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Chimpskibot t1_je9wonb wrote

Census yearly estimates are almost always incorrect. And somehow Philly lost all this population yet citywide rental vacancy is around 5%.


nougat98 t1_je9xi2p wrote

The city was built for 2 million people


Chimpskibot t1_je9xpbh wrote

It wasn’t 😅. That is our pre-war population peak, but household size was larger. We now actually have less population than our peak, but more households.


ell0bo t1_jea2fau wrote

Yeah, we're at something like half the density of back then. I don't remember the figures, but when I looked them up 5 or 6 years back, I was pretty shocked.

Think about it. Some of those old brown stones have one family living in them. If it's a house with a worker door, then there were servants living in the basement, and the family above. Granted, we don't need to account for stables anymore, but still people want more space to live these days.


nougat98 t1_jea3wft wrote

here's a perfectly good house for $89k. You could make $18k a year and still pay the mortgage.


nnn62 t1_jea7rn9 wrote

Perfectly good house in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.


Away_Swimming_5757 t1_jeaklb6 wrote

Perfectly good house to buy, rent out cheaply until the area eventually gets better over the course of the next 30 years and then have a cheaply acquired, high cash-flow property.


AbsentEmpire t1_jec1t97 wrote

Buying a house in that neighborhood and hoping to rent it for a profit is as much market speculation as investing in NFTs and about as smart. The way to do land speculation in these shit areas is buy a tear down, clear the land, and pay almost nothing in taxes on it for the next 20 years, which is what usually happens.


nougat98 t1_je9z3bg wrote

All the demand is for a few key neighborhoods. Except for immigrants, no one is moving to the vast swathes of declining areas.


Chimpskibot t1_jea050g wrote

No it’s not. Demand is up everywhere and it’s really wrong to discount immigrants, they are instrumental in the revitalization of North Philly and the Northeast.


nnn62 t1_jea4xef wrote

This is totally baseless. Exactly which areas of NE or North Philly are being “revitalized” in general let alone by immigrants. Is the bar so low in Philadelphia that a new restaurant opened by an immigrant is considered “revitalization?”


Chimpskibot t1_jeadpba wrote

I mean I work in the NE so I see it every day. Mayfair, Somerton and Bustleton are all booming with construction activity. Same with Germantown. In fact Mayfair has had such insane population growth over the last 10 years they had to open a new elementary school.


nnn62 t1_jeaq146 wrote

I live in the NE, have my whole life. Where is all this “booming construction” you speak of? You’re talking about population growth and I never mentioned anything about that. I’m talking about revitalization, one school being opened doesn’t mean that all of a sudden Mayfair is revitalized. Or any of the other neighborhoods you mentioned. I’m not speaking on Germantown because I’m not familiar with the neighborhood.


Genkiotoko t1_jea0xn7 wrote

Got data for this claim?


nougat98 t1_jea3139 wrote

if the article in question shows a census drop isn't the burden of proof on those who dispute that number? Where is your proof that people have been moving into Strawberry Mansion and Hunting Park and yet have somehow avoided being counted?


An_emperor_penguin t1_jebxpvz wrote

just fyi no one is being "counted", this is a yearly estimate that the census bureau puts out, they have been predicting all urban areas have been declining since like 2016, except when they actually counted in 2020 it turned out it wasn't true, and they went straight back to estimating declines.


William_d7 t1_jebhrsm wrote

That’s why it drives me nuts when people trot out historical figures to make the point we need more high rises in Queen Village or somewhere similar.

In my neighborhood, there are literally hundreds more individual units than there were 80 years ago. If the population has shrunk, it’s entirely a result of smaller family sizes.

Therefore, historical population data shouldn’t be used as a be all end all to justify overbuilding. There’s a difference between a single house with 2 parents, 4 kids, and grandma; and four separate houses with 1.75 persons each.


TheBSQ t1_jeanmyx wrote

The annual ACS definitely isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. (They did mess up Philly’s poverty rate a few years ago.)

And the decline is big enough that even if it is over-estimating the decline, it’s probably still a decline. And it declined last year too.

I agree that I wouldn’t rush to conclusions until we’ve got another year of data, but I also wouldn’t just hand-wave it away and assume it’s incorrect, especially in one particular direction. Maybe it’s under-estimating the decline.

But yeah, next year, if we get a decline again, and the l 3-year ACS date file shows a decline, then it’s probably a decline.


randompittuser t1_jeb2vjk wrote

That's some hand-waving. Like what's the typical margin of error on annual census estimates? Is it safe to say that the city lost residents this year, as opposed to gaining residents? Also, rental vacancy seems like such an indirect metric in regard to city population. Rental vacancy could mean a variety of things-- smaller household sizes, less total rentals on the market, etc.


Chimpskibot t1_jeb4ur9 wrote

It’s safe to say the ACS is meaningless and all policy and conclusions should be drawn from the census every decade which showed modest population gains in Philadelphia. Rental Vacancy is the best metric along with rental growth to understand population growth YOY because people need a place to live and housing pressure is directly correlated to population/income growth.


An_emperor_penguin t1_jebyoyh wrote

> Like what's the typical margin of error on annual census estimates?

they've been getting worse and worse because the census has been estimating that all cities have been losing pop since 2017 or earlier, the 2020 census when they actually counted showed that was not true but they never updated how they're doing the estimates