The city of Sisters continues to grow at a very rapid pace, according to statistics released last week by Portland State University. Sisters’ population as of July 1 stood at 2,985 — up from a revised 2018 number of 2,725, a 9.5 percent increase.

Brendon Buckley of Johnson Economics told the Sisters Planning Commission last February, “You are growing very fast and changing fast, and I know I don’t need to tell you that.”

Buckley reported in that February meeting on the draft results of his firm’s Housing Needs Analysis (HNA), which analyzes the 20-year housing needs for Sisters for the period 2019-2039. Buckley noted that since 2000, Sisters has grown roughly 185 percent with an increase of nearly 1,800 people, a much-greater percentage growth than either Deschutes County or the state.

Rapid growth places pressure on limited housing stock.

The number of current households stands at 1,047, an increase of 660 since 2000. The study details the make-up of households, with 70 percent being family households. There are 30 percent more families and 32 percent more housing units since 2000.

As of 2018, the city had an estimated housing stock of about 1,484 units for the estimated 1,047 households. This implies a high vacancy rate of 29 percent. The study concludes the high vacancy rate is likely due to the prevalence of vacation homes and investment properties, which are not occupied year-round.

Since 2000, there has been a general trend of growth among those aged 55 and older, accounting for 33 percent of the total population. All age cohorts younger than 55 have shown a decrease except for the one percent increase among 25- to 34-year-olds.