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krazeeboi

Will the South's housing market bounce back more quickly?

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Given that economic growth in much of the Sunbelt was based on construction and the expanding housing industry, will the South bounce back more quickly than other regions of the country, or will it take us longer? Interestingly, Builder magazine has just released a list predicting the healthiest housing markets for 2009 and the top 15 markets are essentially all Southern cities with Texas leading the pack: Myrtle Beach (15), Wilmington (14), Charlotte (13), Nashville (11), Fayetteville, AR (9), Raleigh (6), Dallas (5), San Antonio (4), Forth Worth (3), Austin (2), and Houston (1). To be fair, a few Southern cities made the list on the opposite end, with Florida cities rounding out the bottom 15: Lakeland (62), Miami (65), Melbourne(67), Ft. Lauderdale (69), Naples (70), Daytona Beach (71), West Palm Beach (72), and Port St. Lucie (73).

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I think the south's housing market will probably bounce quicker than the rest of the nation, especially if you exclude the FL market. Most of the south didn't experience the speculative building of the Southwest and FL and the dynamics that were driving our growth before the crash will be here when we start to emerge from this 'recession.'

Good weather, a pro-business attitude, and high quality of life in most metros. However, it may be 2011 or 2012 before we see any true vigor in our housing market and then it will only be a shadow of what it was in 2004-2007.

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The Greater Columbus, GA region including Lee County, AL (Auburn-Opelika) and Troup County are expected to begin to see a mini boom later this year lasting through 2012. Fort Benning, GA adjacent to Columbus and the Alabama border in Russell County will receive over 10,000 in personnel over the next 3 years which is expected to translate into 30,000 +/- in new population. Troup County, GA, just north of Columbus and on the Alabama border with Chambers County is home to the new Kia production facility that will begin full production Fall '09.

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer article: CLE_BRAC_Kia.pdf

CLE_BRAC_Kia.pdf

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Quickly, as a relative term - I think the South will. But I think it would be unrealistic to expect a swift return to the kind of real estate landscape that we saw 1990-2006. The military towns - Columbus, Fayetteville, Tidewater VA - are wildcards, given the influx they will be absorbing. And Florida is seriously in a bad way, and the readjustment there is going to hurt for a while, though it may also offer opportunities for genuinely creative and innovative developers.

But excluding Florida and the military cities, the majority of southern metropolitan areas were somewhat overbuilt, at least in cookie-cutter starter home developments, and there's a serious glut of that stuff out there, and some of those neighborhoods are well into a downward spiral already. At the moment, Raleigh is the fastest growing city in the US, and even in Raleigh, real estate is moribund. Prices haven't collapsed as they have elsewhere, but sales have slowed quite a bit, and there are major developments that have gone into hiatus - at least 2 1000+ home developments. I would expect that the landscape around Richmond, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte or in the SC Upstate is similar. None of those cities have seen the precipitous collapse, but I would expect that things will pick up at a more reasonable speed for quite some time, and the smart cities will use that adjustment of pace to rethink how they grow.

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Quickly, as a relative term - I think the South will. But I think it would be unrealistic to expect a swift return to the kind of real estate landscape that we saw 1990-2006. The military towns - Columbus, Fayetteville, Tidewater VA - are wildcards, given the influx they will be absorbing. And Florida is seriously in a bad way, and the readjustment there is going to hurt for a while, though it may also offer opportunities for genuinely creative and innovative developers.

More news Columbus, GA's housing market is 'thawing'. Ledger-Enquirer story attached.LE_090330_HousingThaw.pdf

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