America’s 15 Best Cities For Young Professionals

August 19, 2014

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To find out which cities offer the best prospects for professionals aged 24 to 34 who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, Forbes analyzed the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas, ranking them on factors such as local unemployment rates, job growth projections, the number of businesses per capita, and median salaries for 24- to 34-year-old employed college graduates. Cities on this year’s lists include Raleigh, Austin, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Jose, Seattle and San Francisco. Raleigh has been the recipient of many Forbes honors this year, including, the No. 2 slot on the list of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities. Its close proximity to the Research Triangle Park, where more than 170 companies have outposts makes it a hotbed of job opportunities. The area is a natural greenhouse for the well-educated, thanks to the presence of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in nearby Durham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [Read this article]

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Hottest Homebuilding Markets Of 2014

August 18, 2014

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Construction activity is a fundamental measure of local housing market health. That’s because homebuilding is both a signal of where builders are betting on future housing demand as well as a creator of local jobs. In this housing recovery, construction might even be a better measure of local market health than home price changes, which have been driven in part by investors and others buying undervalued homes. Census building permit data reveal which markets are breaking new ground. Construction activity is highest relative to the local norm in Boston, New York, San Jose, and Houston, which are on track to build at least 50% more new homes in 2014 than their local historical average. The rest of the top 10 include Orange County (California), Austin, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. [Read this article]

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The 25 Best Cities For Working Parents

August 18, 2014

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Juggling a career and a family isn’t easy. Yet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a majority of parents in the U.S. today are attempting to do it. Approximately 88% of U.S. families with children have one parent in the workforce, and 58% have two working parents. Knowing that, Business Insider partnered up with personal finance site NerdWallet to find the best cities for those with two jobs: employee and parent. The analysis focuses on affordability (median income and housing costs), childcare costs, school quality, and the community (percentage of households with children) in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Gilbert, Arizona, ranks No. 1 with an overall score of 72.5. Following close behind in the No. 2 spot is Plano, Texas, with a score of 67.4. Rounding out the top three is Chandler, Arizona – another Phoenix suburb. [Read this article]

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10 Cities Beating National Housing Trends

August 9, 2014

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Ten metros are standing out for strong price appreciation, housing inventory increases, and a rise in home sales that are far outpacing the more moderate gains in the national housing market, according to realtor.com’s National Housing Trend Report for June. Reno, Nevada, has seen the largest year-over-year increase in home prices – nearly 18.5 percent – while homes in Charlotte, North Carolina, are selling 14 days faster than a year ago, at a median of 64 days. “National housing trends are masking some of the excitement we’re seeing in individual markets,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com’s new chief economist. “Our June data shows monthly inventory picking up in markets already experiencing price increases and fast property turnover. These dynamics will result in strong home sales and extend the buying season past the usual June/July peak to later in the third quarter.” [Read this article]

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Millennial Boomtowns: Where The Generation Is Clustering (It’s Not Downtown)

August 9, 2014

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Much has been written about the supposed preference of millennials to live in hip urban settings where cars are not necessary. Surveys of best cities for millennials invariably feature places like New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. And to be sure, the numbers of millennials living in urban cores has grown, as downtowns and inner-city neighborhoods have gentrified. But overall, only roughly 30% of all millennials live in core counties, which means 70% live somewhere else. In the last three years, the number of millennials outside core counties increased by 1.28 million. The vast majority of this generation might be best described as “hidden millennials.” The fastest growth in millennial populations tend to be in the Sun Belt and Intermountain West. Leading the way is San Antonio, Texas, where the 20 to 29 population grew 9.2% from 2010-13, an increase of 28,600. Right behind it, also in the Sun Belt, are Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (8.3%); Orlando, Fla. (8.1%); and Miami (7.7%). [Read this article]

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Why Some States Are Building More Homes Than Others

August 6, 2014

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While the pace of the housing recovery has slowed in 2014, the long-term trend continues to be positive. Total single-family and multifamily housing construction starts should end the year at just under 1 million, which represents a more than 50 percent improvement over the total recorded in 2011. Energy and other natural resource booms are helping to propel housing construction in some states. In these areas, the economic benefits of home building foster additional expansion to generate a virtuous cycle of growth. Development of 1,000 single-family homes will on average create just under 3,000 jobs, with about 60 percent of these jobs in the construction sector and the rest in other industries including manufacturing, transportation and finance. Texas led the nation in total home building with more than 380,000 permitted units over the 2011-2013 period. Other leaders include Florida, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado and Washington. [Read this article]

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Affordable Housing Draws Middle Class To Inland Cities

August 5, 2014

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Americans have never hesitated to pack up the U-Haul in search of the big time, a better job or just warmer weather. But these days, domestic migrants are increasingly driven by the quest for cheaper housing. The country’s fastest-growing cities are now those where housing is more affordable than average, a decisive reversal from the early years of the millennium, when easy credit allowed cities to grow without regard to housing cost and when the fastest-growing cities had housing that was less affordable than the national average. Among people who have moved long distances, the number of those who cite housing as their primary motivation for doing so has more than doubled since 2007. 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. In the eternal competition among urban centers, the shift has produced some new winners. Affordable cities that have jumped in the growth rankings include Oklahoma City, El Paso and San Antonio. [Read this article]

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Can Any Local Market Predict National Home-Price Trends?

August 2, 2014

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Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a local housing market that we could use as the nation’s crystal ball? If one market regularly ran ahead of the national trends, we could pay extra attention to what’s happening there in order to know what the rest of the country should expect. During the housing bubble and bust over the last decade, there were clearly markets – like Las Vegas – that had more extreme swings in prices than others did, but being more extreme isn’t the same as being first. To see which markets – if any – tend to get ahead of the national trend, Trulia looked at home-price changes between 1980 and 2014 in the 100 largest U.S. metros and the U.S. overall. The housing market with the highest crystal-ball score is Minneapolis-St. Paul. Other markets that are relatively good bellwethers include San Diego, Ventura County, and Sacramento in California; West Palm Beach and three other Florida metros; Washington, DC; and St. Louis. [Read this article]

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Are You Living In A Place That Makes Your Life Better?

August 2, 2014

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It may seem obvious that factors like health, education, and public safety have a bearing on quality of life. But until recently, economists didn’t see it that way. When they judged where life was best, GDP and economic growth was top of mind. These days, however, groups like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have developed a strong focus on well-being – people’s lived experience across a range of non-economic topics. It’s no longer just about whether people are rich, but whether they feel safe walking home at night, whether they engage in the civic process, whether they can see a doctor when they need one. The OECD’s new Regional Wellbeing Tool ranks 362 (richer) regions across the world, including all the U.S. states, and lets you compare one with the other. It’s a first-of-its kind project, and offers a more local picture than national studies have provided. [Read this article]

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10 Best Cities For Millennials To Buy A Home

July 29, 2014

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Typically, first-time buyers account for roughly 40% of all home sales; today they account for 28%, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Yun thinks it will be about three years before the share of first-time buyers returns to normal. But in some markets over others, the oldest millennials (those between the ages of 25 and 34) may have a better chance of becoming homeowners in the near future. Using data including the local population of people this age, job market conditions, housing affordability and inventory, NAR analyzed 100 metropolitan areas to find the best markets for those older millennials interested in becoming homeowners. Among the top ten markets: Austin, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle. [Read this article]

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