Two Texas cities dominated WalletHub’s most recent list of “fastest-growing cities in America,” and cities in Florida, Idaho, and Washington state made the list as well. Before you pack up your bags, your bandit signs, and your investment capital and head south or west, take a moment to read the fine print on the study and look at a few historical trends as well.
Top Five Fastest-Growing Cities
According to WalletHub, these are the top five fastest-growing cities in America:
1| Frisco, Texas
2| Kent, Washington
3| Lehigh Acres, Florida
4| Meridian, Idaho
5| Midland, Texas
The analysts who compiled the report reviewed 515 cities of various population sizes based on “15 key measures of both growth and decline,” reported MarketWatch. The measures were evaluated over a period of seven years to allow adequate time to establish growth patterns and trends.
Top Large Cities with Highest Growth
Interestingly, all overall top-five cities were midsized. The top large cities with highest growth were:
1| Austin, Texas
2| Charlotte, North Carolina
3| Denver, Colorado
4| Seattle, Washington
5| Nashville, Tennessee
The analysts who compiled the report commented on population growth, which clearly plays a major role in how fast a city is considered to be growing. “There are two key components to growth. On one hand, you need to have jobs to get people into a city, but on the other hand, people have to want to move to your city and stay there in order for it to grow,” observed assistant professor of political science and public policy and administration at Rutgers University, Melanie Bowers. She added, “Probably the single greatest challenge these cities face is amplifying existing inequality…[because] growth puts upward pressure on scarce resources, namely space and housing.”
Tom Daniels, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, noted that cities with long-term growth potential face challenges including providing adequate public services, overcrowded public schools, and housing shortages. “Striking a balance between population growth, good jobs, affordable housing for all income groups, quality public services, reliable mass transit, and green space” should be key priorities for local authorities, Daniels said.
Real estate investors should investigate how rapidly growing cities are handling challenges in these areas before making significant changes to their existing investment strategies. Evaluate local policies as well as historic precedent in the area to determine both if a metro area is investor-friendly and if it is positioned for sustainable growth in your preferred real estate sector.