Thousands of new jobs coming to Chatham County are setting up surrounding communities to become the next real estate boomtowns.

Communities near Sanford are positioning themselves to support the thousands of new workers that two new businesses are bringing to the area.

The region along the future Interstate 685 corridor will be home to some of the biggest economic development deals in state history. It includes this week’s announcement by chip maker Wolfspeed to build a $5 billion factory.

Chatham County will juggle job growth, growing pains as VinFast builds $4 billion SUV plant

Zan Monroe, CEO of Longleaf Pine Realtors, joined more than 650 real estate, economic and community leaders in the Wicker Civic Center in Sanford for a summit.

“Job growth means housing growth,” Monroe said. “It’s time to teach our government officials, our economic developers, builders, investors here’s what’s coming so they can prepare for it.”

One area of bustling job growth is called Carolina Core, which stretches from the Triad to the Sandhills along the US-421 corridor.

Map of Carolina Core area

In addition to Wolfspeed and VinFast, the region features Boom Supersonic and Toyota.

Since 2018, more than 37,900 office and industrial jobs have been announced in the region, according to data from the economic development group Carolina Core.

Loren Hill, regional economic development director with Carolina Core, expects surrounding communities will grow alongside these companies.

“Some of the small communities in Moore County, some of their land, some of their buildings, are likely good places for smaller suppliers for these megasite projects to come,” she said.

A shortage of housing and higher prices are already pushing people further out of the Triangle.

Michael Barr, president of the Greensboro Association of Realtors, said he expects to see more people moving out of the Triangle due to high prices and a shortage of homes.

“There’s going to be enough jobs happening, that it’s going to move, and people are going to commute,” he said.

Data from Longleaf Pine Realtors shows that during the first eight months of 2022, median sales prices of existing homes in Sanford and Harnett County are up 20% compared to the same time frame last year.

Lee and Moore counties are seeing similar trends across the Carolina Core region. It’s why Tuesday’s summit is connecting the region to prepare for the demands of new development.

That’s why Tuesday’s summit is connecting the region to prepare for the demands of new development.

“We have a lot of opportunity to spur growth and keep people here to live, work, and play,” Barr said.