Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Jersey Population Growth

A number of pieces on the recently released Census population estimates for 2005.

From the Star Ledger:

SMALL-TOWN JERSEY SEES BIGGEST GROWTH

So far this decade, the ranks of New Jerseyans willing to make that trade-off have swelled, according to census data released yesterday.

The new numbers are population estimates for the state's 566 towns, and they show that most of the state's meager population growth occurred in small communities like Hamburg.

In fact, when towns are grouped by size -- from the smallest tenth to the largest tenth -- the fastest-growing segment is those in the third group from the bottom, with populations between 2,771 and 4,287 in 2000.

These 56 towns saw a nearly 9 percent increase in population -- more than twice the rate of the state as a whole. Put another way, this group of small towns, comprising 2 percent of the state's population, has garnered 6 percent of the state's population growth over the last five years.

"This is a reflection of two forces," said James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. "There's the issue of housing affordability and the receptivity in many of these towns to growth."
...
New Jersey's largest cities, while experiencing a construction boom, are not seeing a population explosion, according to the census figures. Newark is up 3 percent this decade, while Jersey City is down slightly.
...
"And it's only perceived economics that brings people here, not real economics. It requires that you discount the value of your time to nothing, and that you are willing to put up with spending all your free time in traffic," he said.

The rush-hour drive from northern Sussex County to Route 80 can take 45 minutes to an hour -- and that doesn't include the time it would then take to get to the ultimate destination.

From the Star Ledger:

2 counties continue to grow
BY MATTHEW J. DOWLING

Population figures for Somerset and Hunterdon counties continue to show steady growth, particularly in Montgomery Township, where the number of residents has shot up 30 percent over the last five years, according to U.S. Census figures released yesterday.

Montgomery ranks ninth among the state's 566 municipalities for population increases since 2000, with the latest figures showing 22,741 residents.

Lebanon Borough in Hunterdon County ranks second. Population in the tiny hamlet has risen from 1,065 to 1,749 in the past five years fueled by recent housing developments. Only Woolwich Township in Gloucester County ranks higher.

Towns along the eastern border of Somerset County surrounding the New Brunswick area also have shown double-digit growth rates over the past five years.
...
Franklin Township, Green Brook and Watchung all rank among the top 40 municipalities for population increases in the state. Watchung's population has shot up 23 percent since 2000 to 6,170 residents, according to the Census figures.


From the Daily Record:

Morris population growth slowing
BY COLLEEN O'DEA

At the midpoint between decennial censuses, new data released today show the Morris County region as a whole growing at a much smaller rate than it did in the previous decade.

The 2005 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that population in the typical town in Morris rose by about 3 percent since Census 2000, or less than a half percent a year. Between 1990 and 2000, population rose by more than twice that on average, or 1.1 percent a year.

But that doesn't mean some places aren't growing.

Already, the bureau estimates, the population in four Morris communities has jumped more than 10 percent in five years. Florham Park has registered the largest increase, of nearly a quarter. Mount Arlington, Pequannock and Rockaway Township all have had double digits population increases.

Between 2004 and 2005, Mount Arlington, Pequannock and Denville saw their populations rise the most, the bureau believes.

"The fastest growers are towns with large condo/(apartment)-style housing -- senior or assisted living," said Christine Marion of the Morris County Planning Department.
...
But there are also several municipalities that census officials believe have lost population, either between 2004 and 2005 or in the previous five years.

Chatham, Lincoln Park, Mine Hill, Rockaway, Victory Gardens and Wharton all have smaller population counts in 2005 than they did in 2000, according to the estimates. And Butler, Madison, Mendham Township, Rockaway, Victory Gardens, Wharton, Hopatcong and Stanhope had fewer residents in 2005 than a year earlier.


The Census Dataset by County can be found here:

Census 2005 Population Estimates (Warning: Large CSV File)

Population Estimate Changes (July 2005 - July 2006)

New Jersey 32,759 0.38%
Atlantic 2,704 1.01%
Bergen 816 0.09%
Burlington 2,087 0.47%
Camden 2,629 0.51%
Cape May -1,175 -1.17%
Cumberland 2,232 1.48%
Essex -3,958 -0.50%
Gloucester 4,126 1.51%
Hudson -1,838 -0.30%
Hunterdon 1,086 0.84%
Mercer 1,875 0.51%
Middlesex 5,851 0.75%
Monmounth 890 0.14%
Morris 3,156 0.65%
Ocean 5,248 0.95%
Passaic 121 0.02%
Salem 1,027 1.57%
Somerset 3,677 1.16%
Sussex 1,013 0.67%
Union 611 0.12%
Warren 581 0.53%

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

22 Comments:

Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

OP-ED article on Washingtonpost on why Bernanke needs to keep fighting inflation by raising rates.

