PARKERSBURG - In the wake of the announcement of 450 federal jobs moving to the Mid-Ohio Valley, local real estate professionals say the impact on the housing market will be a boost for Parkersburg and surrounding areas.
Linda McLean, manager of Coldwell Banker-Landmark Realtors, said even if the new jobs are moved to the area by the Bureau of the Public Debt over a period of time it is still a good thing for the area.
"From what I understood not a lot of people are coming from out of town at one time," she said. "Even if it is over time the housing market will benefit from that. We are doing pretty well this year compared to 2009."
McLean said the income levels of the new jobs will determine how much of an impact they will have.
"I don't know what level of workers they will be and what they will be able to afford," she said. "But when you add that many jobs, and there has not been a lot of new construction, the number of houses available is low, it will benefit our sellers."
McLean said while new home construction has been down, the new jobs will cause an increase in construction but not to huge levels.
"It may not be enough to spur a lot of new construction and we are seeing some already, but after the 2009 fiasco some of the builders held off for a while," she said. "We'll have to see what price range these new customers will be in," she said.
"This will cause a ripple effect as they will buy items for the new house and that will affect many others."
Another area that may benefit is the rental market; however, McLean said good rental houses are not plentiful in the area.
"Right now the rental market is difficult; it is hard to find good houses since they stay rented and finding them may be a problem," she said.
Butch Shaver, commercial sales and leasing for Old Colony Realtors, said sellers will benefit from the influx of employees.
"It will be huge; it will be tremendous for the whole market and it will lift it up and it will be good for sellers and new construction," he said. "This will be good for existing homes in the market."
Shaver said there is not a glut of houses on the market, meaning existing houses and new construction will be in demand.
"Both will be impacted since there is not a lot of inventory right now," he said. "Right now the question is the income level of these jobs."
Shaver said he sees a large impact on the rental market.
"I manage a lot of property but I can't keep up with demand," he said. "Apartments are available but like anything else if they are well managed and well kept, they rent. This will be great for our market."
Shaver added if the jobs do move it will do more than improve the housing market.
"There will be so many spinoffs," he said. "When they start it will help the builder with new houses and give the public more confidence in the economy and will cause people to keep their property well maintained. It will be a huge plus."
Butch Joseph, president of Parkersburg Area Board of Realtors and realtor at Prudential Preferred Homes, said the number of people relocating will have a great impact on the market.
"Anytime we relocate 400 families it will have a positive impact," he said.
Locally, he said, the inventory of available homes is lower than in most areas.
"I don't feel inventory is high, but home sales are taking longer than normal and that will help homebuilders," he said. "Nationally the market crashed, but locally we did not experience the boom. We had a slow rate of appreciation, solid and steady."
Joseph said rental properties could be in demand for some of the more cautious buyers.
"They may not like the area, so they may want to test the waters," he said. "Obviously this is a different lifestyle, some may not like it since they are used to the bigger cities, while others may be from small towns and cities and they will like it."
Regardless, he said, those thinking of selling should be preparing.
"It's a good time to look at improvements to get ready for the market," he said.