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Link in to Lincoln: May Update on the South

The South’s housing market continued its improvement in the first quarter. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing single-family home in the region climbed to $182,300 in the first quarter. That represents an increase of 8.2 percent from the same period in 2014.

The residential housing market is but one component of the Southern economy that is experiencing long-term growth. The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index, which measures the strength of the region’s manufacturing sector, totaled 57.6 in April. A score above 50 means the sector is growing, while one below the number indicates it’s contracting. The index has been above 50 in 15 of the past 16 months.

Additionally, industrial real estate markets in the South have improved significantly. Both metro Atlanta and Orlando have experienced vacancy rate declines of more than 1 percentage point since the end of second-quarter 2014, and metro South Florida’s vacancy rate sat at miniscule 5.8 percent when the first quarter concluded.

The trends discussed above are illuminated in more detail in the infographics below.