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Posted by on December 21, 2014

It might not entirely be out of the woods but the US economy ended the year a lot stronger than it began.

With most major markets, including property, recording gains in the second half of the year, President Barack Obama said the “recovery was real.”

Obama gave an end of year address last week and said 2014 had been a “year of action” on the economy.

He said the US had benefited from “more jobs, more people with medical insurance, a growing economy, shrinking deficits and bustling industry.”

He also pointed out the US had become the world’s leading producer of oil and gas.

Happier times for the US economy than the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/08, government bail-outs to industry and the severe downturn in the property market.

Residential property in the US posted strong gains in 2014, with most major centres enjoying growth.

A report published by accounting firm PwC and the Urban Land Institute titled Emerging Trends in Real Estate said the growth in residential and commercial property should continue in to 2015.

“Unlike previous reports and previous cycles, we are seeing sustained growth,” said Mitch Roschelle, partner, US real estate advisory practice leader, PwC.

“In the past several years, we reported that real estate market participants’ main fears revolved around the uncertainty with the economy. Now, the trepidation in their eyes has more to do with the ability of the growing real estate markets to adapt to a series of mega trends impacting society and the global economy. These mega trends include accelerating urbanization, demographic shifts and the impact of disruptive technological advancements.”

ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips pointed to the continued rise of markets other than the largest coastal cities as top choices for overall real estate prospects. Houston and Austin, which are ranked first and second, respectively, topped San Francisco as favorites for 2015; Charlotte NC, in seventh place, is rated higher than Seattle and Boston; and Nashville, ranked at 13, tops Manhattan.

“Investors are looking closely at opportunities beyond the core markets. These cities are positioning themselves as highly competitive, in terms of livability, employment offerings, and recreational and cultural amenities,” Phillips said.