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Houston Suburbs Growing Dramatically More Than City

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The population growth trends in the Houston are hardly surprising.

Houston Skyscrapers

From 2010 to 2013, population growth in the suburbs of Houston was 90 percent greater than the city itself, according to a recent analysis by New Geography.

In that three-year time span, the suburbs of Houston saw its population increase by 7.8 percentage points, compared to the city’s 4.1 percentage points. According to the author of the analysis, former geography professor Richard Morrill, that’s on-par with a much larger national trend: “The period of review is short, but does show continuing growth of both core cities and their suburbs, but with the growth edge going to cities, unlike the dominant pattern of earlier decade.”

Indeed, as Betty Bellomy, a sales associate for John Daugherty Realtors, explained to us, price activity in Houston has been a big cause of this trend.

“We started seeing the trend of not enough inventory to feed the demand in the close-in areas the second half of 2011, when we first started seeing multiple offers on properties,” she said. “As this began driving prices back up to their 2006 levels, buyers had to move further out for lower prices.  The suburbs do not have the same land scarcity as close-in, where all communities have been built out for many years, thus builders are rapidly building homes in the suburbs to serve the demand for housing created by Houston’s job growth.”

Take a look at our graph below for an idea on how Houston’s growth patterns compare with other large metro areas.

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