Today there was an article in the Shawnee News-Star about more layoffs at a local manufacturing plant. One of the reasons given for their problems was "prolonged weakness in housing." Im afraid that readers may see the statement referring to Shawnee's housing market. With everything we see and read in the national news, it can be hard to see that Shawnee's housing market is healthy and has a positive contribution to our local economy.
It's true that other parts of the country - most notably California, Florida and Nevada - have seen steep declines in housing sales recently. It's the natural course after enjoying spectacular increases in their property values over the past ten years.
Oklahoma, and Shawnee in particular, don't seem to experience sharp inclines in the market, so on the other hand, there is no drastic correction in the market to offset it. Our trends are much less extreme. Overall, our property owners see a modest appreciation in their values over time.
National TV news programs captivate audiences with sensational stories about real estate foreclosures and market downturns around the country, but it's crucial to keep in mind that real estate is local.
The housing picture in Shawnee cannot be painted with the broad strokes from the national scene. If local citizens think the real estate problems in other areas are a reality here, then their reactions will have a perpetuating negative effect on our local economy. If the local real estate market is portrayed more accurately, then our local economy will benefit from the positive effects of an optimistic community. The sooner our local media gets on board with that thinking, the better and more realistic our local economic outlook will appear.