Monday, January 23, 2012

Tulsa among top 200 cities for employment, income growth

Tulsa and Oklahoma City ranked among the world's top 100 metropolitan economies for income and employment growth during 2010 and 2011, according to a report released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution.
Ranked alongside metros in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the U.S., Tulsa placed 73rd and Oklahoma City 82nd in the Global MetroMonitor, part of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings.
Fifty-seven U.S. metros are included in the report that analyzes data on gross domestic product, employment, income (per capita GDP), and population, among other factors. Most of the rapidly growing metros lie outside the United States and Western Europe.
While the report concentrates primarily on the most recent data (2010 to 2011), it draws on information regarding the economic performance of metros dating back to 1993.
Metro areas specializing in commodities - such as Tulsa and Oklahoma City with their connection to oil and natural gas - and business-financial services exhibited the strongest performance in 2010-2011.
Those with high concentrations of non-market and other local sectors such as education, health care, government and construction experienced sluggish growth, according to the report.
Manufacturing accounted for the largest share of output growth in 59 metros from 2010 to 2011.
The Tulsa and Oklahoma City metros specialize in commodities, including extraction, processing and manufacturing related to the oil and gas industry, said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at the Metro Program and one of the Global MetroMonitor's authors, in a phone interview.
For the first half of 2011, oil prices were high, and as the global economy rebounded there was more demand for oil, he said.
Examining the industries that drove growth in the last year, the story is slightly different between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Berube said, noting several things played a role in Oklahoma City's growth, including commodities, manufacturing and transportation.
In the Tulsa metro, manufacturing accounts for about 15 percent of the region's economy but about 75 percent of the increase in output for 2010 to 2011, he said, pointing to manufacturing related to the petroleum industry.
Metro Oklahoma City's GDP ranks 155th, with a 2011 GDP of roughly $50 billion, while the Tulsa metro ranks 187th with a GDP of about $37 billion, Berube said.
Tulsa's income (per capita GDP) grew 1.1 percent from 2010 to 2011 while its employment grew 2 percent, according to the report.
The Tulsa area's per capita GDP was $37,402. Oklahoma City's per capita GDP grew 1.4 percent to $37,512.
A series of events across the world, including natural disasters, political unrest and policy tensions led to slower growth in both developed and developing countries in 2011, the report states.
The fastest-growing regions are in the developing world such as China, Latin American and Eastern Europe, Berube said.
In some of the bigger nations, there is a wide range of performance among metros. In the United States, for instance, Houston ranked 19th while Kansas City ranked 190th.
"It's the metro areas that are driving growth or holding back broader growth, depending on what they do and how well positioned they are," Berube said.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Metropolitan economic powerhousesTop 10 of the 200 fastest-growing metro economies, 1993-2011 (ranked by 2010-2011 performance).
1. Shanghai, China 2. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 3. Jiddah, Saudi Arabia 4. Izmir, Turkey 5. Hangzhou, China 6. Ankara, Turkey 7. Instanbul, Turkey 8. Shenzhen, China 9. Santiago, Chile 10. Shenyang, China
U.S. metros in the top 100
19. Houston 36. Dallas 46. Rochester, N.Y. 56. Milwaukee 61. San Jose, Calif. 68. Buffalo, N.Y. 70. Seattle 71. Boston 72. Detroit 73. Tulsa74. Austin, Texas 77. Louisville, Ky. 80. Salt Lake City 82. Oklahoma City89. Nashville, Tenn. 91. Pittsburgh 96. Minneapolis 98. Hartford, Conn. 100. Bridgeport, Conn.

By LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer Published: 1/18/2012 1:48 AM
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Look Ahead: Realtors Expect Home Sales to Recover in 2012

Look Ahead: Realtors Expect Home Sales to Recover By ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer 2011 was a relatively flat year for home sales overall, local sellers and builders are feeling optimistic going into 2012.

Rodger Erker, president of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, said he and his colleagues have experienced an uptick in sales over the last month, and he's hopeful that will continue.

"People are starting to regain their confidence," he said. "I think people are getting tired of putting off buying a house."

Rather than experience any sudden upswings, he expects the recovery to be slow but steady.
Additionally, he feels that the rock-bottom interest rates should stick around for a while longer.

"Unless something drastic happens, I'm not sure much could happen to cause them to go up," he said. "During election years, rates tend to stay where they are."

Erker believes that home sales in all price ranges will improve, particularly the $200,000 to $500,000 range, which was especially hard-hit during the recession.

Bill Butts, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, said he feels home construction is also headed for a more positive year based on early indications from builders.

"Several builders are already looking for a prosperous 2012," he said.

Butts said that higher consumer confidence, low interest rates and a relatively strong local economy should help lift home construction over last year, which was down 17 percent from 2010 through November.

Additionally, a few more builders are taking a risk and building speculative homes in hope they'll find buyers later, though that number is still far lower than custom jobs, he said.

"There's some builders starting to put some spec homes out there, and they are selling," Butts said.

Like home sales, Butts expects the rate of home construction growth will be moderate.

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