Sunday, June 24, 2007

Budget Director Says Ohio Budget Shortfall Rests on Shoulders of Housing Market?

To me it's a 'chicken and egg thing.' The second biggest reason mentioned is the slow job market. I could be wrong, but in most cases I think you need a job in order to buy a house. The Columbus Dispatch did an article on Budget Dir. Sabety's remarks.

We kvetch about the brain drain and a good program was established to establish a State scholarship fund for students entering science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). It was scheduled to start receiving monies ($50 mil) this coming school year and now that might not happen. Again I think about how serious this is. We are $167 million short in our state budget; we need jobs to counter the problem; we need students to excel in fields of study like the STEM areas and the budget shortfall might keep us from beginning this program that encourages our grads to stay here. It might just be Catch 22 and not the chicken and the egg dilemma. Does all of this make you a bit subdued? I find myself reacting that way.

Go to the Kent State website; you will see them announcing a 2007 STEM scholarship program in geology, computer science, etc. Maybe someone out there can tell me if this is a separately funded program that can still move forward in 2007?

Back to the Budget woes and housing. "....Sabety told Legislators that the “key driver” in the lower tax revenue estimates is the housing market..." And then there is the large amount of inventory (homes listed for sale) in most of our communities.

This is not just a City of Cleveland and inner ring suburb issue. We have a house listed in Strongsville. We have spoken to agents from other companies who have homes listed in this same subdivision. No showings, at least not more than one or two a month. And between the four of us (agents in different companies) we have homes in different price ranges and the price differences are not making anyone look at the homes. One clue could be that there are 352 single family homes for sale in Strongsville as of today (I am speaking of the ones listed by brokers on the MLS computer listing service).

Some other communities: Shaker Heights, 394; 279 in Medina; 302 Old Brooklyn/South Hills/Memphis Road. Garfield Heights is a community very hard hit for about six months (at least) now with predatory lending and foreclosure issues (although no one is spared really). In the Winter Garfield Hts. was averaging over 600 homes on the market (single family) and as of today there are still 503 listed. Folks, this is a huge amount of inventory that can take months to absorb. I have been really busy with buyers the last four to six weeks. But we don't have enough buyers for even the 2,878 homes I mentioned in the communities above.

Sometimes I feel like going to Frederick Maryland or Tyson's Corner Virginia or NYC with a sandwich board on my body that says please relocate your business to Cleveland - you won't be sorry.

Jobs would help. Students dying to fill jobs in STEM areas would attract jobs, I know it. What are the solutions to the Budget Shortfall? Peace Out - 3C