A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they’re living in now — a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers. When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego, and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities (Phoenix #7), and Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati at the bottom. To read the full report, click here.
[Source: Joel Kotkin, Special to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review] — The current recession provides a new opportunity for Pittsburgh’s elite to feel good about itself. With other boom economies from Phoenix to Miami on the skids — and other old Rust Belt cities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo even more down on their luck — the slow-growth achievements of the Pittsburgh region may seem rather impressive. Yet at the same time, the downturn also poses longer-term challenges for which the local leadership is likely to have no answers.
In large part, Pittsburgh’s “success,” such as it is, has been based on what may be called a “legacy economy,” essentially funded by the residues of its rich entrepreneurial past. This includes the hospitals, universities, and nonprofits whose endowments have underwritten the expansion of medical services and education, which have emerged as among the region’s few growth sectors. [Note: To read the full article, read here.]
[Source: Adam Kress, Phoenix Business Journal] — A new read on the housing market shows Phoenix home values have dropped nearly 31% in the past 12 months — the steepest decline of any major city in the nation. Home prices across the country fell in August for the 25th consecutive month and prices in 10 major markets plunged a record 17.7% from August 2007, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price 10-city index. From July to August, prices dropped 1.1%. The 20-city index marked a record year-over-year decline of 16.6% with a 1% fall from July to August.
The hardest hit of all 20 cities on a year-over-year basis was Phoenix, where prices plummeted 30.7% during the past 12 months. Las Vegas prices plunged 30.6% and Miami sank 28.1%. The cities that held up the best were Dallas, which saw a decline of just 2.7%; Charlotte, N.C., down 2.8%; and Boston, off 4.7%. No city showed a price gain during over the last 12 months. From July to August, San Francisco saw the biggest price decline, down 3.5%. Phoenix prices fell 2.9% and Las Vegas homes lost 2.4% in value. Two cities showed gains in August. Cleveland prices rose 1.1% and Boston prices inched up 0.1%.
The S&P Case-Shiller indexes compare the sale prices of the same homes year-to-year and are considered one of the most accurate home price gauges.
[Source: William H. Frey, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution] — Newly released U.S. Census Bureau population data for U.S. cities show a new twist on a well-known theme that could be good news for older cities hoping to reverse population declines of the past. The familiar part of the report indicates that most of the nation’s fastest growing cities are located in the South and interior West. Places like McKinney, TX; North Las Vegas, NV; and Cary, NC, are registering growth rates that cities in baseball’s “American League Central” division (e.g., Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City) can only dream about. But the new estimates also show a clear retrenchment of the old “Snowbelt to Sunbelt” population surge, a turnaround that has brought modest gains to many older and coastal cities that lost population earlier in the decade.
Population trends in the nation’s nine largest cities (those with over one million residents) offer a glimpse at the story (Table 1). Three of these — Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Diego — flipped from population declines to gains in the past year, while their more high-flying sunbelt counterparts — Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas — showed reduced levels of growth. The growth slowdowns in Houston and Phoenix were substantial, while at the same time, Chicago’s modest gain was the first registered since 2001. Another notable flip occurred in Boston, which last year became the fastest growing city in the Northeast, after losing population the year before. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]