Jobs key to housing recovery, and some cities look better than others

        Economists and the man on the street generally agree that the housing market will not recover until the jobs market does.  An unemployment rate of 9.5% is not going to help chip away at the inventory of houses for sale, more than a year’s worth currently.

Local Market Monitor, a service based in Cary, NC, that does essentially what its name implies, indicates in its latest newsletter that 100 of the 315 markets it covers are creating jobs again.  Among these are Charleston, Austin, Augusta and Durham, NC.  As we wrote recently, if you are looking for a golf community home and are not set on what city should be nearby, looking at the most stable ones -- those that are creating jobs -- makes sense.  There are excellent golf communities and non-golf housing options in all of these city areas; contact us and we can give you our take on the best.

        Other optimistic words of wisdom from Local Market Monitor:


“…Consumers are spending again. Retail spending dropped about 12 percent during the recession, and is up 7 percent this year. Big-ticket items like cars, furniture and TVs lag behind, but spending for clothes is back to pre-recession levels [and Internet shopping is up 15 percent].”


“Big spending won't happen for another year or so…but consumers' financial situation is already getting better: credit cart delinquencies dropped from almost 7 percent in early 2009, to 4.8 percent in the second quarter. A normal level is around 3 percent.”


“What does all this mean for real estate markets? The average home price was down almost 7 percent in the last year, and we forecast another 3 percent drop in the next 12 months. But the remaining damage is confined to a handful of really bad markets. Others have already hit bottom, including San Jose and the Los Angeles area, or will do so shortly, and some are good bets for the longer term: Bethesda, Charleston, Jacksonville, Albuquerque, Portland, even Stockton and Modesto.”


According to Local Market Monitor, Charleston, SC, is a "good bet" for the longer term which could mean an uptick in sales at upscale communities like Briar's Creek on nearby Johns Island.

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