Friday, April 18, 2008

Sacramento Unemployment Rate Highest Since 1997

From the LA Times:

California's unemployment rate rose by a whopping half a percentage point in March, reaching 6.2% as a weakening economy shed jobs in the ailing construction and financial activities sectors...California's unemployment rate is the third highest in the country, trailing Michigan with 7.2% and Alaska with 6.7%. California is doing worse than Pennsylvania and Ohio...the two Rust Belt states that have figured prominently in the presidential primary elections because of their lost manufacturing jobs.
From the Sacramento Bee:
Sacramento-area unemployment rose three-tenths of a percent to 6.5 percent in March. That was the highest rate since it was 6.6 percent in January 1997, in the aftermath of the '90s recession.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
Sacramento's latest office leasing reports could rival a poorly written term paper in the amount of red ink -- the color used by some commercial brokerages to denote when leasing has gone "negative." Region-wide leasing was in the red by 247,000 square feet in the first three months of the year, according to Cornish & Carey Commercial, meaning tenants vacated that much more space than they filled. It's the largest negative quarterly margin since 2001, the brokerage said.
[I]t's the third-straight quarter of flat or negative leasing activity in Sacramento and a sign of the slumping economy. Brokers said the figures are a reflection of real estate-related companies continuing to vacate or downsize and state offices no longer picking up the slack.
Bakersfield Bubble posted a nice summary of the state of Central Valley banking.

From the Sacramento Bee:
After more than 15,000 foreclosures since January of last year in the capital region, bank repossessions have become the house of choice for investors and first-time buyers...[B]ank-owned bargains have siphoned business from home builders. DataQuick reported year-over-year sales of new homes in March were down 35.6 percent in Sacramento County, down 42 percent in Placer County and down more than 70 percent in Sutter and Yuba counties.
The eight-county region was home to 6,652 closed escrows and nearly 5,600 foreclosures during the first three months of 2008, according to DataQuick and, a Fair Oaks-based Web site for real estate investors. That means banks will have plenty more homes to put on the market. DataQuick's LePage said the banks have sold only about 40 percent of the homes they repossessed in the region from July to December 2007.
Home sales by county
Home sales by zip

From the San Jose Mercury News:
The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $536,000 last month,...down 16.1 percent from $639,000 in March 2007. Last month's median was 19.4 percent lower than the peak median of $665,000 reached last June and July.
Economist Christopher Thornberg, founder and principal of Los Angeles- and San Rafael-based Beacon Economics, said that prices falling across the coastal Bay Area is the last part of the housing bubble bursting...Thornberg said that the first signs of the housing bubble started in inland areas and are slowly moving outwards to the Pacific. "You can't have plummeting prices in San Joaquin and East Contra Costa counties that don't affect Western Contra Costa and Alameda counties," he said. "And you can't have plummeting prices in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that don't affect San Mateo and Marin."
From the Modesto Bee:
Rents remained largely flat in the Northern San Joaquin Valley over the first three months of 2008, compared with a year earlier, according to data from property research firm RealFacts. The average monthly rent in Stanislaus for the period was $816, up by 1.2 percent. Merced County's average was $706, down 0.4 percent from a year earlier, and San Joaquin County's average was $881, unchanged.
"I think the owners realize the market is tenuous at best," [apartment manager Daphne] Hunter said, noting that not only are there lots of rental options on the market, but the soft economy makes it harder for many renters to absorb rate hikes.
From the Modesto Bee:
For sale! One golf resort. Includes two 18-hole championship courses, clubhouse, restaurant, winery and other swanky items. Price slashed! Was $150 million. Snap it up for $85 million. Diablo Grande resort, a victim of the sluggish housing market, has taken a page from beleaguered homeowners and dramatically reduced its price, looking for a quick sale.


Diggin Deeper said...

The govt will save the homeowner and the consumer before we're done... as hard as that will be to swallow...and pay for. They'll have all the negatives to point to and things will start getting creative before too long...I'm afraid all it will do is forestall the problems, fan inflation, and create continued turmoil in the credit markets. I keep thinking we're in for a long slow burn...or rather hoping for that outcome. With the Fed accomodating at every turn, they'll do all they can to put the brakes on deflation and continue to try and juice growth.

smf said...

I have never had such a great laugh till I read about the Diablo Grande golf course.

I recently had noticed it, told everyone about how stupid it was to put it there, and everyone agreed.

That anyone was stupid enough to lend money for such a losing project exemplifies the stupidity of this bubble.

Bakersfield Bubble said...

Too think we are only at the beginning of the unemployment part of this cycle. I bet we are at 10% in a year in the Valley.

watchingthebubble said...

Isn't Patterson in the middle of nowhere -- cows and prisons?

smf said...

"Isn't Patterson in the middle of nowhere -- cows and prisons?"

1. Go to any map program, either google maps or

2. Find Patterson

3. Confirm that it is in the middle of nowhere.

4. From satellite pictures, note that it seems that 50% of the town was just built.

5. Go West from there into the mountains. There is a winding road that takes you into said golf course.

6. Take it all in, and realize that people DID spend a million bucks to buy a house there, and that there are STILL MANSIONS being built there.

7. Realize that calling what was done there stupid is insulting to stupid people.

norcaljeff said...

The San Jose Merc link doesn't work, takes you to google.