Top 40 Business Expansion Markets for 2006

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ExpansionManagement.com released it’s findings yesterday for the Top 40 expansion markets in the country. Heading up the list for growth potential this year is New Orleans with its rebuilding opportunities, followed by Tulsa, El Paso, Burningham and Oklahoma City.

Salt Lake City makes the list at #23, showing the Utah real estate market’s continuing strength. And ranks #50 on it’s list of America’s Hottest Cities. That list puts Nashville at the top spot ahead of Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas and San Antonio.

Describing where the information comes, the company says, “As in years past, the primary sources of data for the Top 40 Real Estate Markets ranking are The National Real Estate Index (NREI), which is produced by Global Real Analytics (www.nrei.info), for the 1st quarter of 2006; Grubb & Ellis’ Office Market Trends and Industrial Market Trends (www.grubb-ellis.com) for the 2nd quarter 2006; and RS Means’ 2006 Construction Cost Index (CCI), a product line of Reed Construction Data (www.rsmeans.com).”

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The Salt Lake area is already seeing historically low unemployment and job growth that is ranked fourth in the nation.

“Jobs — there seems to be a lot of them brewing in this state,” said Mark Knold, senior economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “We’re approaching 5 percent employment growth, combined with the unemployment rate continuing to go lower. It really is very low. . . . This is an economy maxed out, an economy going at full speed, 80 miles an hour on a 70 mile-an-hour highway.”

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