If California’s Population Growth Slows, Will Agents Suffer?

California’s population will grow more slowly in the next few decades than it has in the past — and that is good for the state’s still-struggling economy, according to a new USC report.

But what does the slowed growth mean for the real estate market? Will this slow the recovery for agents and brokers?
The study projects that the state’s population, now 37.3 million, will continue to increase at a healthy clip — about 1% annually — for years to come. But at least through 2050, we are unlikely to see the boom rates of recent decades, especially the 1980s.

The brakes on California’s growth were evident in the 2010 census, after which, for the first time, the state failed to gain a new seat in Congress.

The report, the third in a series of projections by USC’s Population Dynamics Research Group, predicts that California’s population will grow at less than 10% per decade for the next several decades.

In the 1980s, the state’s population surged nearly 26%, adding about 6 million residents. The increases were fueled primarily by the booming aerospace industry and economic problems elsewhere in the country, which made the Golden State a powerful magnet for job seekers.

In the 1990s, the state’s growth rate fell to 14% but remained strong. It slowed further, to 10%, in the decade just ended, the USC report shows. Myers said the continuing falloff from 2000 to 2010 may have been partly due to the recession that began in 2008. Growth was slow even in 2005, when the economy was still strong.

The new predictions differ significantly from California’s official population projections. Those show that the state’s population by 2020 would reach 44 million, a level USC’s researchers now say will not be attained until 2028.

How will this slowing affect the best real estate agents in California? Will it make it harder for them to survive or easier to grow?