Joel Kotkin, a futurist—a person who studies the future and makes predictions about it based on current trends—addressed those questions and more during a discussion at the Civic Arts Plaza’s Scherr Forum on March 26.
Future of Thousand Oaks
Your basic bone structure is really good: Your schools are good, your community is safe, you have a good housing stock, you have a strong civic culture,” he said. “Maybe 50 years from now, Thousand Oaks may look a little bit different than it is now, but it will be as vital, maybe even more vital, than it is today
The population of Thousand Oaks increased almost 2 percent a year through the year 2000, but the growth rate has fallen to about 0.6 percent a year, Kotkin said, due in part to a decrease in the number of births in Ventura County.
But that downward population trend may reverse itself.
Kotkin predicted that more people, including millennials (the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) and foreign-born citizens, will flock to Thousand Oaks, creating neighborhoods with greater age and ethnic diversity.
“Millennials are more suburban oriented than their parents were,” he said. “The reason is most millennials grew up in the suburbs. So their frame of reference is Thousand Oaks. . . . Over time, millennials will be very attracted to a place like Thousand Oaks. Keep up your parks, keep up your cultural institutions. Those things will be very important.”
More people will work from home in the future, a shift that will also benefit suburbs like T.O., Kotkin said.
“That’s going to be great for Thousand Oaks,” he said, because “when you have people (who) work at home, it keeps your community busy. It’s another group of people who go to the local shops and restaurants during the day. Many suburbs have the problem that during the day they’re completely dead.”
Residents working from home will boost the housing market, the professor said.
And how are people selling their homes now?
Well this is interesting, but all those people who used real estate agents, who were they? And how happy were they with their agents?
Recovery in the housing market is not without its side effects, particularly in major metro markets on the West Coast and in Florida. A look into 35 major markets by Zillow reveals that buyers making the median income in Southern California, the Bay Area, Portland (Oregon), Denver, and Miami face markets where more than half the available homes are beyond their price range—which could mean the beginning of a new housing bubble.The largest gulf in affordability is in Miami, where 62.4 percent of houses are beyond the reach of the average resident. Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco each have more than 55 percent of their homes above the means of the average resident. Denver, San Jose, and Portland are at just over 50 percent.
Moreover, existing mortgage holders in these markets are typically spending more than 40 percent of their monthly income on their mortgages. Consequently, more buyers are forced to look farther out into peripheral markets surrounding metro hubs for more affordable homes.
CENTURY 21 Rolling Oaks. www.rootsb4branches.com