House prices in the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continue to drop, and housing sales are still half what they were in 2007, says Forbes. Why do we need to build more subdivisions now?
Morgan Brennan wrote for Forbes yesterday, Cities Where Home Prices Are Still Getting Hammered,
In 2007 when the housing bubble first began to burst across the Sun Belt, Valdosta, like other Georgia cities, seemed somewhat immune. “We didn’t see decreases in our market until around 2009,” says Missy Sherwood, an associate broker for Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate in Valdosta, a metropolitan area of 140,000 about halfway between Atlanta and Orlando. Once the housing downturn did take root in the area, though, prices began a 13% downward march, as the jobs market contracted, the foreclosure rate ballooned and buyer demand waned.
Today Valdosta homes are still losing value: prices dropped 7% from October 2011 through September 2012 and they are projected to shed another 4% over the next 12 months. The area has an unemployment rate of 8.3% — higher than the national 7.9% average. Scheduled defense spending cuts wrapped in the looming fiscal cliff could have a negative impact on the local economy as well. “We still have more houses on the market than buyers right now. It’s definitely a buyer’s market,” concedes Sherwood, even as she clings to hopes that the market will begin to balance itself out in 2013.
Valdosta is one of four Georgia metro areas