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Local populations decline, while property values increase

Feb 15, 2019 12:45 am
Roger Hannigan Gilson reports at The Other Hudson Valley that the populations of Greene and Columbia counties both dropped over three percent since 2010. Other upper Hudson Valley counties also lost population during the same period. Joshua Simons, who is studying the region’s population shifts as a senior research associate at SUNY New Paltz’s Benjamin Center, said that while more people are leaving the area, the ones arriving are driving up costs. “The people who are moving here tend to be more affluent, so of course our property values have skyrocketed over the last 20 years,” he said. In Columbia County median home values rose 44 percent, from $154,000 to $222,000, while the population fell almost four percent from 2010 to 2015. “If [lower-income people] don’t already own property in the sort of more rural areas, then the opportunity for homeownership for [them] is diminished,” Simons said. Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell said, “They call that gentrification." Why are people leaving the area? “I think it’s a variety of factors…we’re one of the higher-taxed states in the country — I think that has something to do with it,” Murell said. “I know a lot of friends of mine who have left the area because of that — it’s cheaper to live elsewhere.” While all of the Hudson Valley was losing more population than much of the rest of New York, the trend has moderated in recent years locally, statistics show. Read the full story at The Other Hudson Valley.