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  • Margaret Rose and Cindy Pellegrini

Margaret Rose of Neuse Realty Explains Our Present Building Boom

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Beacon.

Supply and Demand

According to Margaret Rose, President and co-owner of Neuse Realty, Fairfield Harbour's present building boom can be described as the product of a supply/demand history.

The first three developers which came before Fairfield Communities Inc. (FCI) did not plan for a subdivision of 2400 + lots. But when FCI took over in the late 1980s, its business plan included timeshares units, condos, townhomes, and amenities. The amenities were two golf courses, two restaurants, and more building lots as raw land became available. While other Eastern NC communities offered a "buy back" provision (they would buy it back from the owner who decided not to build on it), FCI did not. They focused on selling company-owned properties. The property owner was selling their land, and FCI was selling land. Over time, this contributed to a backlog of resale inventory.

In 1991, FCI filed for bankruptcy, and more than 500 lots were listed for sale in the local Multiple Listing Services.

A thriving neighborhood such as Fairfield Harbour does not die; it reinvents itself.

The real estate market, on the national level, experienced the economic meltdown of 2007-08. The effects of the fourteen-year housing market slump meant too few homes were being built to meet the demand, contributing to a nationwide housing shortage. Further, too few houses were being built to meet demand. The graph below illustrates that the number constructed was below a 52-year average for fourteen straight years. (See graph below)

The economic slowdown continued to affect property values. Owning dues-burdened, undeveloped properties became less desirable, and investors began shedding them. Eventually, the FHPOA found itself holding an abundance of non-dues-paying lots.

On the demand side, local builders now saw an opportunity to acquire lots at a significant discount. "Land banks" [1] were also attracted to Fairfield's inexpensive land, great amenities, and established infrastructure. Direct Mail offers to buy poured into the Harbour, an interest which continues today. (See below a recent offer) In 2016, investor groups assembled by one land bank controlled more than 500 lots. Medium-sized regional builders such as Capital City came and left after building only ten homes. Recently, however, national firms such as Adams Homes and D.R. Homes have committed to build in FH and Eastern NC.

Thus – the present building boom! Through the years of ebb and flow, Fairfield Harbour continues to prosper, proving the resiliency of its residents. When asked when the boom would end, Margaret Rose responded, “New construction will continue if lots are available. The new boom will come from the need to restore older properties utilizing innovative techniques and re-design. A thriving neighborhood such as Fairfield Harbour does not die; it reinvents itself. “

by: Margaret Rose and Cindy Pellegrini, Your FACTS Reporters

[1] Land bank: a large body of land held by a public or private organization for future development or disposal

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The recent over development in FH was not in our best interest or necessary, and it, along with other decisions made by the POA, have helped ruin the heavily wooded rural ambiance of the place. It is no longer an active adult, sailing oriented, "retirement community", Now, it is promoted as a "resort", geared more to making money than the appreciation of folks who live here, who love nature and the animals that live here with us.

The new signage is far worse that the old... and the billboard they are putting up, at OUR expense, is going to be tacky.

The hundreds of new spec houses are being built ignoring the POA rules about preserving trees, as well as…

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