Sun Belt Migration Explained

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Key Highlights

  • Sun Belt region booming with record inward migration
  • Major shift in supply and demand for housing and commercial real estate

From the Snowbelt to the Sun Belt

The inward migration patterns from the Snowbelt to the Sun Belt have been slowly and steadily going on since 2015.

Though states such as South Carolina, Texas, Florida, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Arizona (all considered part of the Sun Belt) saw a minimum population increase of +10% since 2015, manufacturing output in the Sun Belt has jumped more than any other region in the country, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

 In fact,  CBRE’s 2021 development opportunity watch-list ranks 8 of 10 of the country’s biggest development opportunities to be located in the Sun Belt region of the US.

COVID Pandemic Accelerated Shift to Sun Belt

Due to the COVID pandemic and its ancillary remote working shifts, cities such as Austin, Dallas and Houston in Texas plus Tampa FL, Phoenix AZ and Atlanta GA have been benefitting from the lion’s share of inward migration patters over the last year.

Other factors that accelerated shifts to the Sun Belt region of the country also included better weather and/or better work opportunities.

The pace of “move-outs” from high-cost coastal markets such as San Francisco and New York seemed to overshadow the housing market. Simultaneously, move-ins to Sun Belt metros such as Austin and Charlotte were also accelerated.

Sun Belt Jobs Market Thriving

Even during COVID 2020, Austin added 11,60 jobs and regained 71% of March/April 2020 pandemic job losses.  Currently, Austin sits only behind Seattle as having the second-highest jobs for employment opportunities.

Likewise, cities such as Jacksonville FL, Charlotte NC, San Jose CA, and Tempe AZ are seeing consistent job growth in a diverse range of economic industries.

Affordability Shines Bright in  Sun Belt

Though not always, Sun Belt regional buyers and investors experience a lower cost of living than in coastal and northern parts of the country.  Low cost of living translates into a bigger bang for your buck in both residential and commercial real estate

Likewise, Sun Belt buying residents and investors save in property taxes, annual taxes, and, in some cases, in low or non-existent state income taxes.

Many Migrants Looking for Warmer Weather

 

Though much of the country, particularly the Sun Belt region, are experiencing excessive heat right now, the Sun Belt is known for milder winters and more sun.

Boomers, particularly, and those entering or well into retirement are seeking areas of the country that essentially provide warmer weather.

Yes, there are concerns about global warming, rising sea levels, wildfires and hurricanes…but some inland areas within the Sun Belt are often unaffected by such concerns and/or realities.

To Summarize…

Many residential and commercial real estate investment experts believe that what is going on in the Sun Belt region of the country will stay with us over the long term.  Shifting demographics, affordability, employment opportunities, better weather, tax advantages, etc. all point in the direction of the Sun Belt.

 

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