houston office space
All indications are that urban growth is climbing across the U.S.

Along with the other major office markets in Texas, Houston office space may be effected by urban areas leading population grown for the first time in 20 years.

For the better part of the last 60 years, homeownership has been perhaps the most universal tangible tenet of the American Dream. When more Americans began owning vehicles beginning in the 1950s, an abundance of landowning opportunities on the outskirts of the suburbs opened up - no longer did Americans need to live in close proximity to their place of employment. Some now fear, though, that times are changing.

According to 2011 U.S. Census estimates released this week, all indicators point to urban growth climbing, at the expense of suburbs - former stalwarts of the American way-of-life. Last year, metropolitan areas were responsible for 94 percent of all growth in the United States, which is up from 85 percent during the pre-recession time period.

When the numbers are parsed even further, researchers determined that exurban areas - those beyond even the suburbs - grew by only 0.4 percent from 2010 to 2011 after growing at a rate of 2.1 percent in 2006. Meanwhile, urban growth climbed from a 0.2 percent drop in 2006 to 0.8 percent growth.

Researchers attribute this shift to a variety of factors, including younger people putting off marriage until later in life and preferring to rent, retirees preferring to live in walkable metropolitan areas and spiking gas prices.

"There's a pall being cast on the outer edges," John McIlwain, senior fellow for housing at the nonprofit development group Urban Land Institute, told USA Today. "The foreclosures, the vacancies, the uncompleted roads. It's uncomfortable out there. The glitz is off."

As much as suburbs may be struggling to exhibit growth, businesses headquartered in cities could increasingly see employees and clients living close by, which could boost their bottom line.  Texas alone boasts four of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas, with Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Whether companies are searching for North Dallas warehouse space or retail space for rent somewhere else, they should use a real estate consultant to help them find a location.

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