Thursday, December 21, 2006

"Population Boom Going Bust?"

From the Stockton Record:

Population boom going bust?
S.J. Mother Lode growth rate slowdown mirrors downward trend in area housing market

San Joaquin County's population is growing at a slower pace than it has for nearly a decade. New estimates released Wednesday by the state Department of Finance showed that from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, the county population grew 1.86 percent, the lowest rate of growth since the year ending July 1, 1998, when its residential base increased 1.35 percent.

Since then, population growth has topped 2 percent, with the largest increase during the same period in 2000-01, when the county grew 3.93 percent. By comparison, last year's growth was 2.53 percent.

Declining population growth is likely reflected in housing starts. Mike Niblock, Stockton's community development director, said Wednesday that there has been a definite downturn in the number of building permits for new residential construction. "I'm sure there are a lot of different factors that impact those numbers, but usually there is a fairly strong tie between housing and population," he said.

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