Wake Forest Northeast Community Plan - December 2021



Housing • Housing Market Echoes the Lull in Growth, While Ownership Increasing – The increasing homeownership rate in the study area is a positive trend that should be further encouraged as the area builds up household wealth and channels investments to the housing stock and the community. • Naturally-Occurring Affordable Housing Could Still Face Challenges – The study area is comprised predominately of owner-occupied units and the area is still considered affordable in the Wake Forest market. But the household incomes in the study area are still significantly lagging behind the Town of Wake Forest and the MSA. If the housing prices in the study area continue to increase, which is very likely, while the income levels continue to lag behind, then some of the existing naturally-occurring affordable housing will not be affordable anymore.

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ISSUES Issue 1 Population changes in the Northeast

Community are stagnating at 0.4% per year over the past decade and household growth may not be sufficient to sustain a healthy, growing community in the future. • Market Factors – The diversity of housing options in the Northeast is limited in terms of housing types, age, and price. This is limiting outside interest in the community as a place to live and is isolating it from growth occurring in other parts of town. • Opportunity – To attract young families and single people, greater housing options are needed. There is an opportunity to offer broader housing types and choices to attract new residents on a modest scale. Issue 2 There is a mismatch between the education levels of Northeast Community residents and their lower income levels, compared to the Town and MSA. The median household income of $85,660 in the Town is 1.1 times the MSA level ($76,960), while the median household income in the study area ($57,601) is only 67.2% of the Town level in 2020. Roughly 72.2% of Northeast residents have completed at least some college education. • Market Factors – The lack of access to better paying jobs for the Northeast residents keep household income levels lower than their higher education levels would indicate. Also, unemployment levels are higher for younger people under 20 years old suggesting that job training or entrepreneur development may be needed to improve access to higher paying jobs.

DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ANALYSIS The demographic trend and projection analysis provides the metrics to better understand the Northeast Community, its economy, and how the community may evolve over the next 10 years. Analysis was conducted of recent demographic trends for the Northeast Community study area, the Town of Wake Forest, and the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (Figure 1.D.1). This analysis produced a series of findings that identify potential opportunities and constraints that the study area must address as it moves forward with revitalization. The emerging market demand pressures identified in the analysis may reshape the development patterns of the Northeast Community study area and help define a framework for future programs, public investment and land use policies. Major findings, key issues, population and housing trends, as well as implications of the findings are included in this section. For additional demographic and housing data and analysis, please refer to Chapter 4: Appendix. 1.D


• Racially Diverse Population – The study area has a diverse population, with a robust representation from the African American population. There is also a sizable white population, which has been declining since 2010. This racial distribution stands in contrast to the Town of Wake Forest demographic in that the percentages of the African American population in the Town and MSA are substantially lower than in the study area. • High Education Attainment Levels Stand in Contrast to Modest Household Incomes – The study area has a high share of the population with at least some college or higher degrees, but it has proportionally more households with lower incomes compared to the Town of Wake Forest and the MSA. This is most likely because in 2020, 66% of the employed population aged 16 and above worked in the service and retail trade industries, which provide lower wages.

Demographics • Stagnant Growth, Especially Since 2010 – The population gains and household growth in the Northeast Community study area have been falling behind compared to the Town of Wake Forest and the MSA, and have almost plateaued, whereas, the Town has outperformed the MSA in the same metrics since 2010. This seems to suggest that the study area has not been sharing the recovery momentum experienced in the Town as a whole after the last recession of 2009-2010.

• Distinct Characteristics – The

data suggest that there are more family households in the MSA and the Town, whereas the study area has proportionally younger and smaller households.

Chapter 1: Existing Conditions

Northeast Community Plan



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