Friday, May 04, 2007

Antelope Valley cities hot spots for 2006 growth

BY JIM SKEEN, Daily News Staff Writer

ANTELOPE VALLEY - Lancaster's population increased by 3.8 percent last year and Palmdale's by 3 percent, making them among the fastest-growing cities in Los Angeles County, according to state population statistics released this week.

Although Lancaster grew at a faster rate, Palmdale retained its position as the largest city in the Antelope Valley, growing from 141,199 people to 145, 468. Lancaster's population increased to 143,818 people, up from 138,562, according to the state Department of Finance.

"It helps out our real estate industry, because people are buying homes, and it helps out our business community," Palmdale Councilman Mike Dispenza said. "As far as services, we're not so stretched that we can't absorb 4,000 or 5,000 people."

Although housing sales have slowed from the furious pace of a year or two ago, there are still eager prospective buyers, Palmdale officials said. Palmdale is seeing interest in housing on its east side, and two large master-planned communities are under construction on the west side: the 5,000-home Anaverde and the 7,200-home Ritter Ranch.

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