New York and Los Angeles have long reigned as America’s largest cities, but a new study reveals that their time on top may be coming to an end. Online moving platform moveBuddha, which facilitates 400,000 moves annually, conducted a population growth projection that predicts that Dallas-Fort Worth will be the largest city in the country by 2100, and Houston, will be the second-largest city.
Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to have 33.9 million people, while Houston is projected to have just over 31 million people. MoveBuddah arrived at this conclusion by taking the comparative growth rate of cities with more than 250,000 people, as reported to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2010 and 2020, then extrapolated that growth out to 2100. Considering that many Sun Belt cities are experiencing rapid growth, these predictions may not be that far off.
This could also mean an opportunity exists for real estate investors to plot where the population growth is and invest accordingly.
The Sun Belt Has Universal Appeal
America’s Sun Belt has assets that are highly sought after by people from almost all walks of life: warm weather and affordable housing. As high rents, home prices and overall cost of living continue to drive people out of cities like Los Angeles and New York, the comparatively low cost of living, zero state income tax and mild winters of Sun Belt states like Texas and Florida are proving to be strong draws.
Even as housing prices have risen in Sun Belt cities because of this migration, quality housing is generally more affordable than equivalent accommodations in California, where the average home price is around $900,000, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. In contrast, the average home price in Texas is around $515,000.
Climate Change Could Play A Role
Other Sun Belt states such as Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina also offer a similar combination of affordability and warm weather. However, climate-related issues such as hurricanes or drought-driven water shortages could still prove to be a stumbling block to long-term population growth for some of these reasons.
This is how a landlocked city like Dallas, which is smaller than Houston, could outgrow Houston and end up being the most heavily populated in the country. Yes, Dallas will still be prone to severe heat waves and heavy inland rain but being so far inland may offer respite from hurricanes.
The Upshot For Investors
Even if Dallas and Houston don’t surpass New York and Los Angeles in population by 2100, there can be little doubt that both of those Texas metropolises will see sustained growth for some time to come. All the people moving there, and to places like Atlanta or Phoenix, will need more housing, medical care, storage and retail outlets than exist today.
That translates to a potential opportunity for investors. Before the population explosion gets into full swing might be a great time to get in early on real estate investment trusts (REITs) or real estate crowdfunding in these cities. Regardless of what your preferred sector is, it’s likely to be in demand in these areas. The sooner you begin building a portfolio of Sun Belt assets, the more lucrative it may be for you down the road.
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This article This Metro Area Could Become Bigger Than New York Or Los Angeles In Your Lifetime originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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