Census: Rockland’s Orthodox villages, Westchester’s affluent towns see growth

Posted on 30 May 2013 by Community Voice NY

The Lower Hudson Valley has some of the fastest-growing areas in the state, according to a Journal News analysis of new census estimates released Thursday.

Rockland’s Orthodox Jewish communities remained among the fastest-growing municipalities in New York, while the 2012 estimates show growth returning to some wealthy Westchester areas where population had begun to slip in the past decade. Putnam saw an opposite trend: After growth in the 2000s, most areas have started to lose population.

The Hasidic villages of New Square and Kaser were among only a few places in the state to grow more than 5 percent since the 2010 census, including Montgomery and Kiryas Joel in Orange County. New Square and Kaser have grown 59 percent and 49 percent respectively since 2000, also among the  highest in the state.

Kaser is a good place to live, and people who live there generally have large families, he said. There are a lot of facilities for religious people in the area, such as kosher restaurants, and there’s not much outside interference, he said.

New Square Deputy Mayor Izzy Spitzer, who has lived there for 35 years, said the community is “safe, friendly and united.” Families stay from generation to generation, he said.

“It’s a community which has a very strong educational record, and there’s no crime or any drugs or any type of violence,” he claimed.

The census estimates for towns, villages and cities are calculated using countywide trends and local reports on housing units drawn from building permits.

Meanwhile, growth returned to some of Westchester’s most affluent communities. Larchmont, Bedford, Bronxville, Scarsdale, Irvington and Pleasantville gained 1 percent to 2 percent in the past two years, and Scarsdale was among the county’s fastest-growing areas along with Somers and Greenburgh.

Leah Caro, who owns Bronxville-Ley Real Estate, said there has been a lot of activity in the local market.

Some people are trading New York City’s high rents and private-school tuitions for homes in the village, while others are buyers who live nearby and want to relocate to Bronxville, she said.

These “move up” buyers are keeping their eye on the low interest rates, which are starting to creep up, said Caro, former board president and secretary of Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. “There’s so much more activity in purchasing, so I think people who want to move up into the Bronxville area are saying, ‘I’d better do it now,’ ” she said.

Yonkers has grown by 1 percent since 2010, putting it on a pace to reach  200,000  in a year or two if it continues.

Farrokh Hormozi, professor of economics and chairman of Pace University’s Graduate Public Administration Department, said he thinks the changes in Westchester are due to the economy. Prices had risen so rapidly before the collapse of the market that it was unaffordable for some people. Prices have dropped, which has attracted more people, he said.



May 24, 2013

By Tim Henderson and Cara Matthews | thenders@lohud.com

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