Does Houston Really Need Any More People?
"From January to May of 2014, there has been a 6% increase in townhouse and condo sales from the previous year. And inventory is still incredibly low. People are having a tough time finding something. It's not hyperbole to say houses are going faster than ever: That's fact."
According to a recent report released by the GHP that was put together by The Perryman Group, from '12 to '40 there is an estimated population growth averaging 1.80 percent annually in the Houston area. What does that mean? Well by 2040 Houston could see a population of over 10 million. For your reference we are currently at roughly 6. For those of us that don't know math, that's 4 million people. Where the hell are all those people going to go?
Obviously, 2040 is a while away and by that point we can hope that Houston's infrastructure will be able to support its massive growth with flying cars a plenty, but that growth is already in full effect. Between the 2010 and 2012 census dates, Houston added 9,530 residents per month. And according to U- Haul's migration trend report, Houston was the number one destination for people to move to... for the fourth year running.
As is, traffic has become comically bad; the real estate market is starting to slow for the first time in recent months due to the sheer fact that we are running out of places to put people. Our schools are becoming over-populated and you have to literally wait on line for sometimes an hour to get into that new Italian place Coltivare.
I ask again: do we need more people here?
What I fear is that the more people that come, the worse off Houston will become. I am not trying to keep our gem of a city a secret, I just worry we cannot keep up with the growing impression of awesome that Houston is presenting to the world out there.
Wachs tends to agree that something's got to give. "My personal hope," he continues, "is that developers--residential, commercial, mixed--realize that the best thing to do for a buck and the best thing to do for Houston in the long run is to invest in some architecture... Give people something to care about."
I care about this city already, but I also worry that the bubble is going to burst. What do you think?