BRAC jobs and the housing market
We've been hearing about BRAC -- and all its splendiferous jobs -- for five years now. But the big growth related to the base realignment and closure effort is finally on the way.
More details here, including the nearly 1,500 jobs moving to Aberdeen Proving Ground in August and September.
So what does this mean for the housing market?
Officials at the Residences at Bulle Rock in Havre de Grace say at least a third of their home sales this year have been to BRAC buyers. There was a lot of looking last year, but now people are signing on the dotted line.
"We anticipate the benefits to be for four, five, six years," said Brenda Desjardins, a spokeswoman for the golf-course community. "The trend we're seeing from people moving from Fort Monmouth is they do want to stay in that 95 corridor. They're tending to buy in Aberdeen and points north because they do want to keep that ... affiliation with New Jersey."
Deborah T. Devlin, director of human resources for the Army's Communications-Electronics Command, part of the C4ISR team that's moving from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen, is seeing a split in BRAC staffers' location preferences.
"Obviously, a lot of people will not want a long commute, so they'll go into the Harford County, Cecil County areas," she said. "But we do have pockets of our work force, particularly the young professional crowd, that sees the city of Baltimore as a good place to be."
The number of government workers relocating with their BRAC jobs has been a moving target. Right now the Army is estimating that half of the Aberdeen-bound positions will come with bodies, with the other half to be filled (or already being filled) with new hires.
Fort Meade, which is also due for thousands of BRAC jobs, is likely to get a much higher percentage of relocating workers. The Defense Information Systems Agency, the largest organization moving to the Anne Arundel County base, estimates that about 70 percent of its staff will come along. (Commuting from Northern Virginia, where they're now based, is possible in a way that New Jersey to Aberdeen is not.)
Because most workers being BRAC'ed to Fort Meade are coming from a (theoretically) commutable distance, officials expect less homebuying ripple effects around that base. The question mark is how long folks will put up with the drive before moving, quitting or retiring.
What's your BRAC story?