Monday, March 7, 2011

Wilmington NC Named to BUILDER MAGAZINE TOP 20 Housing Markets

Wilmington, NC named to Builder Magazine Top 20 Real Estate Markets-#16
Market Health Indicator: 65.0
2011 Building Permit Forecast: 2,578
Percent Change in Building Permits: 41%
Economic conditions in Wilmington, a coastal town with low-paying jobs and above-average unemployment, may not seem that great to locals. But the town's stabilizing economy and inexpensive housing for a beach town (the median price of a home is only $171,000) make it look pretty good to outsiders. Wilmington continues to enjoy some of the strongest population growth in the country--2% annually for the last several years.
The good news for locals is that business is picking up; it helped drive a slight increase in non-farm employment last year. Business analysts believe the region's low business costs, diverse industrial base, and desirable living environment, augur well for strong growth in years ahead.
Unfortunately, Wilmington's unemployment rate is expected to recede slowly, due in part to the influx of new people looking for work. Median home prices, which peaked at $221,000 in 2006, had fallen only 27% to $171,000 through last year. They are expected to remain at about that level for the next two years. Building permit activity rose 22% last year, and it's expected to rise twice as fast this year.

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