Planning updated S-town's profile at the end of last month, and it includes some noteworthy numbers. Numbers that stand out to me: in 2007 "persons per household" average is 2.24, which sustains the question of whether this is a kid-friendly neighborhood.
Another troubling stat is that more than half of all residential lots are held by absentee owners. Even though absentee owners exercise influence over the planning process, they tend to be less involved in the everyday life of the neighborhood. Our absentee owner rate is over twice the rate of properties in some east and west Nashville neighborhoods, although it is consistent with other mostly African American north Nashville neighbors like Fisk and Hadley Park. It would be hard to judge whether or not there is a subtle form of racism in the higher absentee owner rate without knowing what the ethnic breakdown of the absentee owners is.
The annual increase in sale prices for single family homes is over 35%, which is good for our family's pocketbook. However, it may not be great for affordable housing: when we moved to Salemtown the average sale price was $114,000. This year it is $203,625, which is a chunk of change more than we paid for our home.
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