Houston is leading a group of 11 major U.S. metros that are each adding more than 1,000 people per week, according to a new report from the American City Business Journals analyzing recent Census Bureau data tracking weekly population changes from 2010 to 2016.
Dallas–Fort Worth, New York City, Atlanta and Miami–Fort Lauderdale followed, each seeing population gains greater than 1,500 people per week.
Meanwhile, 11 metros posted declines during the period, with Cleveland seeing the most significant population loss at a net 66.4 people per week. Youngstown, OH, Pittsburgh and Scranton/Wilkes–Barre, PA, also experienced weekly net drops of more than 25 people.
The Census Bureau data matches reports that have found more first-time homebuyers are relocating to the Midwest and parts of the South — particularly, Texas — in search of more stable markets and housing affordability.
A recent survey by SmartAsset named Texas the best state for first-time buyers, with seven of its cities cracking the survey's top 25, including three in the top 10, due to their low market volatility and high number of mortgage lenders.
With more people turning to the state for its relatively inexpensive cost of living, Texas markets are posting record highs when it comes to home prices and sales, according to the Texas Association of Realtors. In 2016, homes spent two fewer days on the market than they did the year before, the association found.
A host of new developments are coming online to meet that demand. A recent report from real estate consultancy RCLCO put Texas as the national leader in master planned communities last year, many of which aim to deliver more lower-priced inventory for first-time buyers.
Projects include Republic Property Group’s 7,200-acre Walsh MPC in Fort Worth, which will contain a mix of home types, styles and builders. When finished, it will have more than 15,000 properties priced from the high $200,000s. Near Houston, Canadian developer Empire Continental Land is underway with a 206-acre community that will include 540 homes priced from the mid-$200,000s to target entry-level buyers.
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