In our blog post yesterday, we mentioned wow we are seeing the growth of rural areas for mixed-use developments. This potential for real estate investors was also highlighted in an ancillary way by a study put out by Emsi which is a LaborForce Analytics company, economicmodeling.com.
The study, The Fourth Annual Talent Attraction Scorecard, examines standouts in large counties (100,000+ population), small counties (5,000-99,999 population) and very small counties (5,000 or > population to find which counties were the most successful in growing their workforce.
Note for Small Counties: “A theme in the stories of these small counties is that the talent attraction and job growth largely came from within via capital investments by existing companies (energy companies in the case of Cameron and Burke) and infrastructure buildout. Highlighting that investing in existing assets and regional infrastructure is often the most feasible and beneficial route to jumpstart growth and prosperity.”
Note for Micro Counties: “Storey has essentially become a commuter hub, a place where people from other regions come to earn and spend money. In Storey’s case, this is the result largely of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, home to the Tesla Gigafactory. This highlights the importance of looking at economic development from a regional level – as talent can, and will, migrate beyond city and county boundaries.”
For real estate investors finding areas with companies making capital investments, governments making infrastructure improvements, or the creation of new corporate and industrial centers can provide strong signals for strong places to make new or additional real estate investments.
Below are some local counties both small and large which have seen positive growth year over year. For local investors, this could prove one step towards finding strong real estate investments.
Salem County, NJ went from 1,822 to 1,485
Fulton County, PA went from 257 to 47
Cape May County, NJ went from 1,373 to 1,007
Kent County, MD went from 1,126 to 719
Queen Anne’s County, MD went from 725 to 417
Camden County, NJ went from 514 to 458
Gloucester County, NJ went from 302 to 239
Montgomery County, PA went from 397 to 304
Delaware County, PA went from 531 to 523
Philadelphia County, PA went from 587 to 575
Lancaster County, PA went from 358 to 295
Berks County, PA went from 456 to 429
Axios has an excellent write-up, The U.S. cities that are thriving under the radar, on the study with some good highlights for those looking to invest in some smaller cities, throughout the country.
For smaller cities, an anchoring corporate headquarters or university can be a boon. But there’s hope even for those without a flagship institution. Cities are finding success with “placemaking,” says Kristin Sharp, a partner at Entangled Solutions, an education consulting company. That means they’re figuring out a brand that convinces people to move there — or, often, move back home after a stint in a bigger city.