If Warren Buffet is right (and given his track record of Berkshire stock appreciating from $15 in 1965 to $119,800, he very often is), the US will recover from its residential housing slump by 2011. “Within a year or so, residential housing problems should largely be behind us,” he wrote in his annual letter to Hathaway shareholders.
Most economists agree that a full-fledged recovery should begin this year, and based on last year’s performance, it is clear that some markets are prepared to grow more quickly than others in 2010. According to Builder magazine and their “Builder Market Health Index”, compiled by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, seven of the top 20 markets will be in the Carolinas, including the popular Brunswick County coastal corridor between Wilmington, North Carolina, at number 17 and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at number 15.
Wilmington – Strong employment and population growth, along with its location – minutes from the Atlantic Ocean – should prompt a turnaround in new home construction this year. A large historic district encompassing 300 city blocks, a new convention center debuting in 2010, and expansion at the Port of Wilmington combine for an excellent outlook for this coastal town in the coming year.
Myrtle Beach is another market that has benefitted from its fantastic location, adding new people to its population with one of the highest household formation rates in the country – 2.5% in 2009, with that rate expected to continue in 2010. Total building permit activity rose strongly, 47%, in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period a year earlier.
The coastal corridor between these two cities is known as Brunswick County, which remains one of the 100 fastest growing counties in the U.S. at number 68. Boasting four family-oriented beaches – Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Sunset Beach – and some of the best golf courses in the nation, Brunswick County is poised to share in the success of its neighboring coastal towns.