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Bullochs building boom is not slowing down
Inside Bulloch Business
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    Today is cold, hard facts day. We're talking single family residential construction and single family residential home sales here in Bulloch County. People may think this isn't exciting "stuff," but it really is.
    There is much being made of housing "starts" and existing home sales by the national media and economic forecasters. Starts and sales tend to be important bell weathers, in conjunction with many other factors, of our country's economic health. The general consensus seems to be if housing is being built and sold at a strong clip, then the economy must be booming.
    The nation, including Bulloch County and southeast Georgia, has been in such a building boom over the last three to four years,  that economists have watched with great interest anticipating and predicting the bubble burst in real estate sales that is sure to come.
    Just ask those selling real estate in the markets identified as inflated – case in point, as our neighbor to the south, Florida – and they will tell you that prices are dropping and the red hot demand is gone.
    So, in all of this real estate hullabaloo, where is unassuming Bulloch County? In local vernacular, compared to other areas, we're "sitting pretty" for the time being.
    Housing starts have increased significantly over last year and housing sales are continuing at a record pace. Translation: we live in an affordable, and more importantly, desirable part of the country. Here are a few numbers that I feel substantiate my claims.
    Based on housing permits obtained through October of this year, single family residential construction starts in the county should eclipse those in 2005 by 22 percent totaling almost 600 for 2006. That would exceed the record setting housing construction pace set in 2004 when 565 permits were "pulled."
    Where does that leave our existing residential sales market? "Loving life", as the saying goes. Through the end of this October, home sales in Bulloch County were up 22 percent over the same period in 2005.
    Let me toss a few statistics your way. In the $200,00 to $300,000 dollar range, sales are up 66 percent over last year. Wait a minute, it gets better. In the $300,000 and over price range, housing sales have increased over 87.5 percent from the same period in 2005.
    I am not naive enough to think that Bulloch County's residential housing market is  recession proof . But I do think in a time of real estate instability we do have one thing going for us – location, location, location. Pat yourselves on the back, we're doing something right.
    Until next week, I bid adieu.

    Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at jmoore@statesboroherald.net