So, as I noted in my previous post, a study conducted for the Cape Cod Commission has predicted a possible conversion of 21.6% of the seasonal housing units in the Mid-Cape area to year-round housing as second home owners choose to make Dennis their retirement home. In this post I will look at some of the possible impacts on the Town of Dennis.
The 2000 Census showed Dennis as having 6,026 seasonal housing units. In the next five years, the 8.5% conversion rate would mean 512 seasonal housing units being converted from seasonal to year-round. This would mean a 6.8% increase in year-round housing in just five years. It would also mean a 1,080 person increase in town population. This is also a 6.8% increase in total population, and, given most of these will have achieved retirement age, there could be an increase in the population aged 55+ of as much as 16%, or even possibly an almost 24% increase in the population aged 65 and over. All this in just a five year time period.
Looking at the full 15 year time-frame of the study there could be as high as a 21.6% conversion of seasonal homes in the Mid-Cape Area. This could mean the conversion of 1,301 seasonal units to year-round housing. This would mean a 17.3% increase in year-round housing units in the next 15 years. It would also mean an increase of about 2,746 year-round residents. Again, given these are retirees, such an increase could mean an increase of as much as 24% of the population aged 55 and over, and quite likely an increase in the population aged 65 and over of as much as 60%.
Previously I had posted that the state population forecasts from MISER showed a 2010 population in Dennis of 17,695. This represents a ten-year increase of 1,722. However, the U.S Census 2007 population estimate actully suggests that Dennis has lost population. Coming in at 15,473 people, down 500 from the 2000 Census count. The potential change in Dennis population due to the predicted conversion of second homes could be staggering in that when combined with other population data, the town may actually be decreasing in other population groups.
NEXT: The impact on Affordable Housing Goals