It has been a tough few years in the housing market, and the Greater Springfield area hasn’t been immune. A frequent question on the minds of many is: “When will recovery begin?” The truly astute are wondering: “Where will the housing recovery take hold first?”
A clue to the answer to that question may have come this week, when Forbes.com released its list of the top ten housing markets in America for investors. The Springfield, MO MSA made the list at number nine.
From the story: “To select the best markets for investing, Local Market Monitor (a North Carolina – based real estate research firm) analyzed the 145 Metropolitan Statistical Areas with populations over 400,000 on a variety of factors, including historic population growth, job growth, housing price changes and the mix of jobs in an area, using data through Sept. 1. The investing sweet spot is a market where strong job growth is predicted over the next three years, the population was expanding rapidly before the recession began and home prices are at or near their bottom.”
The story could foretell good news for home builders, buyers and sellers. But it also represents a strong vote of confidence for the near-term strength of the region from an economic development perspective. Consider these excerpts from the story:
- “LMM wasn’t looking for markets that had come back–this list identified where they think the housing market will come back, with the greatest chance for price appreciation.”
- “These are markets that in the past year have had sharp turndowns but we think they have longer-term potential,” says Wizner. “Markets with longer-term prospects in general have had above-average population growth between 2000 and 2005.”
As encouraging as it is for many that Springfield is a market expected to come back stronger and sooner than most, not every real estate investment here is necessarily a good one. Experts agree that the future holds a very different and dicier investment picture from what became the norm before the downturn. Investors will have to pay more attention than ever to studying precisely where those market opportunities exist here. They will have to be much more sophisticated about investment decisions in the future than most were in the past. That’s why the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield made the decision last year to invest in bringing and making available locally an unprecedented level of construction market research and forecasting data. As the local market supplier of MarketGraphics research, the HBA brings invaluable insight to its members, lenders, and the broader real estate industry as an important tool for making careful, wise choices, even in the early stages of recovery.
Still, for many, it will be comfort enough to simply know that there ARE wise choices for real estate investment here. Many in local real estate have become accustomed to the view that, as difficult as it has been in the local housing market, they’d rather do what they do here than anywhere else in the country. Now, it appears, Forbes agrees.
Forbes Article: America’s Best Housing Markets For Investors
Francesca Levy’s Forbes.com column: Real Estate Investing is All the Rage Again. Should You Cash In?