Economist predicts slow growth in Nevada in 2007 | NevadaAppeal.com

Economist predicts slow growth in Nevada in 2007

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

MINDEN – Nevada will continue its dominant economic position in the nation, an economist with U.S. Bank said Wednesday at a business meeting.

“You’ve done well here, and I think you’ll continue to perform well,” said John Mitchell, western region economist with U.S. Bank, to 125 members of the Northern Nevada Development Authority. “Nevada will continue to grow faster than the nation.”

He cited several statistics showing Nevada’s power in the national market. Nevada is ranked No. 1 in job growth, according to September data. Bureau of Labor Statistics show 2005 job growth in Nevada at 6.2 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in the nation. Nevada also shows long-run employment growth at 5 percent in 2006, surpassing the national growth at 1.5 percent. The state also lapped the nation in population growth and personal income increase in 2005.

Housing market information isn’t as cheery.

The U.S. will dodge the recession bullet, but a weakening national housing market will continue to be felt throughout the nation in 2007, Mitchell said.

Some local residential real estate agents are worried, but they’ve heard this prediction before. They’re hoping the microeconomy will exceed dire predictions.

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“It’s exactly what we know,” said Chris Kallas, a Century 21 Realtor in Minden, after the meeting. “I don’t want to be negative. We’re hoping for the correction to finish.”

This price correction comes after a housing boom that revved in 2003, fueled by falling interest rates and continued despite rising prices.

The Carson City housing market hit a high in 2005 when the median price of a single-family home jumped 34 percent over a year to $348,500. It has inched down to $310,000 in September, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Mike Veatch, broker/owner of Valley Realty and Management, said recent 10 percent to 15 percent price declines are eased by the huge gains seen in the last few years.

“My view is we are returning to a normal real estate market in this area,” he said Wednesday. “As far as a slow down, we have hit the bottom of the trough. We are seeing quite a bit more buyer activity, which tells me we are going to bring the supply and demand back as soon as this summer.”

Business is good in commercial real estate, builders and agents say.

“We’re not seeing a downturn in commercial and industrial construction, and that’s our focus,” said Bill Miles, of Miles Construction.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.