Monday, February 23, 2009

The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009

Heres' a great article by Boyce Thompson
Builder, in conjunction with Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, debuts its metric for determining markets with the best and least potential.

With most economists and builders expecting a national market decline this year, this may not seem like the best time to be selecting the "healthiest" markets in the country. Virtually every market was down last year. But a close look at the numbers reveals that some markets have way outperformed others during the last four years and are likely to continue to do so this year.

When the housing market stages its official recovery, the markets listed on the following pages are likely to lead the parade. It may take a year or more for the weakest markets--where burgeoning foreclosure sales are still pounding new home values, making building and selling new homes an exercise in futility-- to finally stage a turnaround. We’ll present that list next week.

The healthiest markets have many things in common. Most of them are great places to live, either close to the ocean, mountains, or major universities. Most of them didn’t have a huge run-up in prices during the boom and aren’t experiencing rampant deflation during the bust.

To compile these lists, we analyzed the top 75 housing markets in the country. We ranked them based on population trends and job growth, perennial drivers of housing demand. We also examined what’s happened with home prices; many of the healthiest markets have managed to hold the line on home values. And finally, we considered the rate building permits, which may be the single best ongoing indicator of builder confidence in a market. We combined all these metrics to produce a score for each market. Here are the top 15, in reverse order.

The Healthiest Markets for 2009

15. Myrtle Beach, S.C.

2008 total building permits: 3,211

Though permit activity dropped sharply last year, Myrtle Beach remains one of the hottest markets in the country, especially when you analyze the number of permits pulled per resident. Only 263,287 people live in the Myrtle Beach metro area, which until recently had been growing its population by nearly 5 percent a year. That means builders pulled one permit for every 82 residents. A steady influx of people, many of them retirees, are drawn by close proximity to the ocean and 117 golf courses at last count. That has helped keep home prices steady; they fell only 10 percent last year to a very affordable $174,800. Most of the home building is split between Brunswick and New Hanover counties. Jobs are dependent on the tourist industry, though, and the metro area was rocked last year when a $400 million rock-and-roll themed amusement part, Hard Rock Park, opened and then filed for bankruptcy. Myrtle Beach added jobs last year, but as of December employment was decreasing at a 4.2 percent rate compared to a year earlier.

Busiest builders: Centex Homes, D.R. Horton, Beazer Homes, Bill Clark Homes, Pasquinelli/Portrait Homes

14. Wilmington, N.C.

2008 total building permits: 3,551

Wilmington has the second highest ratio of permits pulled per resident, behind only Myrtle Beach. The population here, 352,919 by Census estimates, has been growing at a 4 percent annual rate for the last five years, well above the national average. Primary residents are drawn by a four-season climate, close proximity to Atlantic beaches, and affordable housing. Median home prices, at $198,700, are just about the national average. The area gave back 1,000 jobs last year, after gaining 19,000 the previous three years. Wilmington has had a 60 percent decline in permit activity since 2005, around the national average, but its track record for population growth helps it make this list. 

13. Charlotte, N.C.

2008 total building permits: 12,231

People and businesses must love Charlotte, because they are moving there at a high rate. The metro area of 1.74 million has grown its residents by 4 percent annually over the last five years, one of the highest rates in the country. They are drawn by relatively affordable housing for the east coast—median home prices are only $210,900, and they’ve only "corrected" downward by only 4.2 percent in the last year. A strong fourth quarter helped Charlotte record 12,231 permits last year, only a 44 percent decline since 2005. Charlotte’s strength relative to other markets led the investment banking firm UBS to predict last year that it would be one of the first markets to recover from the housing downturn. Charlotte is still a single-family market, with 62 percent of the residential activity in stand-alone homes. The job market in this banking hub contracted last year, after growing 3 to 5 percent annually the previous three years.

Busiest builders: C.P. Morgan, NVR/Ryan Homes, Pulte Homes, Centex Homes, KB Home

Charlotte North Carolina Real Estate--A Great Investment!

Information you can use-Charlotte NC Housing

As of today…February 23, 2009

Here are some hard facts to consider when you’re thinking about the Charlotte NC Housing Market.

  • There were 282 solds in Mecklenburg County from Feb 1 to Feb 23.
  • Union County had 69 Solds during the same period.

Is this the kind of information you want??? You bet it is… It continues to show that our market is moving, not as fast as we’d like but it’s not dead in the water.

