A piece in the New York Times highlights what happens when residents from one part of the United States move to another. One aspect of this: the new residents can bring a lot of money with which to purchase a home.
According to a recent study by Redfin, the national real estate brokerage, the budget for out-of-town home buyers moving to Boise is 50 percent higher than locals’ — $738,000 versus $494,000. In Nashville, out-of-towners also have a budget that is 50 percent higher than locals. In Austin it’s 32 percent, Denver 26 percent and Phoenix 23 percent.
As the commentary goes on to note, this means that prices in certain housing markets can then go up. New residents with resources compete with existing residents who may or may not be able to keep up. Several thoughts arise:
-Imagine current NIMBY practices at a national level instead of just at a local or regional level. The piece hints that people in multiple locations might want to restrict migration from California. Mass movements of people in the United States are not heard of and restrictions have been applied before.
-This presents an interesting conundrum for local officials and local planners. Growth is usually good. Until it is not the kind of growth local residents want or it is growth driven by outside forces. If communities want to grow and attract wealthier residents, are they also willing to accept the changes that might come?
-Just as some communities have requirements that developers of big projects pay fees or provide affordable housing, is there some way for a community to “tax” newcomers to help provide funds to offset changes?
-Do these patterns eventually lead to from a perpetual search for the new hot, lower cost of living location? Once Boise, Austin, and Nashville are different, what places come next – Omaha, Billings, Baton Rouge? This would take quite a while to work out but I do wonder how many attractive lower cost of living places there can be at any one time.