Local economy seems to be on the upswing
It is too early to say the local economy has rebounded from five years of recession, but there certainly have been some positive signs the past few weeks that a mild economic rebound is in play.
In the past week, The Recorder has reported on several signs that things are improving, but we must caution that one month of positive economic news does not make a rebound. However, in the past 30 days the number of home foreclosure proceedings in Porterville and the county have dropped dramatically. Porterville had fewer than 25 foreclosures reported in the month of August. That is far below the nearly or more than 100 reported each month for the past four years.
On top of that, home sales are beginning to rebound, although far too many of those sales are short sales where the banks are allowing the homeowner to sell the home for less than they owe rather than go through foreclosure. Home prices have actually shown some rebound. For August, DataQuick, a company that tracks home sales, reported the median price of homes sold that month was up 22.27% in Porterville to $140,000.
Another positive sign is that unemployment, while still far too high, has begun to come down ever so slightly. For August, unemployment in the county was still more than 15 percent, but it was lower than a year ago and that is a positive sign.
Fueling optimism even more is increased activity at the city of Porterville’s building and planning department. Last week, the city’s Project Review Committee had five items on its agenda, the most in a while and if most of those come to fruition, then they will create several construction jobs in town.
There is still a lot of uncertainty out there over the economy, but Porterville has began to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Now, if government just won’t lengthen that tunnel, we might have a very good 2013.