January 25, 2010
10-016

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Business Research Center To Provide Real Estate Forecasts

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) has established a contract with First State Bank of Valdosta (FSB) to provide real estate market assessment services for Valdosta and Lowndes County.

FSB has previously produced an in-house market analysis; however, the new partnership will empower the CBER to generate semi-annual online reports on both residential and commercial markets. CBER Director Cliff Lipscomb is working now to establish a template for the first year's reports, which will be published in June and December of this year.

"First State Bank intends for the collaboration and its products to make assessment processes more transparent and to add coverage of the commercial sector," said Lipscomb, who has taught economics at VSU for five years. "Local businesses and individuals can use our semi-annual reports to make informed decisions regarding their real estate interests."

According to the project's statement of work, each report will provide a real estate industry overview with national and state-level perspectives, as well as a county-level analysis and short-term projections for key market indicators, such as building permits, vacancy rates, market absorption rates, etc… The new real estate assessments will also include a 6-month forecast for the local markets.

CBER personnel will gather opinions from local experts, collect data via Web-based surveys and analyze publicly available data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and local lending institutions to identify trends and create projections regarding future movements within real estate markets.

"We are very pleased that VSU has agreed to take on this important project and are proud to be affiliated with its production," said David Durland, president and CEO of First State Bank. "We feel that the entire community will benefit by providing local "stakeholders" with consistent, tangible and reliable information on the market, thereby assisting our community to develop in an economically sound manner."

Lipscomb said he expects the first reports to be available in June with follow-up reports in December. He hopes the CBER will develop additional partnerships to replicate this type of study in other areas within the university's 41-county service area and other areas in Georgia.

A service arm of VSU's Harley Langdale College of Business Administration, the CBER supports regional economic development and promotes activities that strengthen the competitive positions of regional business within VSU's 41-county service area. Call Lipscomb at (229) 245-3774 or e-mail him at calipscomb@valdosta.edu for more information.