Using data from Moody’s Analytics, we assessed the estimated rate of population growth for 2012 and 2013, the rate of job growth in 2012, and the rate of gross metro product growth, or economic growth, for 2012. We also factored in federal unemployment data and median salaries for local college-educated workers, courtesy of Payscale.com. The result is a list of the 20 fastest growing metro areas in America in terms of population and economy.
I find it interesting that the three largest Texas cities — Austin, Dallas, and Houston — topped the national list based on these criteria, with San Antonio coming in ninth. Texas cities grew by 470,000 people in 2012!
Houston ranked second, behind Austin, followed by Dallas in third place and San Antonio in ninth. Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6% (well below the national average), no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns’ high rankings.
Sure, we ranked high in 2012, but this is a year in which the Texas Legislature convenes, and we’re facing funding shortages across the board. Let’s see if we’re still considered “business-friendly” after the session in Austin.
Still, I wonder if this growth is sustainable for the Dallas housing market. Will we see an uptick in rentals? What will happen if the residential lending environment sours?