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Cotuit, June 17, 2004 in Coffee Milk Cafe
Doesn't Austin have a higher cost of living then Providence? How is cheaper housing there? If more and more people are LEAVING Rhode Island, and they are from census numbers, not too much but its losing population overall, then supply should increase and demand should decrease driving down housing costs, shouldnt it? Or is the tax structure so bloated there that true market forces are slanted because of high millage(sp). Doesn't all add up, I know they have a population loss problem but then they should have the benefits of that side of the economic equation shouldn't they?
The thing is that Austin, and the other southern and western cities are WAY cheaper than Providence. Even if people are leaving Rhode Island and the property values are going down, that is still not enough to make the property values in Providence cheaper than in Austin. We were looking at houses in Texas and New Mexico because of a possible job transfer, and houses down there are dirt cheap. I could be living in a house three times the size of the one I'm living in now for the same price as the one I'm living in now if my family had made the move.
Actually, Rhode Island's population rose 2% between 2000 and 2002, and 4.5% between the 1990 and 2000 census'. The electoral map is shifting, not because the Northeast is losing population, but because the south and west is growing faster.
Providence is the second fastest growing city in New England, growing by 8% between 1990 and 2000.
Rhode Island has a severe housing shortage, and housing prices have been soaring in just the last several years.
There a many factors driving the shortage, along with the population rise, increases in property taxes have made some owners take rental properties off the year round market to rent seasonally, owners can make more money with less hassle renting by the week in the summer. Providence has lost a number of low income housing units through the demolition of a number of housing projects, those have not been replaced one-to-one. Many condo convertions consolidate multiple apartments into single condo units reducing the number of units on the market. Mid century immigrants often lived in single units with extended families, as the economy of the state has improved, these extended families have dispersed into their own units. Many recent immigrants are now doing the same. Also the areas Universities have been growing, and dorm construction is not keeping up, students are taking many units off the market. All of this leads to a shortage, and to higher prices.
New housing starts are also not as high here. Zoning regulation, environmental controls, and labour are all tougher/more expensive here than in other areas of the country. This also contributes to higher prices. The winter months also put a damper on new home construction.
All that said, for southern New England, Providence is still a bargain. I moved here rather than Boston for that reason.
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