Welcome to the state of the wealthy homeless

In North Dakota, job seekers can make $100,000 a year with overtime and bonuses.

People are swarming to this oil boom state looking for work, and nearly everyone is finding it.

Williston, North Dakota is one of these cities situated on the Bakken formation, a deposit that is estimated to hold between 4 billion and 24 billion barrels of oil, reports the International Business Times.

Over 6,000 people have flocked to the state in search of jobs recently, the article reports, yet many of them cannot find homes.

The 2010 census reported that the population of the city is 14,716, says the Times, and with this new influx of workers there is little room for them to stay.

CNN tells several stories of these workers – people who have doubled or tripled their salaries yet are either homeless or living in poor conditions.

A man the article calls Matt told CNN that he has been living in his RV in a Walmart parking lot. He was transferred from Walmart in Minnesota over the summer, where his salary spiked.

Another family is living in a campground, having moved from a home with a yard to their yard-less RV, they told CNN.

The oil companies have been trying to help out the workers – without this manpower, the oil extraction would be much less efficient.

Some of the companies, the article reports, have rented out sections of hotels or apartment complexes, and many are also building low-budget housing around the areas for their workers.

This type of housing has been dubbed “man camps,” and though it’s cheap it is far from ideal.

Benjamin Lukes told CNN of his experience in these “man camps,” where he pays $400 a month for the space plus housekeeping and three meals a day.

And yet he equates the space to a “prison cell” and he hasn’t been able to bring his family to Williston with him, having no place for them to stay.

Unemployment in the state is 3.5%, one of the lowest in the country. And yet even the wealthy workers are homeless.

Americas fastest Growing Cities

In the early 1990s Austin , Texas was a city full of empty office towers , whereas now the likes of companies like Apple, Progressive Insurance and Whole Foods are moving into the city creating hundreds of job opportunities. The knock on effect of this is buyers from out of state are snapping up houses that in comparison to many areas are ridiculously cheap.

Many properties will have multiple offers and sell for full or more than full price and then be under contract within 48 hours.
Austin is ranked first on Forbes’ list of America’s Fastest Growing Cities for the second year in a row.
According to Moody’s Analytics, the Austin metropolitan area — including the northern suburb of Round Rock, home to Dell Computer — is expected to have an economic growth rate of 6% a year through 2016, more than double the nation as a whole. Apple is likely to sign off soon on plans to build a $304 million operations centre that will employ as many as 3,600 people.
When constructing the list of fastest growing cities all factors were needed to be taken into consideration , projections of economic and population growth from Moody’s were factored in with median income, unemployment rates and employment growth. This ensured comparisons were fair a good overall view was given.
Top Five Fastest Growing American Cities
1 . Austin , Texas
Projected economic growth rate, 2011-2016: 6.1%
Population growth rate: 2.8%
Current MSA population: 1.8 million
Median income: $56,613
2. Dallas, TX
Projected economic growth rate, 2011-2016: 5%
Population growth: 2.2%
Current population: 6.23 million
Median income: $55,526

3. San Hose CA
Projected economic growth rate, 2011-2016: 4.7%
Population growth: 0.9%
Current population: 1.88 million
Median income: $83,551
4. Houston, TX
Projected economic growth rate, 2011-2016: 6.1%
Population growth: 2%
Current population: 6.23 million
Median income: $55,297
5. Salt Lake City, UT
Projected economic growth rate, 2011-2016: 4.4%
Population growth: 1.5%
Current population: 1.16 million
Median income: $65,405


Further to a meeting of ‘The Federal Reserve Board’ the Board have announced a more upbeat assessment of the economy.

With the Dow hitting its highest level since 2007 last month as well as car and real estate sales rising it can only be good news. The rise in Oil prices and interest rates are all a sign the economy is getting stronger, but how fast will these continue to rise ? The good news is The Fed Board have stated that they are committed to keeping short-term rates low until 2014. Long term rates will be dependent on the speed of economic recovery and there are still plenty of headwinds against a strong recovery. There are still millions of homes which are scheduled to go to foreclosure, that the real estate market need to absorb. Plus the world economy is still slowing and struggling in some areas such as Europe.
With all this considered a moderate but steady recovery is probably the best we can hope for and this would support low rates for the rest of 2012. But if we consider that rates have been the lowest of our generation, then even a small rise should still make the purchase of Investment Property an attractive proposition. So whilst there is a balance between rates and the economic recovery, it remains a good time to take advantage of it and make investments.

the UK economy is back in recession

After some promising recent data, which had seen Sterling move to 2012 highs against most of the major currencies, today’s preliminary reading of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) revealed that the UK economy has entered a ‘double dip’ recession. Growth in the UK, for Q1 2012, has contracted by -0.2%.

It is widely expected that the Pound will now begin to give up some of its recent gains.

If you are considering buying US property in the near future now would be a very good time to get your US dollars in place. You could also consider a ‘Forward Contract’ and fix your rate whilst you decide on which property you want.

If you need help with this, speak to us and we’ll happily put you in touch with our currency provider.

Worldwide Investors Buying USA Property by the Thousands

Typically, landlords tend to be individuals or small firms that own just a handful of homes.

New investors believe the rental income can deliver returns well above those offered by Treasury securities or stock dividends. At the same time, economists say, they could help areas hardest hit by the housing crash reach a bottom of the market.

This year, a property investor signed a $400 million deal with a large unnamed investment company in Silicon Valley. The Investment Company plans to buy 10,000 to 15,000 more homes by the end of next year. Other large private equity investors have committed millions to these new markets, and Lewis Ranieri often called the inventor of the mortgage bond, is considering it too.

In February, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees government backed mortgage companies, announced that it would sell about 2,500 homes in a pilot program in eight metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.

And Bank of America said in late March that it would begin testing a plan to allow homeowners facing foreclosure the chance to rent back their homes and wipe out their mortgage debt. Eventually, the bank said it could sell the houses to investors.
The big investors are wooed by what they see as a vast opportunity. There is close to 650,000 foreclosed properties sitting on the books of lenders, according to RealtyTrac, a data provider. An additional 710,000 are in the foreclosure process, and according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, about 3.25 million borrowers are delinquent on their loans and in danger of losing their homes.

With so many families displaced from their homes by foreclosure, rental demand is rising. Others who might previously have bought are now unable to qualify for loans. The homeownership rate has dropped from a peak of 69.2 % in 2004 to 66 % at the end of 2011, according to census data.

Economists say that investors could help stabilize home prices. “If you have a lot of foreclosures in one community you will improve everybody’s home values if you take them off the market,” said Diane Swonk, the chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “If those homes are renovated and even rented, it is a lot better than having them stand empty.”