The sounds of hammers and saws could ring out a little louder in the bluegrass in 2013. So says Chris Bollinger, Director for the Center of Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. Bollinger looks for more residential construction over the next 12 months. “And I think we’re going to begin to see new construction. Housing starts are beginning to climb in Lexington as they are in Louisville and Cincinnati as well. And I think we’ll begin to see that new construction going in 2013. It will probably be 2014 before we really see the housing starts index for Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati return to their historic trends,” said Bollinger.
Bollinger says another good sign can be found in housing vacancy rates under two percent. Bollinger says Lexington just didn’t feel the same economic impacts found in two other larger nearby cities.
“You know Cincinnati is a larger market so it going to be more buffeted by the macro economy. Louisville is a larger market. It’s also gonna be buffeted by the macro economy. If you go out in smaller towns in eastern Kentucky and central Kentucky, they were even less affected by this housing crisis than Lexington. So, I think a big part of it is we’re a smaller economy,” added Bollinger.
The Gatton Economics professor was one of several speakers at the annual Economic Outlook Conference in downtown Lexington Tuesday.