Monday, January 21, 2008

TOP STORY >> Cabot growth closing in fast on Sherwood

Leader staff writer

Cabot’s population is catching up to Sherwood’s and Jacksonville’s growth remains flat according to information in Metroplan’s latest Demographic review and outlook.

The report lists Cabot’s 2000 population at 15,261 and its projected population through 2007 as 22,281—a growth rate of 46 percent and just 2,400 shy of where Sherwood is supposed to be now.

Sherwood’s 2000 population is listed as 21,511 and at the end of 2007 is listed at 24,668, a growth rate of 14.4 percent.
On the other hand, Jacksonville’s 2000 population was 29,916 and was projected to move to 31,349 at the end of 2007, for a 4.8 percent growth pattern.

Even with a 46 percent growth rate Cabot is not the fastest growing city in central Arkansas. Maumelle edges it out with a 47.9 percent growth rate over the same seven-year period, going from 10,557 to 15,619.

Ward has a 35.2 percent growth rate and Austin comes in at 20.3 percent, giving Lonoke County a growth rate of 22 percent for the seven years, moving from 52,828 to 64,470. Pulaski County has a growth rate slightly less than Jacksonville at just 4.7 percent, growing from 361,474 to 378,491.

Metroplan’s report on trends also looked at the housing turndown and housing construction.
Overall, Arkansas housing grew at a slower pace than the national average during the years 2000 to 2005. During that period, housing growth nationally was 40.9 percent, while in Pulaski County it was 34.1 percent.

The report said that overbuilding and over-valuation were less serious in central Arkansas than nationally.

The average value of homes in central Arkansas, according to the report, was $108,700 with 14.5 percent of home loans with subprime lenders. Nationally, the average value of a home stood at $167,500 with 18.7 percent of loans with subprime lenders.

The report also said that in the first quarter of 2007, single-family housing permits slumped 37 percent nationally, but just 13 percent in central Arkansas.

Where central Arkansas took its biggest hit was in multi-family units, dropping almost 30 percent in 2006 compared with a 3.4 percent drop nationally.