THIS IS NO SURPRISE TO YELM COMMUNITY BLOG READERS, AS THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN DISCUSSED HERE MANY TIMES!
“Applications for permits to build single- family homes have declined sharply in Thurston County’s three largest cities, a result of weaker demand for new homes in a softer real estate market.
Permits for single-family homes fell more than 60 percent in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same period last year.
Permits also fell in Yelm and unincorporated Thurston County, but not as dramatically.
“From a builder’s standpoint, we don’t want to build them if they don’t sell,” Olympia home builder Ron Deering said.
Through March, home sales had fallen 24 percent to 711 units from 938 units during the first quarter last year, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.
The downturn has cost 15 Thurston County Development Services employees their jobs, director Michael Welter said.
The first-quarter data for single-family residential permits show:
Lacey: Permits fell 66.3 percent in 2008, compared with 2007.
Olympia: Permits fell 62.9 percent.
Tumwater: Permits fell 60 percent.
Yelm: Permits fell 45.3 percent.
Thurston County: Permits fell 30 percent…
The inventory of homes on the market remained high in March, with more than 2,000 homes for sale in the county, according to the Northwest MLS,” quoting The Olympian’s front page story for April 20th.
What does this mean to you?
These cities and the county will be getting less revenue from permit & construction fees, so they will be forced to reduce their budget expenditures. Indeed, the State Dept. of Ecology announced layoffs last week due to less home construction statewide.
Where is Yelm going to get the money for three ambitious projects with such a drop in permit/construction activity:
A new City Hall, a new Yelm Community Recreation Center, land/building for a new Yelm Timberland Regional Library losing its lease in 2012 added to Yelm Community Schools request for public money for High School construction in the next 3 1/2+ years?