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INVESTORS’ CORNER: America migrates south: why Charlotte will continue to grow


Every once in a while I read a book that’s just so interesting and relevant that I can’t stop talking about it.  Big Shifts Ahead: Demographic Clarity For Business by John Burns & Chris Porter is one of those books.

In the next two articles, I’ll introduce you to some key concepts from the book highlighting upcoming demographic trends positively affecting the southern regions of the US.  I’ll also show specifically how these trends will impact you and your real estate business.

According to the authors, there are typically four major influences on demographic changes:

  1. Government
  2. Economy
  3. Technology
  4. Societal Shifts

The trends affecting the southern regions of the US are affected by more than one of these influences.

Pro-Growth Government Policies Attract Jobs

Many of the states in the southern regions tend to have pro-growth policies like lower income taxes, fewer regulations, and aggressive business recruitment. Many of these states also have laws that prevent the formation of labor unions.  As a result, manufacturing and other businesses have moved to these regions in large numbers.

Affordability Also Moves Population Growth Southward

With wages that have stagnated on average, young job seekers find not only more work but also more affordable places to live by moving southward. And retirees on fixed incomes also make the move to allow their money to go further.

All of this together has lead to a population boom in the southeast, Florida, Texas, and southwest regions. And the authors expect the trend to continue for at least the next 10 years.

Renting a Home – Is it the New Normal?

The Great Recession and foreclosure crisis of 2007 – 2009 caused homeownership rates to plunge.  And the homeownership rate has continued to stay low even as the economy recovered and the population increased.

Why has this trend continued? The authors cite many different reasons related to younger generations:

  • People born in the 1970s lost home equity and wealth during the Great Recession and had a tough time recovering.
  • Nearly 20% of those born in the 1980s live below the poverty line, the highest % of any generation since the young adults of the 1930s.
  • Student debt prevents many young adults from saving enough to buy a home.
  • More younger generations are living in urban areas with higher housing costs (thus having to rent).
  • People are marrying and having children later, delaying home buying.
  • Renting has become more socially acceptable in the sharing economy.
  • Young adults appetite for debt is lower than previous generations after living through the Great Recession

In my next article, I’ll bring all of this together to show these trends affect you and your real estate business.

Chad Carson is a member of Metrolina REIA (metrolinareia.org), which provides education, networking, and networking for real estate investing in the Charlotte region.  Chad also writes about real estate, money, and life at coachcarson.com.





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