Housing and the Growth of the Sun Belt

Recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show big growth in the Sun Belt of the Southwest. This piece from The New York Times looks into why.

Though many would assume economic opportunities are luring people to growing states like Texas, Arizona and Georgia, it's actually those states' housing supplies and policies that are creating the growth.

"Low incomes and productivity in the growing states of the Sun Belt strongly suggest that their expansion is not driven by outsize economic success.

Perhaps, sunshine really is behind Sun Belt growth. A superb climate is surely part of the appeal of Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, but what about fast-growing Houston, which has 99 days a year with the temperature above 90 degrees?

The economists' creed that free lunches are rare does appear to apply to cities as well as stocks. If a place is pleasant, you end up paying for it, especially in the form of higher housing prices. That logic explains why the median sales price for a home in the San Jose area was $630,000 in the third quarter of 2010."

Full Story: Behind the Population Shift

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET