If the economy somehow gains strength, it may only serve to further accelerate these trends. The incipient recovery in housing prices seems likely, at least in places like California and the Northeast, to create yet another bubble. This will give people more incentive to move to less expensive areas, particularly those who can cash in by selling a house in a pricier city and moving to a less expensive one. The differential in housing costs between New York and Tampa-St. Petersburg now stands at historic highs, and near peak bubble highs between Los Angeles and Phoenix; the traditional growth states are looking more attractive all the time for people looking to make quick money in an economy with shrinking opportunities elsewhere. This includes the massive wave of aging boomers, many of whom may see selling a house in California or the Northeast as a way to make up for less than adequate IRAs. The combination of low prices and warmer weather in the past has proven an irresistible one for those retiring or simply down-shifting their careers. This appeal is likely to grow as the senior population expands.
- No. 1: Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Statistical Area
- No. 2: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach MSA
- No. 3: Austin, Texas
- No. 4: Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
- No. 5: Houston
- No. 6: Washington DC-VA-MD
- No. 7: Denver
- No. 8 San Antonio, Texas
- No. 9 Seattle, Tacoma, Washington
- No. 10 Riverside-San Bernadino, California
Note that the top five places are in states that do not have a state income tax.