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Monday, January 30, 2006

Northwest Economist: "Slow Deflation" Coming

Tom Cox, a "prominent Northwest economist" and host of the PBS program "Serious Money," gives the Northwest a "mostly sunny" economic forecast, but with a notable exception regarding housing:

The Northwest will continue to see an influx of people, particularly from California, seeking the region's relatively well-paid jobs.

But don't expect a steady flow of new residents to continue the sound's fast rise in home prices, Cox advised.

"The bubble's not going to burst," he said. "But we're going to have a slow deflation."

While the future of the region's economy looks rosy, Cox stressed that the Northwest is not immune to national trends.

He said "consumers are tapped out" by credit card debt, second mortgages and other overspending habits.

"There were more bankruptcies than college degrees over the last few years," he said. "Credit's stretched tighter than Joan River's neck. I think the day of reckoning is upon us."
It is nice to hear that someone out there actually sees something other than champagne and roses in the future of housing. I guess the realtors didn't pay this guy enough money *wink*.

(Tristan Baurick, Bainbridge Island Review, 01.28.2006)

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