Forbes magazine recently answered two important real estate questions:
At the end of this article, we’ll answer our own question: What are the most attractive cities for movers and for homebuyers?
To determine where people are moving to, Forbes examined the population growth (or decrease) in major cities throughout the U.S. They focused on a variety of factors — specifically, economic opportunities, affordable housing, and cost of living.
The cities that the most people are moving to are:
- San Antonio
- Oklahoma City
- Dallas-Fort Worth
Austin and the other Texas cities owe much of their success to the state’s excellence in job creation and overall business growth — thanks in part to corporate-friendly laws and taxes that have supported new companies and attracted existing companies looking to relocate.
Elsewhere in the southern states, Raleigh and Nashville continue to grow thanks to the technology, manufacturing and business services strengthening their respective economies. And many movers are also heading to the Mountain States and the Pacific Northwest, taking advantage of the mostly strong economic growth and affordable housing costs.
It’s one thing to move, but it’s another thing to get a mortgage and purchase a home. The top 20 cities where people are buying homes are:
- Grand Rapids
- San Antonio
- Salt Lake City
- Fort Lauderdale
- Cape Coral/Fort Myers
- North Port/Bradenton/Sarasota
- West Palm Beach
This list considered factors including job growth, population increases and expected home price appreciation. Although nationwide housing prices are on the rise, overall wages are unchanging — so many 2016 homebuyers are finding it difficult to afford a new residence. For investors buying rental properties, these conditions can be beneficial for their strategies.
Geographically, more than half the list includes cities located in Southern states — a good thing for the movers in the first list above. These cities include seven Florida locations and three Texas markets — indicating that movers and investors alike are finding these states to be appealing places.
Florida can attribute its success to lower housing prices, thanks to the recession which had retirees and vacationers staying at home — driving down demand. And Texas, shielded from much of the economic downturn, features affordable housing and a diverse economy that make its major cities a strong choice for investors.
By cross-referencing the 1st and 3rd lists in this article, we can identify the seven cities that are most attractive to movers and homebuyers (by appearing in the top 20 on both lists):
- #1 on the movers list, #7 on the homebuyers list
- San Antonio
- #3 on the movers list, #3 on the homebuyers list
- #4 on the movers list, #16 on the homebuyers list
- #5 on the movers list, #13 on the homebuyers list
- #6 on the movers list, #4 on the homebuyers list
- #7 on the movers list, #2 on the homebuyers list
- #10 on the movers list, #6 on the homebuyers list
So, the answer to our question above — “What are the most attractive cities for movers and for home-buyers?” — appears to be a simple one: Cities in the South! (And Colorado, too.)