Real Estate Market: Spring Forward

  Carolinas’ Economy Showing Signs of Recovery   If you look closely, the grey skies of the Carolinas’ real estate market are starting to part. For buyers and sellers paralyzed in the past two years by the economic downturn, spring is bringing rays of hope after a long winter of discontent. “Activity should be picking up strongly in late spring as buyers continue to take advantage of the tax credit, which will help absorb distressed properties and inventory,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “With a downtrend in the number of homes on the market, values are beginning to firm but with great variance around the country.” In the Carolinas, average days on the market (DOM) for homes (from listing to contract) range from 99 in the Triangle to 115 days in Charlotte, according to BrokerMetrics. The median sold price for single-family homes continues to decrease, down 16 percent in Charlotte, 10 percent in the Triad and Upstate, and 7 percent in the Triangle, from February 2008, although median prices have begun to level as sellers are pricing more realistically. The most encouraging news, however, is announcements of job creation through relocations or expansions in all Allen Tate markets. Healthcare alliance Premier Inc., appliance leader Electrolux, and lawn equipment giant Husqvarna have announced plans to bring headquarters to the Charlotte region, resulting in more than 1,200 jobs. Siemens Energy will add 825 jobs by 2011, and Financial services outsourcer Zenta will bring 1,000 jobs to the region by 2015. The Triad region continues to grow with new jobs in the life and bioscience industry, with announcements by LabCorp (373 jobs) and Ameritox Ltd., (228 jobs) in Greensboro. Check vendor Harland Clarke Corp. brought 350 jobs to High Point during 2009. Significant announcements in the Research Triangle region include expansions of Duke University Health System (2,500 jobs); Affiliated Computer Services (465 jobs); and Credit Suisse (300 jobs); and the relocation of Deutsche Bank (319 jobs). In the Upstate, biotech and the automotive industry continue to dominate. Proterra brings 1,300 jobs with an automotive research facility at Clemson University. Hydraulics manufacturer Bosch Rexroth will add 50 jobs in Greenville County; American Truetzschler expands with 30 jobs in Greer; and Lab21 will create 65 jobs in Greenville.  You’ll be surprised how seeds of optimism will grow when nourished by the promise of a fertile economy. So if you’ve been waiting to buy or holding off selling, now is the time to spring forward.

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