Facing Up to Inflation By Robert J. Samuelson

Some housing items,

the CPI's housing component is quirky -- but it's not necessarily wrong. Rents are rising partly because home prices have increased so much that more people are forced to rent. If the CPI counted home prices directly, it would have gone up much more in 2004 and 2005.

6/21/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

Chatham, Lincoln Park, Mine Hill, Rockaway, Victory Gardens and Wharton all have smaller population counts in 2005 than they did in 2000, according to the estimates. And Butler, Madison, Mendham Township, Rockaway, Victory Gardens, Wharton, Hopatcong and Stanhope had fewer residents in 2005 than a year earlier.

This is surprising. What does everyone thing about why the population is decreasing? If folks move out of Morris county, someone else is always ready to move in. So population should remain steady, if not increase.

6/21/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

UCLA Anderson Forecast Calls for Real Estate Slowdown in California; No Statewide or National Recession Seen

Leamer, who does not expect real estate prices to fall significantly, notes that sales volume is what typically drops, and drops more precipitously than prices, as the price cycle lags behind the volume cycle. The number of homes sold will drop as owners decline to sell in a weak housing market. Prices, however, should hold. The real decline in the housing market, Leamer says, will come in "residential investment," which includes construction of new homes, repair and remodeling, and brokerage commissions on the sale of new and existing homes.

6/21/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Shailesh,

In and out migration is only one of the components of population change. Birth and death plays a significant role in these changes.

Which, only naturally, leads into birth rate. I believe the oft quoted figure to be a birth rate of 2.1 in order to be at a 'replacement' level, where population neither grows nor declines.

I'm not sure what the current birth rate in NJ is, I'll have to do some digging to find that.

However, the DINK (Double Income No Kids) scenario is becoming very popular in Northern NJ. Parents don't seem to be planning large families anymore. As affordability in this area declines, it only makes sense that families will have fewer children in order to stay in this area.

grim

6/21/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Unfortunately, gross population numbers aren't going to help us understand the growing (or declining) demand for housing.. We would really need to know the net change in terms of households, not individuals..

grim

6/21/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger delford said...

I love the so called experts, sales volume will decline, but house prices will not, because sellers will not sell in a weakening market.

And the people that have to sell?

The job transfers, the divorces, the job losses, the speculators, the people who have used ARMS, and now cannot afford the new payments, the massive amount of sub-prime borrowers, and all the people who have sucked the equity out of their homes and consumed it.

Its just common sense, its just that simple.

6/21/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Grim said:

"As affordability in this area declines, it only makes sense that families will have fewer children in order to stay in this area."

Is that true? While that might be the case for some folks, I find it hard to believe that the increase in DINKs nationwide (worldwide for that matter) is dependent on economics. There are larger social forces at work that have led to the rise of DINK households.

6/21/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

shail: great stuff!

"All these arguments aim to minimize the inflation threat. To anyone who knows the history, this is eerily reminiscent of the 1960s and '70s. Then, economists underestimated inflation. They argued that a bit more wouldn't hurt or that increases reflected "temporary" pressures. In the resulting political and intellectual climate, the Fed pursued easy money and credit policies for too long. It tried to drive economic growth up and unemployment down. The results were perverse: double-digit inflation, four recessions from 1969 to 1982 and higher unemployment.

Since 1982 there have been only two mild recessions. The lesson is that low inflation promotes more stable economic growth. The Fed should heed that. True, it could trip into a recession. But without dramatic evidence of a weakening economy, the greater danger is a renewal of inflationary psychology. It's time for the punch bowl to go."


Sing it Sammy!

6/21/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The job transfers, the divorces, the job losses, the speculators, the people who have used ARMS, and now cannot afford the new payments, the massive amount of sub-prime borrowers, and all the people who have sucked the equity out of their homes and consumed it.

Its just common sense, its just that simple.

Unfortunately, it may not be that simple since the things you mentioned do not represent the majority.
There was a report posted here that showed there's only 3% who have equity less than 5% in their homes. 94% have 10% or more, 87% have 20% or more.
I myself hope prices do come down significantly but if these numbers are true then I can see why prices won't be coming down as much as I would hope.

