Monday, March 29, 2010

No surprises

Almost 400 years ago, some immigrants bumped up against Plymouth Rock. Most population and migration trends since then can be seen as attempts to correct that mistake. The westward drift and the snowbelt-sunbelt migration are well established, although the interruptions and exceptions are always newsworthy. Wendell Cox calls attention to the latest developments, which are punctuated by housing market bubbles and busts of various intensities. Bubble differences and house price differences, not surprisingly, are seen, as is the propensity of international immigrants to go where there are strong network effects (the presence of previously settled arrivals from the newcomers' home country or region).

Look at Cox's top-ten metro areas and how they score in terms of domestic migration. Three large sunbelt metros (Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Atlanta) continue to be the magnets. These are the ones where prices were less crazy.

Colleagues Gary Painter and Zhou Yu tell a similar story here and corroborate the expected pull of established networks for international immigrants.

There are still some things in the world that make perfect sense.