Home Prices: Army Housing Buoys El Paso

In celebration of Veterans Day, HousingWatch is featuring stories about veterans and their real estate experiences throughout the day.

This Veterans Day we can thank the military for something else besides keeping our country safe: rescuing a depressed housing market.

The expansion of the Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso, Texas has sparked a local building boom and kept the town from falling into the depths of the recession. While the rest of the country has seen home prices fall an average of 20 percent since the peak of the housing runup, prices in the West Texas town have held steady.

And El Paso's not alone. The government's 2005 base closure and realignment program, while it weakened some communities, breathed new life into others. The transfer of thousands of military personnel to Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County, Md., is expected to spark as much as $61 million in new construction spending, according to an Army study released last spring.