New York City is Already at its 2020 Population Forecast

Last week, New York YIMBY published two articles concerning the Census Bureau’s estimates for 2014 and revised numbers for 2013.  Some highlights of the articles as as follows:

“If the latest Census estimate is indeed accurate, New York City is probably over 8.5 million people as of today. With the urban renaissance now in full swing across wide swaths of the city, development pressure will continue to skyrocket. And if 2010-2014′s rate of increase is replicated through 2020, the city will pass the previous 2030 population estimate as early as 2019, reaching approximately 8.85 million people.”

“The total gain of nearly 300,000 residents since 2010 – around 75,000 a year – hasn’t even come close to being matched by new housing. The Department of Buildings has only approved permits for around 50,000 new dwelling units from July 2010 through June 2014 (which doesn’t take into account demolitions), enough to house just 120,000 people at a rate of 2.4 inhabitants per unit, which is the average occupancy of a house or apartment in the city. (And that’s assuming all of the units get built. Historically, around one-third of all units approved do not materialize.)…And even if the de Blasio administration meets its goal of building 24,000 new homes a year on average, that still won’t be enough for 75,000 newcomers each year – 24,000 new units only translates to around 58,000 new residents.”

“And if that weren’t enough bad news, population growth in an in-demand city like New York with a low vacancy rate lags behind actual demand growth, since population growth is ultimately constrained by growth in the housing stock. There is, after all, a limit to how tightly would-be newcomers are willing to pack into overcrowded houses and apartments before they drop plans to move to the city altogether.”

“Demand is an impossible variable to quantify, but the growth in demand surely exceeds population growth. And with supply falling well short of even the growth in residents, there’s absolutely no hope that rents will stabilize any time soon.”

Articles can be found here and here.


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