts argue the Sacramento region needs to build far more attached homes because those housing types are generally more affordable and take up less open space than single-family homes.

The city of Sacramento added 2,590 attached homes, more than half its total new housing units the past three years. More than 92% of the new homes in Davis were attached, while 68% of the new residences in West Sacramento were condos or apartments.

Fewer than 10% of the new homes in Lincoln, Rocklin and Rancho Cordova were attached.

New-home builders argue the market demand is higher for single-family homes, especially in suburbs that have drawn thousands of new residents in recent years.