November 29, 2010, 03:30 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff
San Mateo County’s economy is a mixed bag of a combination of increased
housing prices but declining office space vacancies, spiking travel
rates but rising unemployment — according to the Controller’s Office
evaluation of the last fiscal year.
Controller Tom Huening recently released his annual financial report,
providing county residents with a glimpse into just how the
jurisdiction is making ends meet, struggling to stay ahead or remaining
flat. In short, the hefty report shows that the county is much in line
with the rest of the state’s economic trends.
The report looked at statistics through the end of June 30.
On the bright side, housing sales volume is up and commercial
vacancies are dropping. Even the county’s increased unemployment rate
isn’t necessarily a negative. Huening pointed out that even though the
rate has moved to 9.2 percent, the rate appears to have hit its peak and
is “positioned to rebound.” Yet, growth is anticipated to be sluggish
for the next several years and county resources will remain stagnant.
Again offering a mixed evaluation, Huening notes that the
county’s economic hits are still better than most areas rocked by the
The number of single-family homes selling in San Mateo county has
increased 18 percent between June 2008 and June 2010 but the median
price dropped nearly the same amount — 17 percent. The median price in
2008 was $880,000 but in June of this year was $730,000. As a result,
property tax revenues have declined from an average of 7 percent growth
in the last five years to -1 percent in the last fiscal year. At this
rate, they are projected at between zero and 3 percent through fiscal
year 2014 to 2015.
Posted by Steve Sinai