MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Several commercial projects are under construction around Memphis.
A few examples include the major Laurelwood development in East Memphis and a trucking center at the old Mall of Memphis site near Perkins and I-240. Those all are good signs of a rebounding economy.
However, one sector hasn’t come back as quickly in the Mid-South.
Projects seem to be popping up everywhere. The weather is warm and construction has begun.
However, you might notice throughout Shelby County there hasn’t been a whole lot of home construction, although experts say that’s not always a bad thing.
“Just a good housing market. It’s healthy right now,” said Wendy Greenlaw.
Greenlaw is a business development manager with the Chandler Reports, which tracks and analyzes real estate data in Shelby County. She explained the recent developments with the Shelby County housing market.
In 2005 and 2006 Memphis was at it’s peak, 3,000 to 4,000 new homes in inventory. After the housing market crash: less than 1,000.
Now the issue becomes about supply and demand.
“There’s a lack of vacant lots here for builders to build upon. So we’ve seen lot sales increase, new home sales prices increase. Last year in 2016, Memphis, Shelby County recorded the highest new home sales price. On record. Ever, it was over $300,000,” explained Greenlaw.
Greenlaw calls it a seller’s market.
“Last year new home permits ticked up. They were the highest level we’ve seen since 2007 since before the market crashed, so it’s great news we’re getting that influx again of new homes, however the prices are so high and they’re building bigger homes because that’s what their market demands,” she said.
So where does the market go from here?
“They’re just gonna have to start opening up more areas. Try to get developers to come in and commit the money to lend to them again. Which we’re seeing, new construction loans coming back, which is positive news because for years there were no construction loans being issued.”
Greenlaw says other hot areas besides for development and homes are Midtown or Crosstown since it’s tough to find new land to build on when something comes up for sale, it’s snatched up quick.