Headlines – Week of June 27, 2010

July 2, 2010

Top 10 Fastest Growing U.S. Counties (from CNNMoney.com)

The fastest-growing counties in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, are mostly in suburban areas outside of urban centers.

The census numbers govern the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal money each year.

Here are the 10 fastest-growing counties:

  1. Kendall County, Ill. (Chicago), 92.1 percent
  2. Pinal County, Ariz. (Phoenix), 89.7 percent
  3. Rockwall County, Texas (Dallas), 88.9 percent
  4. Flagler County, Fla. (Jacksonville), 83.9 percent
  5. Loudon County, Va. (Washington, D.C.), 77.6 percent
  6. Forsyth County, Ga. (Atlanta), 77.4 percent
  7. Lincoln County, S.D. (Sioux Falls), 70.7 percent
  8. Paulding County, Ga. (Atlanta), 67.4 percent
  9. Williamson County, Texas (Austin), 64.3 percent
  10. Douglas County, Colo. (Denver), 64 percent 

Fastest Growing U.S. Cities

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its most recent population estimates for the nation’s incorporated places, including cities, boroughs, and villages.

These are not 2010 population counts. They reflect administrative records, including updated housing unit estimates.

The first 2010 U.S. census counts will be available by April 1. 2011.

Bloomberg BusinessWeekused the data from the Gadberry Group to identify the fastest-growing city in each state.  Texas came out on top of Gadberry’s survey, with four high-growth cities: Atascocita, Katy, Mansfield, and Wylie.

 The report only included areas larger than 10,000 occupied households that met requirements for growth rate, household income, length of residence, and other factors.   According to the report, part of the state’s strength is its diversified economy. Main industries include petroleum refining, chemical production, aerospace, and information technology.

What is the fastest growing city in Florida?  According to the Bloomberg study that distinction goes to Fruit Cove, a town with 12,048 households located south of Jacksonville by the St. John’s River. 

The town has grown over 6% since 2008 and over 102% since 2000.  The average household income is $113,727.  Surprisingly, employment opportunities in Fruit Cove increased in 2009, according to the data and many of the residents work in the financial and insurance sectors.

In a separate article, The Wall Street Journal identified where urban population growth is trumping suburban and vice versa. 

According to an analysis of Census data by Brookings Institution, suburban growth lagged from July 2008 to July 2009, another indication of how the recession and housing bust have kept people trapped in place. There has been a widespread slowdown in suburban growth especially since mid decade.

According to the analysis, between July 2008 and July 2009, 27 of the 52 biggest metro areas saw their suburbs grow slower than in the year-earlier period, and 33 slowed down from the rapid growth in 2004-2005, when the housing boom was in full swing. The slowdown was especially hard in cities hit hardest by the housing bust, including Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando. 

In 2008-2009, 13 metro areas, including Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver and Charlotte saw their core city area grow faster than the suburbs, up from 6 in 2004-2005.

New Orleans, LA saw the largest percentage increase from 2008 to 2009 at 5.4%.

Housing Expert: ‘The Suburban Century Is Over’ (from MinnPost.com)

At a recent meeting of the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota, housing researcher John McIlwain said “a new normal” will be created in the housing market over the next 10 years, and he marked the end of “the suburban century.”

He noted that markets offering “a vibrant 24/7 lifestyle” will see the most robust activity, “net-zero-energy” units will become the norm, and the rental market will expand as homeownership rates fall to more historic levels.

Suburban town centers will gain popularity among those wanting an urban lifestyle without living in a big city.

Over the next decade, McIlwain said four demographic groups will fuel the housing market. He said older baby boomers increasingly are moving back to the central city, while younger baby boomers are finding it more difficult to relocate for jobs because they cannot sell their suburban houses. Meanwhile, millennials are more environmentally aware and will seek urban lifestyles, and immigrants who cannot afford large suburban houses to shelter multiple generations will increase demand for rentals.

With 1.5 million housing units per year needed to accommodate the shift to normal levels of household formation, McIlwain said zoning, financing, and regulations need to be rethought to meet housing demand.

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

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