13 August 2008

Tooele Home Sales Slow- So Does Job Growth!!

It's no surprise, that the lack of home sales In Tooele County has slowed down the job market In those Industries related to the Real Estate Industry.

Leslie Mitchell of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote about it in Wednesdays "Money" section. Mitchell quoted the Utah Department of Workforce Services that Utah's job creation rate has reached it's lowest point in 5 years, and that construction -industry employment is down 12% ( about 12,899 jobs)

The Mitchell article didn't break out specific areas, nor mention the relationship between the sale of New Homes and the sale of listed homes and condos. There is a connection.

 We know it would be difficult to measure the effect the current downturn in has on a community the size of Tooele, but we took a stab at it last year in one of our blogs as kind of a heads up.

Were going to reprint that post here as we think it will put things in perspective as you compare the sounds of hammers and saws that echoed thru the Valley over the last few years with the absence of those same sounds during the last 8 months.

It might also give you a reason to appreciate those New Home builders that continue to build and promote and employ in our area, and how much they contribute to the Tooele economy. It can't be easy during these tough times for Ivory Homes, Fieldstone, and Richmond American Homes to keep building Town Homes, houses and Condominiums in Stansbury, Grantsville, and Tooele, when qualified home buyers are real hard to find.

For a more dollar and cents look at what building a new home in Tooele County means, go to New Construction.

Here's what we wrote in January.

With so many homes on the market in Stansbury Park, why do they keep building new ones ? That's the question asked by a FSBO lady when I called her the other day to see if I could be of help.

It's a legitimate question and one that Berna & I have asked ourselves and each other more than once over the last few months. Usually we ask because we've lost an existing home sale to one of the premier builders in Stansbury, or because we can't get a commitment from a home buyer until they have looked at every model home in the area. Basically like the FSBO lady, it's because were frustrated, and that frustration would end if there weren't so many New Homes on the market. In other words, to parrot our teen age daughter as she argues for a cell phone, "but I have needs".

What about the builders ? Well they have needs too. Land payments, overhead, lot release schedules, construction loans maturing and on & on. But of coarse were small and their big, so our "needs" trump theirs. (at least in our mind). Have you noticed that not many people have an ounce of sympathy for builders or their needs?

But what about the needs of the community ? What about the need to keep our neighborhoods vital, and vibrant, and productive. Revisit an article I did last year about what New Construction meant to our area in terms of payroll, taxes and fees. I remember being amazed at the impact the construction of a single house could have on an area.

Now I want you to look at the importance of New Home Building with me from a different perspective, the perspective of the "needs" of your neighbors. Where they work, and what happens If we stop building new houses.

Stansbury Park:     14% of all employed males work in the construction Industry, 4% in the finance or insurance business.. Nine % of employed females are in a finance related field.

Tooele City:            14% of males are in construction, 4% females are in finance.

Grantsville:             14% males in construction, 7% females in finance.

Erda:                       10% males in construction, 6% females in finance.

The bottom line is, my needs nor the FSBO ladies needs ( nor my teen age daughters) come anywhere near those of over 2000 of our neighbors.

I know this doesn't answer the question of why new homes are being built in Stansbury Park, but maybe it helps you realize, WE DONT WANT THEM TO STOP !!!

Here we are, 8 months later, and we are now in the middle (we hope) of what we were commenting on.

The article went on to say that "Utah is in its first year of denial". I'd like to think that were in our LAST YEAR OF DENIAL, and that home owners will price houses to sell and we can begin to build our way out of this tough time. I'd like to also think that those New Home Builders like Ivory, Fieldstone, and Richmond American Homes will keep the faith and continue to build homes to sell in Tooele.

One thing we do know in Tooele is that when home sales are slow, so is job growth.

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