The very day after this blogger wrote of housing prices devaluation ahead for this area,
The Olympian filed this report in their Sunday, March 9th edition outlining signs of slowing in this area:
“Record gasoline prices are driving up the price of food and other goods, forcing many consumers to curb their spending and creating an additional drag on the Northwest economy…
On Friday [March 7], South Sound gasoline prices surpassed last years record of $3.46 a gallon for regular unleaded.
Economists say the Northwest is not yet in a recession, but higher fuel prices, coupled with a softer real estate market and a weakening national economy, have contributed to slower growth in the region…
Although Northwest economists stop short of declaring an impending recession, there are signs the South Sound and Puget Sound economies have slowed.
Thurston County home sales were down 24 percent in February compared with a year ago, but there was a bright spot: Median sales prices were up 4 percent, unlike in other parts of the country.
Thurston County home values have increased, but at a much slower rate than two years ago. In contrast, median prices in Pierce County dropped nearly 8 percent last month compared with the year before.
The number of notices to the Employment Security Department of pending layoffs is the same this year as last year, but the notices include larger numbers of individuals than last year. This years notices include 130 layoffs at Wilcox Farms in Roy, 697 layoffs at Macys Northwest in Seattle and 363 at Group Health Cooperative Eastside Hospital in Redmond.
Growth rates for retail sales, including food and beverage and auto sales, have slowed and are forecast to continue slowing in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, said Dick Conway, a Seattle economist who studies that four-county region. Conways analyses dont include Thurston County.
Taxable retail sales of new and used cars in Olympia have fallen nearly 11 percent between the third quarter of 2005 and the third quarter of last year, according to the state Department of Revenue. Third-quarter figures from last year were the latest available from the state.
‘Retail sales are expected to slow down primarily because of slower income growth due to the weakening economy,’ Conway said. ‘Consumers are concerned about losing home equity through falling home prices. You combine that with rising gasoline prices and it makes for a crummy scenario for the economy.’
A local Yelm real estate agent recently stated several sellers are leaving Yelm to be closer to work places in Olympia and Tacoma, rather than pay the escalating gas prices and dealing with daily transits through Yelm’s notorious traffic delays.
I CERTAINLY HOPE AREA GOVERNMENTS HAVE TAKEN A LOOK AT REIGNING IN THEIR BUDGETS FOR THE BALANCE OF THIS FISCAL YEAR, TO SERVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR ENTIRE CONSTITUENCY!