BIA and ECAR Hold joint Economic and Housing Forecast

Special to The Log

Get the inside scoop at the annual Economic and Housing Forecast Jan. 14 hosted by the Building Industry Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties and the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, both based in Fort Walton Beach.

The event, which will be held at the Ramada Plaza on Miracle Strip Parkway in Fort Walton Beach, will include predictions and explanations about what present indicators are foretelling by three economic experts. They are Jessica Dill, senior research analyst with the Center for Real Estate Analytics at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Gail Psilos, public information manager and economic and financial education specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; and Chris Burkart, senior research economist with the Office of Economic Development and Engagement and economics professor at the University of West Florida.

During the program many topics will be covered by the trio including national-level topics such as economic growth prospects, monetary and fiscal policy and inflation.

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee last met suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace,” Psilos said.

The forecast will also cover local and regional topics including employment trends, retail sales employment composition and the housing market.

 “As for the local housing market, given the information that's available right now I've seen forecasts of slow increases in prices over the next year, maybe on the order of 2~2.5 percent or so, probably only slightly outpacing inflation,” Burkhart said. “A lot depends on new household formation and the existing housing stock. Individual neighborhoods that still have foreclosures in them will probably not increase as quickly, whereas those that have done well over the last year will do better.”

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast at 8 and the program starting at 8:30. Admission is $25 per person. To register, contact the BIA at 850-863-5107 or ECAR at 850-243-6145.