I know the news outlets report the news for each day, but I do wish they could put some of this news into perspective.
Last week, it was announced that home sales had gone up.
This week, it was announced the "new" home sales had gone down.
But there was little effort to tie the two events together, or to explain them.
And they did that little thing that has driven me crazy for the last two years of blogging. They told us new home sales were down 14.4%.
But that refers to the previous month. If you compare new home sales for the same month the previous year -- a much more accurate gauge of health -- new home sales were down a whopping 44.9%!
Scratch under the surface, and you realize that home sales went up mostly because of foreclosures and short sales.
Meanwhile, there is almost no point in building new houses as long as the bottom has fallen out, and as long as there is so much inventory on the market.
To my reckoning, the more important statistic for Bend is the "new" home sales figure. Because this is where the bulk of the jobs have been. Just this morning, I read the article on the stay at home Mom's -- and sure enough, the husbands all worked in the building trade and talked of the stress of finding enough work.
Combine that with the 9 building permits issued in December, and the average of 25 building permits over the last year, and that's where Bend is really going to suffer.
Just over the horizon, I believe, is the Commercial Real Estate bubble here in Bend. Banks like Banks of the Cascades, which are already falling through the floor, are really going to be hammered when that starts to take effect.
I don't even want to think about the credit card debt that is out there.
But Bendites still seem a little oblivious to the possible ramifications. I think most of them think it's all be over soon, and we'll be back to where we were.
I suppose, as a business owner, I ought to encourage them in those beliefs.