Christmas cheer in your checkbook: Nevadans made more in Q3 2006 |

Christmas cheer in your checkbook: Nevadans made more in Q3 2006

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Put this in your stocking: Nevadans made more money in Q3 2006, not only that, but our incomes exceeded National Price Index inflation, which fell to 0.6 percent in the third quarter, down from 1 percent in the second.

That little nugget of glory definitely deserves attention, maybe even an eggnog toast. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Q3 numbers this week. U.S personal income growth grew 1.4 percent, and leading the pack were seven of the fastest-growing states in the U.S., which includes Nevada.

This news comes just in time for all of us who splurged this holiday season because of increased salaries or investment returns (or those who spent, despite either of those).

The Silver State, Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming share a still expanding construction sector that contrasts with declining construction earnings in most of the rest of the country.

I’m interested in one thing: what’s up with Arizona? We learned this week Nevada was bumped as the fastest-growing state in the nation by our southeastern neighbor. The Associated Press reported Arizona topped Nevada’s growth rate by 0.1 percent, according to estimates released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

I’ve seen Arizona; it’s all right. It doesn’t have our beautiful blue lake and breathtaking, snowy mountain vistas, but, hey, that’s not for everybody. This leads me to one conclusion: there must be some cheap housing in their desert.

Nevada received its influx from ex-Californians seeking less-expensive housing and a better business climate. They got it – and drove up the market for the rest of us struggling middle-income earners who could’ve afforded that $250,000 home in a few years, before it became a $350,000 home.

Northern Nevada needs a second look. At first it looks like the typical high- desert region. Then you see the beautiful skylines and low land values.

According to the Census Bureau, Nevada’s population grew 3.5 percent from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, when it gained 83,228 new residents to reach 2.49 million, according to AP.

All these forest dwellers decided they could live without the trees if the price is right.

Arizona grew by 213,311 residents to more than 6.16 million. The nation as a whole grew 1 percent, or 2.89 million, to 299.39 million people during that time, the report said.

Perhaps this will be the saving grace for Nevadans. Out-of-state home gobblers with hefty pockets will start looking to Utah’s appreciating market.

They’ll consider the sprawling suburbs of Phoenix.

Maybe with a little less national attention, some Nevadans will finally be able to own property in their own state with those higher salaries.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.