In the economic sweepstakes it’s usually California or Texas or Florida that get all the attention. That’s where people have been moving for decades now, where the sun shines and winters are mild, and where hot industries – hi-tech, energy, tourism – have created millions of new jobs. And in Texas and Florida the housing has always been cheap. It’s no wonder that these places have drained generations of young adults from other parts of the US.
But that doesn’t mean people don’t still live in those other parts – or that they don’t need somewhere to live.
Markets in what I’m loosely calling Mid-America have one distinct advantage over those growth markets in California and elsewhere – they don’t boom and bust on a regular basis. Sure, during the recent recession home prices in these markets fell, but the same was true for all other markets in the country, too. Other than that special situation, and with the exception of booms in smaller markets – like Fargo with fracking – investors can expect steady returns in these places, without having to worry that they bought in at the wrong time.
The 25 markets we’ve listed for the region have several characteristics in common that provide stability – which is what investors in rental property are looking for. Aside from the very big cities, these are medium-sized markets where healthcare, government and colleges provide an outsized percent of local jobs. Healthcare in particular has been a mini-growth industry in recent years as the healthcare system concentrates in urban centers to service a large surrounding area.