Thursday, December 12, 2013
Living and Dying By Federal Funds: A Realtor's Post Mortem Analysis
I don't usually commingle the topics of my living as a real estate broker with my politics on this blog. But, unfortunately, we live in an age where the economy seems increasingly dependent on government.
Weber County has a very high percentage (10%) of employees depending on the Federal Government for their incomes. The IRS has a dominant presence as a major employer as well as Hill Air Force Base.
It is also important to note that real estate sales are a vital statistic of the health of an economy. When people make less money, they spend less money, and thus, buy fewer homes.
So, here is how the Federal Government shutdown affected home sales (my livelihood) in Weber County:
As you can see, a 23% drop in November homes sales from the same month last year says a lot. This is the first YoY decrease in sales since May 2011 when we were in the throws of a real estate depression. Fortunately, this should be an anomaly and not a trend.
But, if there are further political earthquakes and budget gridlock at the Federal level, we can expect more palpitations in the local economy, including the real estate market.
This is an excellent illustration of the seductive lure and yet lurking peril of depending on government jobs to support a local economy.