Fastest Growing Cities Attract Middle Class Away From Coasts

More affordable housing is the driving factor behind many Americans’ moves inland, with some of the most affordable cities being located away from the coasts in land-locked areas such as El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Oklahoma City. 

Increasingly, the “quest for cheaper housing,” is causing Americans to pick up and move, writes the New York Times in an analysis of the housing market this week. 

“Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life,” the Times writes. “In the eternal competition among urban centers, the shift has produced some new winners.”

Middle class Americans are fleeing New York and Los Angeles in favor of these new, fast-growing housing destinations, where they can enjoy lower mortgage payments or rental rates, as well as more square footage and newer homes.  

In an analysis of Red Fin data, the Times points to affordability and growth in such urban areas as Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah; among others. Moves of more than 500 miles that are motivated by housing are up from 8% in 2007 to 18% this year, the Times notes, citing Census data. 

“Now we’re growing fastest in the middle of the country; we can’t hire people fast enough in Houston, in Dallas, in Denver,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told the Times. “And all of our customers come from the same place — the airport. Maybe the middle class hasn’t disappeared; maybe it’s just gone somewhere else.”

Read the New York Times article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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