Census: Texas Has 3 Of 5 Fast-Growing Cities

Map of Texas highlighting Ector County

Map of Texas highlighting Ector County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Oil equals boom — especially in population right now. And Texas, in the midst of a significant energy rush, is seeing its towns and cities burst at the seams.

Three of the nation’s five fastest-growing cities — and seven of the top 15 — are in the Lone Star State, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, part of a trend across the West largely fueled by an oil boom. Most of the cities are West of the Mississippi.

Now these cities need to have enough roads, schools, water and infrastructure to keep up — the growing pains of a surging population. And while it is viewed as opportunity, city planners are frazzled.

Odessa, Texas, smack-dab in the middle of the oil-rich Permian Basin, is No. 11 on the Census Bureau list. People are flooding the oil fields, booming thanks to new hydraulic fracturing technologies that allow drillers access to once out-of-reach resources.

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Natural Gas Boom Fuels U.S. Office Market

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bloomberg — Leasing demand from natural-gas and other energy companies is helping to bolster the U.S. office market and drive growth in cities such as Pittsburgh, where rents are at their highest in more than a decade.

Greater Pittsburgh, along with Houston and other cities with concentrations of energy-related workers, is outpacing national growth in rents and occupancy, according to a report today from Reis Inc., which showed U.S. office landlords had net gains in leased space for a second year in 2012, following three years of declines.  Tenants in energy, along with technology, helped push the national vacancy rate to a three-year low.

In the fourth quarter, greater Pittsburgh office rents after landlord concessions climbed 1 percent from the previous three months, compared with 0.8 percent for the U.S., while the area’s vacancy rate held at 15.5 percent, below the national average of 17.1 percent, New York-based Reis said. Pittsburgh tenants paid an average of $17.68 a square foot in the fourth quarter, the highest since 2000, ranking it 12th out of 79 markets for growth.  In Houston, effective rents rose 1.7 percent, the fifth-most nationwide.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-energy-office-market-20130107,0,3658617.story