Bank Foreclosure Homes Affect Growth in Florida

by on States

Growth in 29 cities in Palm Beach and Broward counties has been severely affected by the increasing number of bank foreclosure homes and the worsening economy.

Between 2007 and 2008, an exodus of residents from both counties was reported. However, a significant number of relocation has been noted in South Florida which prevented a declining population in both counties.

South Regional Planning Council’s Richard Ogburn said that the large growth experienced by towns and cities in South Florida early in 2000 is not happening due to the unabated spread of bank foreclosure homes and recession.

Population in both counties was almost flat, with Broward growing by about 2,500 people to 1.75 million and Palm Beach totaling 1.265 million in population, growing by 4,900.

U.S. Census’s July 2007 to July 2008 data showed that 161 cities in Florida experience a drop in population. The biggest drop in Broward’s population occurred in Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs and Plantation, with each losing over 200 residents for the period.

City officials and planners noted that cities with the most population decline have been among those with the highest growth nationally since 2000. Ogburn tried to play down the figures saying that they are relatively small and the cities are in the process of enticing people in.

Miramar posted the highest population gain among cities in Broward, while Delray Beach and Boynton Beach continue to gain residents since last year but in a slower pace.

Boynton Beach Manager Kurt Bressner said that the reported population increase, albeit slow, is good news for the city. He said that the city lost about 190 people in 2008. But he noted a significant migration activity in the city, attributing it to developments in the area, especially in Congress Avenue and downtown marina where 1,900 units were added.

Meanwhile, the 200 bank foreclosure homes in Plantation resulted to the city’s lost of 205 people. On the other hand, industry experts expected South Florida’s growth to pick up again. But the decline in population is forcing some city officials to recognize the need for changes in their areas, according to Ogburn.