Housing construction to decline?

It looks like the housing market is about to cool.

In a speech before bankers, developers and homebuilders this past week, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Jack Guynn said increasing mortgage rates and rising inventories of single-family homes may signal an end to the five-year U.S. housing boom.

He also cited concern over the wide range of affordable credit options geared to help new homeowners, such as interest-only mortgages and even 50-year mortgages.

It's unclear how these loan products will perform if the housing market slows.

"The mortgage credit innovations that have made homes more affordable to buyers, at least in the short run, have not been fully tested in a period of rising interest rates and a moderating economy," Guynn told a packed meeting of the Council For Quality Growth, a Duluth-based regional lobbying group for the metro Atlanta development industry.

Guynn tempered concern about the housing industry, a key cog in the Gwinnett economy providing jobs in banking, construction and real estate. Guynn said banks are well positioned to absorb home lending losses and that the level of home building is so high it can support ongoing demand for home products and related goods.

Peachtree Corners to get new popular grocery

Trader Joe's is setting course for Peachtree


The eclectic and economical grocery chain, which has a cult-like following, wants to build a 12,000-square-foot store in the Forum on Peachtree Parkway.

Famously tight lipped, the company did not return calls about its opening date.

It would be Trader Joe's first entry into the Southeast market, though its close cousin the Aldi Group launched stores here a few years ago. Trader Joe's is owned by a trust that Aldi co-founder Theo Albrecht created.

Although the two chains follow a similar philosophy - low overhead equals low prices - Trader Joe's devotees know it as an upscale boutique, and it's often linked with an affluent customer base.

It found one in Peachtree Corners, known for $400,000-plus homes and high-tech jobs.

Doug Sams can be reached via doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.