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Article of the Month for May 2002

Looking For The Next Boom Town

Searching For Emerging Trends

Question, asked by Jim:

The question is only partly facetious. I've accidentally purchased in two locations that became more popular or well-known after I purchased. Result - price appreciation as demand rose. I suspect that both properties have peaked in value.

Is there a source of info for (hopefully) finding locations that are poised to outperform others? The criteria might include expected housing shortages, influx of jobs or population, consideration of no-growth laws, overreaction to a plant closing, etc.

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Reply:

Jim, I’d subscribe to the idea that your good fortune was more luck than accidental. But the point is well taken that maybe one should seek out emerging locales to invest in rather than not. For example, you’d probably do better investing in Northern California right now rather than in Ohio.

We have a real estate consultant Sanford Goodkin, located here in San Diego, who makes a very good living advising well heeled clients about emerging real estate markets throughout the United States. I’m sure he’s looking at the beginning trends of building starts, job growth, population projections, etc. to base his opinions on. And he’s been doing it long enough to know which trends are more significant than others.

Another clue as to where the real estate action is poised to take off would be to follow where our large, national builders, like Kaufman & Broad are currently building like crazy. They can go anywhere in the U.S. to build, so don't discount the studies they must have commissioned to place their multi-million dollar bets. And I'm positive they all have informative online web sites.

Find the prosperous companies to track in this industry sector by looking at their ranking in the stock market.

Finally, you should get a copy of the annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” published by Price Waterhouse & Lend Lease Real Estate Investments or go to their web site for a synopsis of the top 10 rankings of major U.S. cities for year 2002 (click on link below).

Hope this helps.

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