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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Puget Sound "economic" levee: will it hold?

From Business Week:

"St. Louis Fed president William Poole said, according to Bloomberg News. ‘As long as the housing problem remains confined to housing, there’s really nothing the Federal Reserve can or should do.’”
Realistically, I don't think this will be the case. From a business perspective, I'm watching cash flow more intensely than ever. Will it trickle down to my Holiday spending? No question.
Another comment:

"I don't think we've seen the bottom yet, and I don't see anything that says it's going to get significantly better in 2007," said Bob Nardelli, Home Depot's chairman and chief executive officer.

Mr. Nardelli said job losses in the home construction market are the worst he's seen in 35 years, and the pain is starting to spread to the home renovation market.

"The loss of jobs . . . in the home construction market is at unprecedented levels," Mr. Nardelli told analysts on a conference call yesterday. "Home builders [are] basically writing off earnest money and liquidating land. We're starting to see a lot of that unemployment find its way over to the small repair and remodel contractors."

Problems in the housing sector have also begun to affect how consumers spend their money. In October, U.S. retail sales fell at an annual rate of 0.2 per cent -- the third consecutive monthly decline, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report yesterday.
My east coast bureau chief (brother & family from Massachusetts) is coming home for the Thanksgiving break next week. I'll get his housing report.

Is there an "economic" levee built around Puget Sound & vicinity strong enough to withstand the clear real estate correction going on outside our state lines? Or, are there leaks showing up locally? Speaking of leaks... anyone else experience the Snohomish river flooding and shutting down HWY 9 last week? Unbelievable traffic. Took me 1 hour 50 minutes to get my kids to school in Everett.

4 comments:

biodieselchris said...

If anything, this verifies my plan to not enter the Seattle housing market (as a buyer) until I see how the first two Q's of '07 shake out.

Housing booms and busts move in slow and inexorable waves, nodal around 5 to 7 years or so.

(also, that want-to-raise-children feeling I was having just pushed back as many years ....)

MisterBubble said...

Har. Spend an afternoon at the cupcake shop in Trendy Ballard. Your desire to have children will diminish proportionally to your desire to live in a hot Seattle burb.

Yuppies make me ill.

christiangustafson said...

There's nothing wrong with having your kids and renting a SFH. Children are their own reward. Not having a $3K mortgage payment means we can enjoy raising them, and save for the future.

patriotz said...

Why don't you make some ice space available for hockey practice for the 2010 Winter Olympics? That way the economic forcefield around Vancouver will protect Seattle too.