The Rise of the Secondary Cities
When people graduate from college, many migrate to large cities for the standard reasons like jobs and opportunity. We have seen the rise of the urbanization of the globe as more people want to live in cities so that they have access to everything where you see and meet other people. Perhaps it is a reaction to the phone being an extension of ourselves with social media coming at us all day, being able to be connected to the real world feels healthy and we need it more now than ever.
Over the past decade, as more people have come to live in major metropolitan cities, the price of living has gone up and that has changed the landscape. Restaurants have become more expensive, housing has become most expensive even in neighborhoods once deemed cheap. The commercial real estate has become expensive making it hard to open new stores with new ideas. The infrastructure of many top cities has been compromised because the cost is so expensive and Government is not exactly smart about thinking long term when it comes to new transportation or energy. Rebuilding a city that hums is harder than rebuilding a city where there is plenty of room to grow.
As Millennials grow and have families, they are still looking to that urban lifestyle and as many are being priced out of the major cities, they are gravitating towards secondary cities. Their preference is to stay in cities and that is a good thing for the secondary cities because the long tail of that is economic growth across more states as the city is and will always be the hub and everything else shoots out of that.
Many of these cities, such as Detroit, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Portland and others are thinking about transportation, old areas are being rebuilt, new restaurants are coming in, people are being creative and connecting in smaller yet vibrant communities and cities.
Perhaps we will see more college graduates move to those secondary cities right out of school because the opportunities in those towns will be there and more appealing to them from the get-go. We will see large growth in these secondary cities over the next decade and with that will come interesting opportunities for investment.