Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Population Engine "Has Lost Some of its Steam"

From the Sacramento Bee:

For a while, the pace of growth shot through the roof, but Lincoln, the little city that could, has lost some of its steam -- reflecting a downturn in the region's once-booming housing market.

Lincoln, the state's fastest-growing city per capita last year, has been knocked from its perch atop the heap, tumbling to sixth on the list, according to population estimates released Tuesday by the state Department of Finance.
With a population of 37,410, Lincoln posted a still-robust 11 percent increase -- the fastest growth rate of any city in the capital region -- but less than half the 22.6 percent growth from the previous year.

"It's a little bit indicative of the housing market, that's for sure," said Campbell.

Indeed, the softening housing market kept the region's growth at modest rates. Sacramento, the state's seventh most populous city, grew by 2 percent and now has a population of 467,343. Overall, Sacramento County grew by 1.4 percent to nearly 1.41 million.

Elk Grove grew by a healthy 4 percent -- but well below the 7.8 percent of the previous year...Elk Grove's 4 percent growth was a marked shift from the manic population surge of a few years ago. The city grew by 27 percent in 2003. More commuters clogged freeways, and housing construction soared. By the third quarter of 2005, new home prices in the city had jumped to $539,500.

New housing prices have moderated, sales have dropped sharply, and housing construction has slowed to a crawl.
From the Stockton Record:
For the first time this decade, Tracy has essentially stopped growing.

New population estimates released Tuesday by the state Department of Finance showed that Tracy's population gained only 32 people from 2006 to 2007 - marking the end of a run for what had been one of California's fastest-growing cities.

Overall, Tracy's population has increased by more than 41 percent since 2000, but a slump in the housing market combined with recent slow-growth policies within the city have halted that trend.
As a whole, San Joaquin County added about 11,400 people last year, bringing the county's total to about 679,600. This is a markedly slower rate of growth than the county had been seeing in recent years; the last time San Joaquin's growth rate was slower was in 1998.


Patient Renter said...

Tracy is done. Apologies to those who live there, but the town is a hole, and a smelly one at that.

Steven said...

The Elk Grove population growth rate of 27% is misleading. During that period, the City annexed the already developed area known as Laguna West, Stonelake, and Lakeside.

Gwynster said...

I really don't trust these numbers.

There is a bit of discrepancy between the fed census and these numbers which are put out by the CA dept of finance and economics. No offence but I'd rather rely on the Feds since they have less skin in the game and therefore really don't care what the data says.

At some point I'll have to post a very long blog entry on Sacramento out migration.

Sittin' Out This One said...

The Lincoln growth rate has slowed so much, they are firing their school building inspector. Last year they planned on building a new school every year for 10 years. Now, they are in financial difficulty.

There are so many houses, the vacancy seems to be 25%. A friend bought a JTS home for $565,000 as an investment last August. "Incentivized" deal, if you get the drift, plus $150,000 off "asking" (never sold one for that much, but they did ask that much in 2006! I told him not to do the deal. They said he could rent it for $2200/mon. Sat vacant for months. Finally rented it for $1750. First tenant moved out after 6 months. Now vacant again and asking $1650. Sheesh. $260/mon Mello Roos, plus $500/mon taxes and $105 HOA. $865/mon, before he gets out of bed.

Last week Wells Fargo foreclosed on the same model across the street. They just listed it with Keller Williams, supposedly for $415,000. He is not happy. Knows he must have been rolled by JTS now.

It appears JTS has made created more FB's than any other builder. And there are still a few "pendings" under contract. It is one bad joke.