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Spotting Trends in Small Town USA

international investment trends

Gary Scott

There are few ways to ensure your economic future as good as spotting trends, contrasts and distortions. Last week’s message looked at the very disturbing trend of the demise of the American pension.

One area that will gain from this trend is investing in Small Town USA. This is because there are some parts of America that are overvalued.  

According to a USA Today article December 9, 2005, a study, by National City, a Cleveland-based bank and financial information provider, Global Insight, shows real estate market distortions. The study examined 299 metro areas that account for 80% of the single-family home market and found that Naples, Florida topped the list, with homes 84% overvalued. The rest of the top five were Merced, Ca. 76.7%; Salinas, Ca. 74.8%; Port St. Lucie, Fl., 72.2%; and Stockton, Ca., 72.0%.

41 of the 65 significantly overvalued markets were in California and Florida. The report also showed undervalued markets such as College Station, Texas, 23% below value, Charleston, S.C., undervalued by 7%; Charlotte, N.C. 6%; Huntsville, Ala., 11%; and Lafayette, Ind., 10%.

You can read the entire article at USA TODAY

Here is why we can cash in. 

First, look at another trend. One of the largest demographic groups in history (Baby Boomers) is about to retire. 

Second, surveys of Boomers suggest that a majority plan to move when they retire. A majority of the movers plan to settle in small towns 25 or 30 miles from where they now live. 

Third, other Boomer surveys show that most Boomers plan to keep working part time when they retire.

Fourth, technology now makes it easier than every before for these boomers to move to small towns and continue to work part time.

Fifth, the decline of pensions, Social Security and the US dollar will force these boomers to move to less expansive paces and work!

Learn more about Martin County, NC at

In other words, invest in Small Town USA now. Merri and I have been harping on this for years and have followed our own advice by investing in Ashe County, North Carolina. This seems to have paid off since the farm next to ours is on the market for six times what we paid for ours, yet is still half priced of other surrounding areas.

Another USA Today article tells how Martin County North Carolina (another example) is trying to attract retirees from the Washington D.C. area. This is part of this county’s economic recovery plan to replace 800 jobs lost from 1999 to 2003. The coordinator of the Martin County Entrepreneurial Assistance Plan says of the retirees they aim for, "They have a house that they’ve owned for at least twenty years and paid $50,000 to $70,000. The sell the house and it brings $220,000. They come here and buy the same house for $75,000."

The growth in prices of urban housing provides one exit for Boomers who no longer need to be in the city.

You can learn more about investing in Small Town USA at

Until next message, I wish good trends for you!


international investment trends
international investment trends


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