Following up on a study conducted by SmartAsset in March 2020 that evaluated recession-proof cities, Moody’s Analytics has released its own report detailing which U.S. cities are positioned to rebound quickly from the effects of Coronavirus. The analysis grouped the top ten best and the worst ten and listed them “alphabetically in order to avoid assigning false precision to our calculations,” writes Adam Kamins, senior regional economist at Moody’s Analytics and the author of the report.
Boise was among the top ten best cities, according to the report.
In analyzing the cities, Moody’s Analytics looked at the population density of a given locale and plotted it against measures of workforce quality, using educational attainment. In the first comparison, Moody’s used data to compare population density against the share of jobs that require a college degree or better. “Those economies that can provide high-paying jobs to would-be city residents are especially well-positioned,” writes Kamins.
Moody’s also looked at Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), a U.S. geographic area that consists of one or more counties connected by an urban center of at least 10,000 people plus adjacent counties that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. In the case of the Boise area, Ada and Canyon counties would be examples of CBSAs. For the study, Moody’s used educational attainment and the average density across counties that was used to calculate regional exposure to COVID-19.
According to Kamins and other experts, the pandemic will cause people to move out of larger cities and metropolitan areas for less densely populated areas. “The generation that is growing up today could remember the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on large, densely populated urban areas and be more likely than its predecessors to opt for less densely packed pastures in the decades to come,” notes Kamins.
In a recent interview with Inman, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman made similar remarks, saying the real estate industry is “preparing for a seismic demographic shift toward smaller cities.” As we’ve seen people moving from pricey areas in say California to less expensive ones, like Boise, the influx of people moving to less populated areas is only going to hasten.
Since there’s already been a steady stream of Californians and others moving to Idaho in recent years, the expectation is the pandemic will accelerate the trend. “Now it’s just going to happen faster,” Kelman says. Cities such as Los Angeles, which ranked as one of the ten worst cities by the Moody’s report, are expected to see more citizens depart for regions like Boise.
While it’s good news that Boise and the surrounding area will rebound quicker than a lot of other regions in the country, there’s going to be a continued strain on the availability of housing, especially if the departure from more substantial metropolitan areas happens as rapidly as experts predict. As a result, home prices will keep ticking upwards.