The country’s fastest-growing cities are attracting residents from coastal areas where are homes have become too expensive for them. This post-crisis migration features Americans who seek housing that is more affordable than what is considered average.
The trend is a “decisive reversal” from the early years of the 2000s, when easy-to-get mortgages and inflated valuations allowed cities to grow with little regard to housing costs, according to a report from The New York Times.
Higher rents and tighter credit in cities along the coasts have proved a boon to the inland communities that offer the middle class a lower cost of living and a more affordable home.
Of Americans who moved more than 500 miles, those who said that they were chiefly motivated by housing has risen to 18 percent in 2014, from 8 percent in 2007, the earliest year such data is available, according to the Census Bureau.
According to the Times: “Oklahoma City, for example, has outpaced most other cities in growth since 2011, becoming the 12th-fastest-growing city last year. It has also won over a coveted demographic, young adults age 25 to 34, going from a net loss of millennials to a net gain. Other affordable cities that have jumped in the growth rankings include several in Texas, including El Paso and San Antonio, as well as Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock, Ark.”
“A large percentage of Americans had to read ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ ” Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City, told the Times, referring to the John Steinbeck novel that chronicled the flight of Oklahomans to California in search of a better life during the Depression. Now the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those migrants are returning for the same reason. “It’s ‘The Wrath of Grapes,’ ” he said.