Georgia expected to outperform nation in growth, report says

by Rincey Abraham

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Georgia is expected to outperform the nation in population growth, job creation and the rate of real estate expansion, according to Urban Land Magazine.

The magazine looked at the strong growth occurring in the Southeast and found that Georgia was one of the main leaders in population, economic expansion and growth.

“Housing and real estate development will be a powerful driver of Georgia’s economy this year,” Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, said to the magazine. “Powering this building surge is the state’s population gain, which will exceed the national average this year, at 1.4 percent for Georgia versus 0.8 percent for the United States.”

According to John Chang, first vice president of research services, at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the retail vacancy rate in Atlanta has fallen 6.4 percent this year with larger shopping centers showing up around the city.

Despite headline news of layoffs from certain Atlanta corporations like Coca-Cola, the city’s workforce is expected to increase by 68,000 employees because of the expansion and relocation of a number of companies to the city.

“Companies including Comcast, Equifax, State Farm, and Lincoln Financial are enlarging their footprints and adding hundreds of new jobs to the Atlanta office market,” Chang said. “Nearly 4.5 million square feet of office space is under construction, with completion dates scheduled over the next two years.”

Another major contributor to the growth in Georgia is the expanding film industry. According to the magazine, Georgia trails only California and New York in movie production with an estimated $7 billion of economic impact for the state. Currently plans include the construction of a 160-acre soundstage for Three Ring Studios, which will include three campuses, a back lot and Georgia’s first video game development campus.