Living La Vida Local

The Sacramento metro region will build more housing and office space in the next 25 years than any other Western megapolitan city except Las Vegas. There will be a vulture-like acquisition of property owned by old, declining industrial businesses in the Bay Area for pennies on the dollar.

Elsewhere, “The country's most heavily populated megapolitans brace for another boom,” predict Paul Kaihla and Krysten Crawford of Business 2.0. They say that over the next 25 years, “Most of the development will go up: Urban infill will outstrip suburban growth.”

Obviously, there is a new urban landscape developing on the Gulf Coast from Houston to New Orleans, but urban hubs like Boston, New York, Washington, as well as rustbelt locations like Pittsburgh Detroit and Chicago will see a boom.

Kaihla and Crawford choose places like “Joliet, an old steel-mill boomtown on the Des Plaines River and the hub of Will County, is expected to be among Illinois's fastest-growing towns by the next quarter-century.

As mentioned last week, south central hot spots include Kansas City, San Antonio, Dallas will cater to “the Latino population boom. A new generation of Hispanic business owners and industrialists will drive the growth, and the area will become a magnet for foreign firms trying to cash in on the U.S. Latino market.”

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the fastest-growing states in the nation from 2000-2030, will be Nevada, which is expected to grow 114.3 percent, followed by Arizona at 108.8 percent and Florida at 79.5 percent. Other fast-growing states include Texas, with a projected population increase of 59.8 percent; Utah, with projected population growth of 56.1 percent; Idaho at 52.2 percent, North Carolina at 51.9 percent, Georgia at 46.8 percent, Washington at 46.3 percent and Oregon at 41.3 percent.

Business 2.0 likes Phoenix and Tucson because of their supply of raw, buildable land at the lowest prices. The big draw is a Palm Springs lifestyle at a substantial discount. It is predicted that Phoenix will remain the top destination city for Americans moving from other states. Expansion at Arizona State University that will increase its enrollment by 50 percent to 90,000 students and generate more than 10,000 new jobs by 2020.

CNN Money likes Buckeye, AZ, stating, “Today it has fewer than 15,000 residents and sits in empty desert. But a handful of mega-development projects will transform Buckeye into a more populous city than Phoenix by the end of the next decade.”

North Carolina is another hotly anticipated market. The North Carolina Association of Realtors reported that statewide sales rose 10 percent from January through May this year compared to the first five months of 2005.

“North Carolina seems to lag behind the rest of the nation in real estate trends,” observes Renee Hentschel, an associate broker for Realty Executives in Hickory, N.C. "We hear about this big real estate boom and we're saying, 'Where's it at?' A couple of years later we hear about the slowdown. We're not slowing down here."

A mid-south real estate bet: Parcels along I-85 in rural North Carolina that will become part of a planned tech-research park to support the Research Triangle.

Quantities of cheap, prime greenfield surrounding Seattle, Portland and Eugene give the Northwest megapolitan explosive growth potential. By 2030, the three metro regions will be intertwined. CNN / Money likes Beverton, Oregon, the home to Nike's headquarters, and Intel. A light-rail train that went online in the late 1990s is driving development, which has been growing at a rate of $100 million per year.

In Idaho's Ada County, which includes the capital city of Boise, existing-home sales grew 16 percent from May 2005 to May 2006 and the median price increased 26 percent, according to Intermountain Multiple Listing Service statistics.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors reported that the national rate of existing-home sales dropped 6.6 percent in May 2006 compared to May 2005.

Trela Bird, a Realtor with GMAC Real Estate in Utah, said the Greater Salt Lake City began to boom last year. "We're seeing a lot (of buyers) from California, and a little bit from some of the East Coast states, some from Texas, Arizona and Nevada. I think the news has gone out -- we're number four in job growth right now and prices compared to a lot of places are still reasonable," Bird said.

Business 2.0 reports that Florida posted the nation's highest job growth last year. Land scarcity will drive urban growth. The 65-and-up population will continue to swell, doubling by 2025. Best residential real estate bet: Preconstruction condo units between Venice and Tampa, where demand is so high that builders hold lotteries. Best commercial real estate bet: Inland lots in Manatee County, where cities will bloom by 2010. And, there’s no state income tax.

For more on Southern California commercial properties there is a great information blog at

Jodi Summers is Director of the Investment Division at Boardwalk Realty Santa Monica. For your real estate needs, e-mail Jodi Summers at, or call 310-260-8269, or visit her website at



12 fast-growing cities that are still cheap

The office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, National Association of Realtors, local Realtors associations has named these 12 growing cities that are still affordable.

