Weak Polk County Economic Recovery

From article quoting Gary M. Ralston, CCIM, CPM, SIOR, a managing partner of SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty LLC

Polk Economic Recovery Among the Nation’s Weakest
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:24 p.m.

Polk County’s economic recovery is among the nation’s weakest, according to a new Brookings Institution report that shows Lakeland, Orlando, Tampa included in 20 worst performers of 100 largest U.S. metro areas.

“I think one of the things we have suffered from here that has stymied recovery is there hasn’t been a clear, distinct bottom on real estate prices,” said Gary Ralston, who tracks local employment and housing data and is managing partner of a Lakeland-based real estate firm.

“We are suffering from employment worse than the state and worse than the nation. We shouldn’t be surprised that we have real estate pricing (issues),” said Ralston, of SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty. “Until there’s a reversal in employment, I don’t think you’re going to have a reversal in (housing) demand.”

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. To view the full report online, visit www.brookings.edu/metro/MetroMonitor.aspx