The southern United States gets a bum rap sometimes. Everyone knows the stereotypes about the South. But many of the criticisms that the South gets comes from the same tired clichés and repeating of things that just aren’t true. The fact of the matter is, most of the media (print, TV, you name it) is based in the northern United States, so of course there is going to be some level of misunderstanding and competition between the two regions. While many of the nation’s largest cities are located above the Mason-Dixon, it’s not much of a secret that opportunities in 2013 are actually being found south of it. That’s right. If you want reasonably priced real estate and a decent shot at a job, you’ll have to pack your bags and head to where the sunshine is.
Every year, more and more people move south. In fact, six of the top eight states that have seen the most domestic migration are in the South. To put it simply, the South has it going on right now. While the old Rust Belt and traditional metropolitan centers of commerce reel from the effects of a rapidly changing economy and a recession that has decimated the world of finance, the South is sitting rather pretty thanks to a combination of policy and, well, some luck thanks to Mother Nature. It’s best to snap up some Savannah, GA or Summerville, SC real estate while the prices are still decent. The housing market is on a rebound and the great value of Southern living may not last forever. Here’s what the South has going for it:
Year after year, the population of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida diversifies. As people leave New York, New Jersey, and Illinois in droves, these southern states are picking many of them up. The South is getting younger, more diverse, more educated, and it’s forming its own urban hubs. More families are springing up. Children under 10 are on the rise in southern states while the North stagnates. The region is becoming (and already is, really) a great place to get an education, find a job, and raise a family.
The South is also where the jobs are. For at least a generation, economic growth in South Carolina and surrounding states has outpaced growth in the rest of the country. A lot of that is people looking to live in a region that is always warm and has mild winters. But also, policies are more business friendly, which encourages businesses from all over to relocate. Industry is also booming. Whereas manufacturing has rapidly disappeared from the northern states, much of the automobile industry is doing just fine in the South. Oil is another industry that provides huge economic activity. The Gulf area is rich in oil and is a major source of economic power.
There are many reasons why purchasing real estate in South Carolina, Georgia, and other southern states is an excellent investment. The area is only going to become more desirable. It’s going to be fascinating to watch how demographics continue to shift over the coming decades.
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Christopher Tanninhill is a South Carolina native and small business owner who loves to write about the south and ways to improve your small business.