Friday, February 17, 2006

Connecting the Dots - The Ripple Effect of a Housing Slowdown.

Let's work with the assumption that the US Real Estate Market is slowing (the North Country is something of an abiration right now because some people think all of these soldiers making $31,000/year will lead to dramatically higher property values?).

Real Estate and it's related industries have salvaged the US Economy from the depths of the dotcom bubble. It has been noted that as many as half of all new jobs created have been in Real Estate. Mortgage Brokers, Agents, Appraisers, Contractors, Landscapers, etc, etc. Without a powerful real estate market the US Economy is likely to revert back to it's sputtering 2002 ways (for this discussion we are ignoring the unbelievable amount of spending driven by consumers that are withdrawing equity from their homes).

Note - "Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, said Wednesday that it was laying off 2,500 support employees in its mortgage unit.
The Seattle, Washington-based company said it was also reducing the number of mortgage processing offices to 16 from 26 and sending some of the work to “lower cost domestic and offshore locations.”

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