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
Coeur d'Alene, ID
St. George UT
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL
Tucson, AZ
Lakeland, FL
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
Jacksonville, FL
Eugene-Springfield, OR
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA
Charleston-North Carleston, SC
Wilmington, DE

USA National Average

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If you thought the real estate market has been hot in this millennium…just check out what’s down the line…In the 300 years, the United States has built more than 300 billion square feet of homes, offices, factories and other structures. A recent study from the Brookings Institution and Virginia Tech urban planning professor Robert Lang, shocked pundits when they predicted that the U.S. will build its next 200 billion square fee in the next 25 years.

The study notes that in a perfect world, new construction will grow to accommodate 70 million more people and to replace homes and offices wiped out by disaster and debilitated by obsolescence. The development budget for these new projects will grow to $25 trillion by 2030 - more than twice the size of the U.S. economy today.

Although real estate is not yielding the return on investment it did several years ago, it’s still holding its own. According to the National Association of Realtors, growth in the real estate market has slowed to about 6 percent growth nationally...with slightly higher grown here in SoCal. But, just because the real estate market has slowed down in our neighborhood, it doesn’t mean that great real estate investments are a thing of the past. There are still many real estate Boomtowns out there.

“Boomtowns' have double-digit increases ,” defines Dana Willett-Maier of Sandcastle Investments LLC, a Louisville, KY, real estate consulting firm that helps clients find and invest in "boomtown" properties across the country. “A boomtown is any area that experiences double-digit increases in the percentage of house-price appreciation from year to year and double-digit increases in the percentage of home sales each year.”

Southern California was a booming region until this year. Over the last couple of years annual home appreciation in places as varied Inglewood and Calabasas has grown by more than 40 percent.

Some of those that have made a lot of money in California have taken their money out of state – which is why neighboring states like Arizona and Nevada have had such incredible appreciation. Places like Austin have been a favorite of savvy West Coast investors…and Texas has become a hot place for Californians to invest. Earlier this year, when Mark Dotzour, chief economist for The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, gave a presentation to a group of Texas mortgage professionals, he asked how many of them had recently closed a mortgage loan for a California resident -- about 75 percent raised their hands in affirmation.

"This is quite a deluge. It's quite widespread," Dotzour observes about the influx of California buyers to the Texas market.

"We see a big influx of California investors," confirms Mary Manry, Brants Realtors. “Californians can buy a lot more house in Texas for a lot less than they could in their own state."

Texas is not quite a boom state, but this year’s real estate statistics are more impressive than many other parts of the country. According to statistics compiled by Texas A&M's The Real Estate Center, from May 2005 to May 2006, home sales in Texas increased 8.3 percent. The total inventory of for-sale properties declined 5 percent, the median price of sold homes increased 6.3 percent, and the supply of for-sale homes dropped from 5.8 months to five months -- all indications of a seller's market that is gaining steam. Noteworthy Areas - Odessa and Midland had a 15 percent rise. Real estate markets in El Paso, San Antonio, Wichita Falls, Corpus Christi, Tyler and Brownsville, are also on the upswing.

"Texas traditionally has run somewhat counter-cyclical to the national economy," Dotzour reveals. "So much of its economic fortune is related to oil and gas. As the price of oil and gas and related chemicals rises, Texas tends to prosper while the rest of the nation suffers, he offers. The state's economy has diversified in the past 20 years, so that Texas now looks and acts a lot more like the rest of the U.S. than it used to. Most of Texas now is more in tune with the rhythms of the U.S. economy."

Texas was hit hard by 9/11 – various airlines have major hubs in Texas, and various state-based .coms went bust. Those businesses are now coming back, and Texas’ mainstay, the oil and gas industry have aided in improving the real estate market.

“Texas has been cited by some industry experts as an undervalued real estate market,” offers Dotzour. "You can still buy a really nice home for $100 a square foot in Texas, phases of new-home construction in the state since 2002 have helped to moderate home prices.

Both Texas A&M and the Brookings Institution site cities like San Antonio and Dallas as major Boomtown areas. “No region better captures and caters to the Latino population boom. A new generation of Hispanic business owners and industrialists will drive the growth, and the area will become a magnet for foreign firms trying to cash in on the U.S. Latino market,” states the Brookings Institution.

The Gulf Coast area from the Florida Panhandle to Houston – an area shattered by Hurricane Katrina is also being touted as a great area to invest. In Houston, it has been predicted that by 2015, Houston will have one of the nation's highest surges in workers under age 25.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that Texas will be one of the fastest-growing states in the nation from 2000-2030, with a population increase of 59.8 percent in that time. By comparison, the population in Nevada is expected to grow 114.3 percent during that time, followed by Arizona at 108.8 percent and Florida at 79.5 percent. Other fast-growing states include Utah, with projected population growth of 56.1 percent from 2000-2030, Idaho at 52.2 percent, North Carolina at 51.9 percent, Georgia at 46.8 percent, Washington at 46.3 percent and Oregon at 41.3 percent.

Next week we will look at other potential Boomtown areas around the U.S.

For more on Southern California commercial properties there is a great information blog at