Send me your thoughts and comments.

Have a terrific day.


Charlotte NC Real Estate

Charlotte NC Housing Market---What’s on your Mind?

Charlotte NC real estate market is on everyone’s mind and I would like to address your questions and concerns.

We here at Jamison Realty have always taken a positive approach towards our local real estate market.

Sure you say the market is down!! We all know that…but that brings so much opportunity. When working with clients I try to explain you may not get what you thought your home was worth a year ago…. But…..ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???? You can buy a home you couldn’t afford a year ago.

So what’s on your mind?

Send me your thoughts and comments and I’ll address them here. We’ll also try and address these comments on our radio show. WBT=Talk Radio, 1110am every Saturday from 2 to 3.

Have a terrific day.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Pointers for Purchasing a House that Will Maintain Value

Dear Rich –

We are relocating to the Carolinas and are looking at different communities in which to buy. We’re unfamiliar with the region and want to make sure our house holds (and hopefully increases in) value. What should we be looking for to make sure we’re making a good investment?

The Aldens

Dear Aldens,

When you buy any home, the first thing to consider is whether it suits your taste, your needs and your budget, and whether you love the feel of the community. Buying a house for investment purposes alone is a mistake, unless it’s exclusively an investment and you don’t intend to live there.

With that said, some points to consider are:

-->Whether or not you have children in school, be sure the schools are academically sound;
-->All houses in the neighborhood should be well-maintained. Houses that are in disrepair bring down the value of the neighborhood
-->Don’t be tempted to purchase the biggest, most expensive house on the block.
-->Consider the location. Is it in a desirable community?
-->Look for a house on a street where you’re not backing on to a high traffic thoroughfare and parents wouldn’t fear having children play in the yard.
-->Are there highways, an airport or factory very close by that produce noise or pollution?
-->Are there highways close enough to provide easy access for commuters?
-->Are there nearby amenities, such as a post office, supermarkets, drug stores, a park and malls?
-->How are the taxes compared to comparable nearby communities?
-->Are the services covered by the taxes comparable to nearby communities also?

If the house you want to purchase adheres to these guidelines, and especially purchasing now when values are low, your house should maintain and probably increase in value, depending on how long you live there.

At Jamison, we serve families relocating to the Carolinas all the time and would be happy to help find your dream home here. Please give our relocation office a call at 704-846-3663 or

Best regards,
Rich Ferretti

Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mint Hill, NC Networking

Making the Most of Chamber Events: Visibility

By Rich Ferretti

The Mint Hill Chamber has 3 events every month. Are you taking full advantage of these networking opportunities? Are you meeting new people? Are you letting other people get to know you?

Too often we attend these events and behave as if we are there just to swap business cards—moving person to person pulling out our cards, giving a quick “elevator speech” and moving on. Stop putting your business card in their face and asking for business! Your first step when at a networking event should always be to build the relationship. That’s Visibility.

Or perhaps you aren’t comfortable passing cards out like candy. Think back to a time when you walked into a room full of people and didn’t know anyone. How uncomfortable did you feel? Did you silently say, “This is the last event I’ll ever attend? Of course you did! We’ve all said that.

And then there are those times when you luckily spot someone you know and zoom… off you go to the same person or group you see each event! It is human nature to gravitate to people we know in a room full of people. However, a Chamber event is a networking event—and networking means meeting with new people, building on relationships, building new relationships.
What about the new member who just joined the Chamber and is attending their first event? Have you ever considered that person’s feelings? As a Chamber member, it’s our responsibility to take the initiative and make that person feel welcomed and introduce them to people you know. Again, think back to when you felt you walked into your first Chamber meeting…wouldn’t you have wanted someone to do this for you?

Each meeting, make it a point to meet at least one new person at each chamber event. You will alleviate your own discomfort by taking the initiative and making at least one person feel welcomed! Introduce them to people you know.

Most of all, listen to what each person has to say first before saying a word.  Really listen… stop thinking of what you’re going to say, and just start listening.

There’s an old saying: God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them proportionately.

Next time: Moving from Visibility to Credibility

For more information on networking, call or email Rich Ferretti.

Remember, it’s our Chamber, let’s make the most of the experience.

Visit Rich Ferretti on Active Rain

You can find great local Mint Hill, North Carolina real estate information on Rich Ferretti is a proud member of the ActiveRain Real Estate Network, a free online community to help real estate professionals grow their business.

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