Flutterby™! : Recession not over yet

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Recession not over yet

2002-04-23 15:16:26+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Scoble's friend says finding key workers is harder, which matches my experience; the opportunities are starting to appear again. Bay Area home sales appear to be up. It seems there are signs that perhaps the recession is over, and yet... I still see way too many ex-vice presidents of web development firms that aren't serving lattés. I'm going to dance out this limb a bit and predict that we haven't seen the recovery yet.

[ related topics: New Economy California Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-04-23 19:08:51+00 by: Jerry Kindall

I'll wager it's not because the job market is picking up -- it's that the cost of living has forced all the people who came to Silicon Valley to take advantage of the boom to give up and go home.

#Comment made: 2002-04-23 22:41:11+00 by: Dori

If that was the case, though, I'd expect that home prices would be going down more sharply than the 1% that the article cited.

Actually, I'm surprised that housing prices haven't collapsed, given the general atmosphere in the Valley.

#Comment made: 2002-04-24 15:50:53+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

That 1% median price drop is only an average: it's more like 7% down here in Santa Clara County.

When we relocated here in early '97, real estate was sizzling. It was rare for a house in our area to be on the market for more than 2 weeks, and if its selling price wasn't well over its asking price, there was probably some flaw with it. (The house we ended up with had just been *lowered* in price since it had been on the market 21 days without a sale.) Between then and now, I've been stunned to see what people were willing to pay in our neighborhood: although I was shocked at what we had to pay, a mere 4 years later an identical house around the corner sold for DOUBLE what we paid for ours. No joke. Prices have cooled somewhat (now we'd only get 160% of what we paid, rather than 200%, awww..), but houses are still selling, if you adjust the "2 week" selling time to "2 months". I keep wondering where the heck people are getting this kind of money to pay for these houses, and why. What do they know that we don't? I wouldn't buy a house here now for these prices.

#Comment made: 2002-04-24 16:23:14+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, this may not apply nationally, but it sure seems like we've seen inflation, not economic growth, in the Bay Area. It's not just housing, food (both in and out) and incidental prices have all gone up a lot since I moved here. And I realize that people skew the "1/3rd of your pre-tax income for mortgage" rule a lot at higher incomes, but I have to wonder how many people in the Bay Area really have quarter of a million dollar household incomes in order to be able to afford some of these mortgages, and how many are instead working on a negative cash flow set up with the hopes that stock options would compensate for income. How long can we see credit card debt compensate for mortgage debt?

At least my landlord believes that these housing prices aren't sustainable and is happy to have a long-term tenant, for which I'm very thankful.

#Comment made: 2002-04-24 21:15:16+00 by: dws

Several friends stretched a few years ago to cover big mortagages on big Silicon Valley homes. They're now in bad (or very bad) shape, particularly the ones who are now unemployed. Comparing the unemployement rate with real-estate prices in this area is mind boggling.

#Comment made: 2002-04-26 00:33:58+00 by: ebradway

The recession isn't cooling in Chattanooga. This week's Sunday paper had ZERO, ZIP, NADA computer related jobs.