Nashville’s Star Rises as Midsize Cities Break Into Winners and Losers
Nashville and others are thriving thanks to a mix of luck, astute political choices and well-timed investments, while cities like Birmingham, Ala., fall behind.
Nashville, right, and Birmingham, Ala., left, were peers 40 years ago. The success of superstar cities like New York and San Francisco and substars like Nashville has come at the expense of Birmingham and other smaller cities.CreditLynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times
What does Amazon's announcement mean for Nashville's housing market?
Mike Reicher, Nashville TennesseanPublished 2:45 p.m. CT Nov. 15, 2018 | Updated 12:46 p.m. CT Nov. 16, 2018
In Seattle, Amazon’s 45,000 workers contributed to skyrocketing housing costs — an oft-criticized part of the “Amazon effect.”
Now 5,000 of the company’s jobs — with an average annual salary of $150,000 — are coming to Nashville.
The addition of thousands more white-collar employees to the city, both from Amazon and other companies, could push up housing prices, experts say. Some neighborhoods and types of homes could be in more demand — and potentially command a higher price — depending on how Amazon recruits its employees, and the types of jobs they fill. The effects, though, will be diffused over years, which is welcome news for many struggling to afford housing.
“Those kind of higher-wage jobs will put upward pressure on home prices,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions, a national property information company. “There are already upward pressures because it’s a booming economy, even without Amazon.”
Amazon said its new office will provide technology and management for its retail operations division, which handles customer service, transportation, the supply chain and fulfillment of online orders. The company hasn’t detailed, however, what types of jobs will be needed — how many software engineers, for instanc
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Nashville leaps ahead of Seattle, Los Angeles — now a top-five real estate market
Nashville's real-estate market bounded ahead of Seattle, Los Angeles, and other major markets as the nation's fifth-surest investment bet for 2019, according to one of the industry's most comprehensive and influential reports.
The study, released Wednesday, promoted Music City from 9th to 5th place among U.S. cities for its hot overall real-estate prospects.
Six other southern cities – most in the southeastern U.S. – also topped the list developed by researchers from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Urban Land Institute in the "Emerging Trends in Real Estate" study.
"It's really a story about affordability, employment growth, population growth and employment stability," said Mitch Roschelle, a PwC partner. "One thing that's really important now is no state income taxes. That's becoming a bigger and bigger factor when people start making choices about where they want to live."
Knoxville and Memphis were also singled out in the 100-page study as attractive markets for investors due to their high quality-of-life advantages and low housing costs.
But Nashville has placed in the nation's top-10 real-estate markets for four consecutive years, suggesting a lucrative market for years to come.
"Nashville isn't a one-hit wonder. It's been in the top ten for some time now," Roschelle said. "So goes Austin and Dallas. It's this resilience of investors' views of those cities that contributes to their success."
The top 10 U.S. real estate markets in 2019:
- Dallas/Fort Worth
- Brooklyn, New York
- Tampa/St. Petersburg