Despite quarterly interest rate hikes during the past year, new housing construction remains strong around our region. Local experts say that's a reliable sign that our economy is doing well.
While the national economy has been unsteady, local home construction inspectors say the new home marking has been growing steadily and they've got the numbers to prove it.
In 2004, more than 200 new homes were built in Valdosta with another 600-plus going up in Lowndes County. New home growth has been strong in early 2005 as well with 58 new homes already in the Azalea City and 142 new homes in Lowndes County.
Mike Martin, the director of new home inspections, says, "That just tells you that the economy here is continuing to grow, that this area is experiencing phenomenal growth and I really don't know what's bringing it all here."
Local real estate brokers say Valdosta-Lowndes County will not be able to contain the explosive residential growth in the future, and that's why they're expecting that growth to spill into neighboring counties like Lanier.
Ron Borders, a real estate broker, says, "Lakeland-Lanier County will continue to develop and will continue to see more growth in the Lakeland area. The thing that would help that area is if we could four-lane the highway for Lakeland-Lanier County into Valdosta."
While some of those kinds of projects are still a long time off, experts don't see an end to the increasing number of local homes.
Martin adds, "I see nothing but continued growth."
That should be good news for local governments who will enjoy a growing tax base and businesses that can enjoy even more customers.
Housing officials in north Florida also say the future of new home construction continues to look bright as the economy continues to improve.