WilmingtonBiz Magazine

Editor's Note: New Kids On The Block

By Vicky Janowski, posted Mar 24, 2022
Vicky Janowski
Disclaimer: I’m not a native Wilmingtonian. I was born in North Carolina, but I’m not one of those you meet serendipitously around town who can boast about actually being from here. So, take all this with a grain of salt.
But, adopted neighbors, have you noticed something – different lately?  
It seems every week, I run across someone who’s moved here recently (somehow lucking out on a home listing) from such far-flung places as L.A. and New York and Raleigh. I started noticing it online during the pandemic’s first year and now in-person at events.
It’s déjà vu for anyone here during the arrival of Interstate 40 in 1990 and the housing boom in the mid-2000s.
Out-of-state license plates appear, new housing developments spring up and online comments get crankier about traffic.
I moved here 15 years ago from Atlanta, drawn by the possibility of after-work beach jaunts and short commutes. I have to remind myself of that every day at 5 p.m. on College Road. (When it gets really bad in the summer, I think about a trip back to Atlanta a few years ago when the main roadways saw lane shutdowns because of a bridge collapse, buckled interstate road and chemical spill – simultaneously. It grounds me for that third stoplight cycle onto Oleander.)
The pandemic, rise in remote working and growth of certain employers in the area has fueled a new cycle of professional workers to Wilmington. That, coupled with the same soaring home sale prices that ushered in a wave of retirees here more than a decade ago, has put “So, where did you move from?” into heavy rotation at networking events.
As always with growth and new neighbors, the discussion intensifies about development planning, job creation and housing costs – especially for middle-income workers.  
For this year’s annual Residential Real Estate issue, we explore several of those topics and how they are impacting not only the housing industry but the area’s economy and quality of life.
We look at the spread of housing construction into the neighboring areas of Brunswick and Pender counties in “Outer Limits” here.  
The ongoing discussion over solutions to address affordable housing is the topic of “Never Enough” here.
Low inventory for available homes is one of the trends the real estate market is seeing. You can read more about the others here.
And get a quick snapshot of the market overall by clicking here.
Click here to get an overview of other commercial real estate and development news being talked about in the region.
Whether you’re an OG, a longtimer or a recent transplant, consider this year’s issue an update on the Wilmington area and what to expect next.
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