DW

6/21/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is that true? While that might be the case for some folks, I find it hard to believe that the increase in DINKs nationwide (worldwide for that matter) is dependent on economics."

Why is that so hard to believe? The costs of raising even one child are enormous, particularly in this state.

6/21/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DW, delford,

In current position, I think/assume everything is the same (same divorce rate, birth rate, immigrant ...), but the loss of high-pay job, the resetting of ARM, the psychology of people pay a significant role in the downturn.

And by simply judging from the number of FSBO and their asking price, they are still dreaming it is the summer of 2005.

007

6/21/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we assume that the vast majority will NOT be in trouble in a declining market, then I don't see how or why sellers would give in to buyers.
People mention the resetting of ARMs, rising interest rates,etc. But if you're a seller and you can afford to ride it out why wouldn't you? I don't see the logic behind selling just for the sake of it. No matter what you're selling you want the most you can get. That's just common sense.
It's pretty obvious that inventory numbers are climbing but at this point we don't know for sure what the forces are behind it. Sure we hear stories of desperation but who knows if the flood of inventory is being caused by desperation or simply by sellers trying to get top dollar, looking for greater fools. It may be that sellers are just testing the waters to see what they get similar to buyers making low ball offers. If they don't get what they want, they may pull out and try again.
No down or not, if you're house appreciated 50% or more, would you be desperate if it declines by 10%?
The fact that prices are holding indicates that the sellers still have the upper hand in the stand-off.
Seems as though the soft landing theory is still holding up. Perhaps there's some truth to those numbers. Maybe there's just not enough people in danger of being under water to cause a severe downturn.

DW

6/21/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

I know its not popular around here, but I continue to subscribe to the theory that the Census figures may be inaccurate, as they were last time. The decennial census is very accurate, but the projections in the middle are often wrong (they underestimated growth last time). I find it hard to believe that Hudson County is loosing population, for instance.

6/21/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

I disagree => No PAIN = No PAIN

Buyers haven't had their hands forced yet. In the short-run, people can be flexible, but as situations change, people will make the difficult decisions, and structural change will be observed.

Patience Grasshopper.

6/21/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Grim Ghost said...
I find it hard to believe that Hudson County is loosing population, for instance.
6/21/2006 12:51:33 PM

Why?

6/21/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

ChicagoFinance: I lived in Hudson County till early 2006, and it seemed to me that, every year there's been more development in Hudson County. Hoboken, JC, Secaucus. Even places like Weehawken, North Bergen, West New York have seen new developments. These new developments for the most part are on open sites or old industrial/commercial sites, so they are not replacing residential sites.

Equally, it seems to me that traffic has been getting worse practically everywhere in Hudson County.

I know that anecdotes are not data (although Hudson county is small enough area wise that I think anecdotal info may be useful). I would never put it up against solid data like the actual census count. But the projections in between real census years are based on mathemtical modelling, time series, projections and the like. They are considerably less accurate. Last time, they underesimated the population of NJ and Hudson County, and corrected in 2000.

Is it really feasinble that Hudson County has seen a -0.6% decrease since 2000 ? I don't think so.

6/21/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

I saw a report posted here, and also on ben's blog, that said equity levels were much lower, especially for buyers in the last few years, and I belive it, just walk around your neighborhood.

If you are putting little to no money down, you have no equity.

If you spend all of your equity, expensive cars, house remodels, second homes etc, you have no equity.

And if you have the largest amount of sub-prime borrowers who have bought homes in the last few years, you are going to have big problems.

Spring market of 06, inventory rising dramatically, no sales,we need to be patient, the process has started,and that is what we have been looking for.

It will all play out over the next year and prices will drop, and in my opinion sigificantly.
Peace.

6/21/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Family of 5 with no car replaced by DINKS living in new construction and owning 2 cars.

Just check out the sizes of public and private high school graduating classes for evidence.

Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Hoboken closed. Hoboken High is getting smaller every day.

I would focus more on increases in income per capita than population trends.

6/21/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim: "the DINK (Double Income No Kids) scenario is becoming very popular in Northern NJ. Parents don't seem to be planning large families anymore. As affordability in this area declines, it only makes sense that families will have fewer children in order to stay in this area."

Best news I read yet, less reproducing of mostly lefty's!

6/21/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CF and delford -
My plan all along was to start looking end of this summer or next year before I heard of this bubble talk. I sure hope you're right.

Good luck to everyone!

DW

6/21/2006 01:07:00 PM  
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6/25/2006 09:16:00 AM  
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7/05/2006 04:34:00 PM  

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