Monday, November 29, 2010

Economic picture for county mixed

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 recession.

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

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