Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Here in Dallas, are the streets paved with Gold?
I work in an industry that is inextricably linked to the economy. I work in commercial real estate, and we are an industry that see's growth right away, and an industry that feels the pinch right away as businesses both expand and contract.
My company is huge, and is a major player in the market, and we keep a close eye on the economic health of the small markets and nation as a whole. We have offices all over the country, as well as the globe. Recently, at a conference I was seated near a gentleman that is on officer in one the professional organizations I belong to. His name was Stan, and one night during dinner, Stan and I had a really interesting chat. Stan travels the globe as a consultant, advisor, and industry advocate. This conference was filled with Commercial Real Estate Professionals from around the globe, and he had a chance to visit with many of them.
During our conversation, Stan said, "I have been to Dallas many times in the past few years, and I have to tell you, down there, the streets are paved with gold." I looked at him for a moment, and realized, in some ways he was correct. In general, Texas has weathered the recent recession well, particularly Dallas and Houston. As many cities across America were struggling, most cities in Texas were growing in both population and industry.
I say this in light of the recovering economy because we have not felt the effects of the recession down here. In many places, foreclosures were running rampant, people were looking for work, but here, nothing really changed. Most companies tightened their belts, and are doing more with fewer people, but we have come through the worst of it unscathed.
There are more than 300 families moving to the Dallas area every week. The housing market is HOT right now, and homes are being snatched up quickly. (Home prices rose 12% in one year) The rental market has a low inventory because of the influx of population, and those prices are starting to rise. There are new developments going up all over the city. I would say that on any given day, I meet at least 1 person who has lived in the area for less than 2 years, myself included.
I hate that I work in an industry that can grow and contract over night based upon policies of men and women in Washington. I have been thinking about it for a while, but I really want to pursue some side hustle work, and freelancing so that I can "write my own ticket." I want to ensure that in the next recession, no matter where I live, I can survive, and thrive.
I write this not to boast about my state, but to pose the question of, how is your city, county, or state doing? How are you faring now that the economy is starting to improve and show signs of life? Given the recent recession, have you done anything to improve your personal economy? Have you had to tap into your emergency fund, or been able to save and increase it?