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Nashville: Clawing Out of Real Estate Hole

Reading the news every day, it's easy to see some reports designed to feather the beds of interested parties. Since the recession hit "positive or negative" reporting has been on the rise. Of course which end of the totem pole your interests are at determines largely what you believe. This is what reporters and the underlying businesses rely upon - your confusion and wishful thinking. This is the "long way around the barn" for explaining why every other story predicts the recession is over.

Cornelius Vanderbilt with Kirkland Hall in the background

Now that we have that circuitous mumbo jumbo out of the way - the gist of most news from the halls of real estate is that the story (or take) on news depends a great deal on vested interests. There I said it. A Realtor who gets his 15 minutes of fame on Bloomberg is going to spout whatever peddles his or her little red wagon - this is not rocket science. This is why when I began reading an interview with David Baker of Baker Storey McDonald my "oh brother" attitude engaged. I figured a partner at one of the South's biggest real estate companies, predicting Nashville real estate is about to turn around.... Well, such an interview could as likely be sheep dip as industry analysis.

Interestingly, even thankfully, I was wrong. Baker's dogma where Nashville is concerned is actually on the money. I initially thought "BS" when reading Baker's the "positives" like; the  Nissan's plant, the health care industry stability, and others of his upbeat analytics for Nashville Realtors - but then I did my own research. It turns out Baker knows his business.

Nippers Corner in Nashville is a BSM investment

Yes, Nashville foreclosures are still on the rise, and prices are still going down - but wait,  the good news is the are far below the national average - meaning, only slightly on the rise. As Baker points out, Nashville was never subjected to "over-building" for a variety of reasons. Therefore, inventories even in the worst times remained fairly fixed. In fact, Nashville is one of the only places in the country where new construction may be needed in certain sectors. For one instance, our coverage of Boyle Investments' Nashville commercial stimuli jives well with that of the Nashville Business Journal and Baker's view.

Finally, just as Baker and other experts in Nashville point out, Vanderbilt's health care extensions, amid other health care oriented business, stand to help ramp up new office building construction in the area significantly this year. Meanwhile, even though Nashville was hit hard in the employment arena, joblessness there is apparently easing off as a negative component of the area's economy. The rate is still above 9 percent, but it down nearly one and one half percent.

Future Nissan headquarters down the road to Memphis at Cool Springs

And it looks like the "high tech" industry there is slated to continue its growth spurt now. So, a positive attitude toward Nashville clawing out of the quagmire seems appropriate, even if "guarded" is how some should look at the situation there. As a final note, we did a little mini-analysis by visiting a couple of top Nashville commercial real estate sites - the end result reveals inventories for even companies like Cushman & Wakefield,  Grubb & Ellis, Eakin Partners, Cumberland Commercial, or a range of large commercial brokers seems overwhelming.

Of course middle Tennessee is covered up with real estate entities who offer collectively a lot of properties. But my point is, there seems to be a lot of room for high end units, most offer for lease properties in the medium range. Again, Baker's suggestion there is room for new commercial building seems sound - and any place in the US able to sustain new construction now has to be considered a positive market.

Stay tuned for more in depth coverage on emerging city markets.

Maybe day breaks for Nashville real estate?
Phil Butler

Phil Butler is a former engineer, contractor, and telecommunications professional who is editor of several influential online media outlets including part owner of Pamil Visions with wife Mihaela. Phil began his digital ramblings via several of the world’s most noted tech blogs, at the advent of blogging as a form of journalistic license. Phil is currently top interviewer, and journalist at Realty Biz News.

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