At the very least. They were the ones Allowing those who couldnt afford those overpriced houses..to buy one at rates/prices they could never have afforded unless "creative financing" was applied. Particularly here in California..the land of the 2000 sq ft $600,000 home. (or more)
http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/P149596.asp http://tracypress.com/content/view/3455/2/ http://www2.townonline.com/bedford/localRegional/view.bg?articleidV0049
My little corner of the world is no different either... http://www.lewrockwell.com/ocregister/housing-bubble.html
Posted: Tuesday May 3rd, 2005, 11:40 PM Last Updated: Tuesday May 3rd, 2005, 11:43 PM
You knew this day was coming. You've driven past housing developments that, as best you can remember, were almond orchards or rows of alfalfa just the previous week. And now, practically overnight, as if Rod Serling had somehow orchestrated the transformation, those fields are cul-de-sacs filled with twig-trunked trees, spiky green lawns and curbside skateboard ramps.
Nevertheless, it's mildly stunning to realize that the population of Bakersfield proper now unofficially exceeds 300,000. In one dizzying 12-month burst of growth, Bakersfield has leapfrogged past Riverside and Stockton to become the 11th largest city in California.
Maybe you heard earlier this week that the State Department of Finance now puts Bakersfield's population, as of Jan. 1, at 295,893. The agency also puts Bakersfield's 2004 rate of growth at 4.7 percent, largest in California among cities with at least 200,000 people.
Assuming that rate of growth has continued into 2005 -- and that's almost certainly the case, given the ongoing demand for building permits, according to Jim Eggert, a principal planner with the city -- Bakersfield hit 300,000 on or about April 15.
The metro area's total population, including unincorporated islands and appendages such as Oildale and Alta Vista, is roughly 452,000.
Three hundred thousand has a certain ring to it, a resonance that suggests a city of consequence. It will look good on city-limits signs along the freeway, on Chamber of Commerce brochures and in PowerPoint presentations on economic development.
The new population number also underscores the continuing challenges that city and regional planners will continue to face, however -- core issues like traffic, air quality, water and public safety, but also tougher-to-quantify matters. Things like a city's personality and character. Parks, recreation, arts and diversity of business are some of the relevant factors there. But it's more than that.
Call it vibrancy. Some cities have it and some cities don't, and it doesn't merely boil down to money and a city's willingness to spend it.
It's about vision and the will to act on it. Bakersfield's breakneck pace of growth -- brought more clearly into focus by the 300,000 population threshold -- only makes those things more important now. Because tomorrow somebody's pouring more asphalt. Somewhere.
The new population milestone might sound good to some ears, but it has offsetting negatives: As the city grows, sales and hotel tax revenues will grow, allowing the city more flexibility in some areas.
But service costs will grow too, more so if Bakersfield continues to be among the state's leaders in residential lot size.
And if growth brings more affluence, Bakersfield's chances of jump-starting urban redevelopment will take a hit, because fewer areas will qualify for federal redevelopment grants.
But maybe that's making lemons out of lemonade: Other cities have undertaken positive makeovers long after they became "cities of consequence" and achieved new levels of affluence.
Bakersfield need only look at Anaheim, the city immediately above it on the list of California's most populous.
No. 10 Anaheim (pop. 345,317) pulled off a striking remake of its downtown a few years ago, and the tourism business in the Orange County city has never been better.
Growth doesn't blunt a city's ability to remake itself, but it does up the ante.
A few other statistical morsels from the Department of Finance report:
Bakersfield added 13,222 residents in 2004, nearly as many as San Diego (14,035) and San Jose (13,625), the state's second- and third-largest cities.
Bakersfield officials can't say how many new residents moved in from other places in 2004, or to what extent the population increase reflected the number of local births in excess of deaths.
But they do know how many people became residents because their homes were annexed into the city: just 19. Most of the city's annexations in 2004 were in unpopulated areas.
Kern County added 20,669 residents in 2004, seventh-most among the state's 58 counties. Kern was the sixth-fastest growing California county at 2.8 percent -- the second-fastest rate among counties with at least 350,000 people.
Bakersfield's growth rate might have been No. 1 among larger cities, but it wasn't No. 1 in Kern County. That distinction belongs to McFarland, which jumped to 12,179 -- an increase of 8.2 percent. Delano grew to 45,056, an increase of 3.4 percent.
Maricopa lost four people. We're not certain where they went, but the town is down to 1,147 people.
Gunner's Note...the increase mentioned above..was largely Illegal Aliens. While they may buy a house..they tend to be only able to rent..and then only with 4-15 get together and pool their money. So those who want to cash in on rising housing prices buy a new home, and then rent their old one...they are generally still carrying two mortgages (or more).
If the public finally gets its way..and a goodly portion of the illegals are deported, or no more are allowed in..rental incomes will either go no further, or drop like a rock off a very tall cliff. Suddenly there is a huge surplus of housing..with no one to fill it..or make the mortage/tax payments for the owners, who suddenly have their asses hanging out over that same cliff..and the dirt is shifting under their feet....
Im glad my house is paid for. Shrug
"I think this is because of your belief in biological Marxism. As a genetic communist you feel that noticing behavioural patterns relating to race would cause a conflict with your belief in biological Marxism." Big Pete, famous Usenet Racist