Nashville Receives High Forbes Magazine Ranking

nashville country music city marathonNashville, TN is the 5th most affordable city in America, according to a Forbes study released last week.

The financial magazine looked at cost of living (where Nashville ranked 3rd among cities with at least 100,000 residents), unemployment (Nashville ranked 23rd) and housing costs as a percentage of household income (Nashville ranked 11th).

The Forbes study surveyed all cities with MSA populations greater than 100,000. I usually hate polls like this because they seem to lack more than one aggregate fact, but when I Wikied the number of cities with a metropolitan statistical area greater than one hundred thousand, I found 342 and became a slight bit more optimistic for the future of Nashville.

Top Ten Most Affordable Cities in the United States

1) Oklahoma City: Cost of Living #12, Unemployment #4, Housing cost #2
2) Pittsburgh, PA: Cost of Living #6, Unemployment #15, Housing cost #1
3) Buffalo, NY: Cost of Living #16, Unemployment #9, Housing cost #3
4) Rochester, NY: Cost of Living #25, Unemployment #1, Housing cost #8
5) Nashville, TN: Cost of Living #3, Unemployment #23, Housing cost #11
6) San Antonio, TX: Cost of Living #19, Unemployment #9, Housing cost #10
7) Houston, TX: Cost of Living #7, Unemployment #22, Housing cost #13
8 ) Louisville, KY: Cost of Living #2, Unemployment #37, Housing cost #4
9) Birmingham, AL: Cost of Living #4, Unemployment #26, Housing cost #14
10) Austin, TX: Cost of Living #15, Unemployment #6, Housing cost #25

Does this Affect Nashville Real Estate Values?

I have long debated both myself and others on whether or not these overnight polls and studies truly possess any predictive value and I have come to one singular conclusion. By themselves, no. No matter the source. In aggregate, yes, especially when a mass public media collectively grabs hold of the headline and incessantly beat it in our subconscious. In the case of this Forbes study, that was not its fate, but I post here on my blog as a curiosity, and perhaps, a beginning of a trend.

  • Guest

    While a low housing cost in Nashville is great, from an investment standpoint, obviously buyers are looking for potantial increase in average home/condo price. The laws of supply and demand of course play a key role in determining price/value of various properties. This being said, is there any information available as to what has a greater impact on generating demand from transplants moving to Nashville. For example: do we know the percentage of most transplants that move due to major industries/companies moving to the area, or do we truly get a kick from engraining, as you mentioned above, the ‘Nashville is most affordable’ tag into the subconscious of Americans?

  • Grant Hammond

    I completely agree with you, affordability is only one component of the real estate market. Supply, demand, absorption and price are really the bigger factors. Who cares if we are an affordable city compared to the rest of the US if no one wants to live here. Luckily, Nashville and Tennessee do appeal to many businesses due to the climate that has been created over the past several years by 3 governors in succession. In fact, yesterday Site Selection Magazine ranked Tennessee as the second most desirable State in the US for business.

    To answer your question, I have not found a central database that lists the number of relocating professionals that does not have a large subscription cost. Alternatively, you can see all of the businesses relocating and expanding on the Nashville Chamber site:

    According to the census, Nashville gained 11.1% population over the past decade, but I am unsure about what percentage you can attribute to relocation professionals versus new births, non-professional relocations, etc.

  • Craig Grella

    Census info can be run at a metro statistical level. Usually the data is done every ten years, but for larger metros, like nashville, they have updates every year. You can track population in and out, and break down on a smaller level, by tracking age and other demographics. You can compare that with bureau of labor and statistics which tracks job influx and net migration out for the same metro area.

    Additionally, your local congressman or governor’s office tracks this data and will often give out those reports for free to concerned citizens who take the time to call and ask for it.

    Craig Grella
    Creative financing for real estate transactions