Military presence helps housing market in recession (VIDEO)

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Workers construct a house in the Liberty Oaks subdivision off Old Bethel Road in northwest Crestview.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 06:21 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The Hub City’s proximity to Eglin Air Force Base has somewhat insulted the real estate market from the recent recession, according to Dino Sinopoli, a Re/Max Agency One Realtor and former Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce president.

"In general trends, because of the Air Force base being here, we didn't drop as much as other areas (in the south county) that were all second homes and condo markets," he said. "We had real people, with real jobs, that weren't losing their jobs."

Click here for video of North Okaloosa County houses under construction.

The arrival of 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldiers and Eglin 33rd Fighter Wing airmen, along with their families and support staff, was a boon to area home rentals and sales.

At first, local agents barely kept up with the demand for rental homes, which has since leveled off, Sinopoli said.

"When the Army first came here, you could rent anything for any price. It was nice," he said. "People were crawling over each other to get a rental. You put a rental on the market and it would rent. This year, it's not happening like that. Now, it's a nice, even flow."

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