Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pittsburgh Ho!

This week, I've been implementing blogging tips from social media guru Chris Brogan ... I mean, Justin Kownacki. I don't track website statistics, so I won't know if I get The Kownacki Bump or not. What's a retweet? I digress.

Some geographic mobility yumminess has been going around the past few days. CEOs for Cities echoes Richard Florida's call for an end to the dream of homeownership in America. I already touched upon Ryan Avent's migratory stimulus package. Chris Briem, not to be confused with Chris Brogan, comes tantalizing close to claiming that the rush to Pittsburgh is on:

But another reason has to be an artifact of how well the region has been doing relative to many other regions. Has to be some new people in the region impacting rental rates. In the past I explained the connection between regional economic conditions and migration into Pittsburgh. At the time, most of the regions we typically exchange population with were doing far worse than we were by most economic metrics. The only big exception at the time was the Washington, DC area. That may still be the case broadly speaking, but the Washington Post had a decent series of articles yesterday on the state of the regional economy down there. They do not paint a rosy picture for how DC is expected to fare as the recession continuees. You may need a (free) registration to read the articles but one of the main ones is here for those who are interested. But if DC is no longer the exception than nearly every region which is a major destination of Pittsburgh migrants is faring worse than we are and that will have bigger impacts on migration flows.

I'm glad I got wind of the WaPo series before babbling on about a BuisnessWeek article concerning how Washington is expected to thrive. Actually, either scenario bodes well for Pittsburgh. I would expect a relative boom in DC to spillover into Pittsburgh. A bust would send talent streaming back to Roboburgh. But what to do about that house you have in Fairfax? Rent it out. That's what I'm going to do with my domicile in Colorado, which is another region expected to do well in the short and long term.

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