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Four N.C. Counties Could Face Housing Boom

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RALEIGH — Growth worries are always a problem in North Carolina whether it is a big city like Raleigh or a smaller town like Siler City.

Some counties face tough challenges in finding places for development. However, according to one renowned expert, North Carolina could face another boom in housing.

Real estate analyst Bernard Helm predicts the next big wave of development may come inChatham, Lee,Orange, andGranvillecounties.

"As housing in Wake County -- the focus of the marketplace, which 10 years ago, had 75 percent of the new homes that were being built in the Triangle -- now only produces about 64 percent of the homes being built in the Triangle. That marketplace is going to the periphery," Helm said.

One of the keys to having new development is having the roads in place to get to and from the Triangle, like Highway 64 in eastern Chatham County, which is expanding to four lanes. Still, large-scale development in certain places may be a few years out.

Some areas of Chatham County have not seen a population boom since the turn of the century.

William Duke, a subcontractor, says his business is already heating up.

"It seems to be coming this way," Duke said. "I mean it looks pretty good right here, and then I've been doing some work down the road."

Jerry Radman, a developer, questions Helm's theory of development.

"Infrastructure is one of the large concerns," Radman said. "Do the counties have the infrastructure to support the development?"

Many developers are hedging their bets, reserving the right to buy land, but not purchasing it.

Dave Servoss, a builder, says the building process could take anywhere from a year or two or three.

"There's a big learning curve that has to take place before you actually start building houses, and that's starting to take place now," Servoss said.

While growth has slowed down in metro areas, it certainly has not stopped. Higher density growth in the form of townhouses could be the trend.


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