Sunday, February 12, 2006

Home Prices Scare Away Job Seekers

A very interesting news story today, link . It seems that there may be trouble in paradise. We all know that the middle class cannot afford a home in Broward and Palm Beach county, but now it appears that " engineers, administrators and other professionals who earn above-average salaries also get priced out of the area, according to local employers struggling to fill vacancies."

""I cannot recruit people from out of state," said John Poggi, chief executive officer of REP Associates Inc., a Palm Beach Gardens consulting company. "I am not talking about $30,000- or $40,000-a-year salaries here. We are talking about people not interested in coming to Palm Beach County to make $80,000 a year.""

"Poggi said rising home prices cost REP at least 10 candidates last year to fill vacancies for engineers and scientists needed to help the company expand.That has the company, which offers salaries ranging from $60,000 to $120,000, considering moving its headquarters to a real estate market that doesn't give recruits such sticker shock, he said."

"It isn't just about teachers and firefighters and police officers. We are hearing from hospitals and law firms," said Kelly Smallridge, president of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board. "They can't fill the positions. ... We are losing opportunities for employment."

'If professionals refuse to move to a community, that area loses the economic boost that comes from the money those high-salary employees would spend. Businesses also lose out on landing the professional expertise they need to grow, said Anne Williamson, an assistant director of the University of Florida's Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing."

" Home prices remain a hurdle for companies trying to attract administrators and executives as well as engineers and computer technicians, said Howard Muti, a headhunter for the Bartech Group in West Palm Beach."They come down here and are somewhat floored by how the real estate market is," Muti said. "

" Pratt & Whitney have not been enough to persuade many job candidates to move to Palm Beach County, McAlice said."These are pretty high-paying jobs and people can't afford to live on that here," McAlice said. "Especially young people coming out of college trying to determine where they want to work. It is expensive down here.""">

""Palm Beach County salaries have not kept pace with rising home prices..Increasing salaries remains an option for local companies struggling to fill vacancies, but that can affect the bottom line. ."I am getting nowhere," said Poggi, whose company has been headquartered in Palm Beach County for 15 years. "I am at a competitive disadvantage."

Every day there is evidence that the housing bubble is unsustainable and about to burst. Homes have doubled in value. The average and now not so average person is priced out of the market or they simply refuse to live here. Companies are considering moving out as a more profitable business decision rather than stay and pay 30% higher wages. Is it really worth paying twice the national average for a home to live in South Florida? I think we will find out shortly.


At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the same story today. My realtor friend keeps telling me that this is a "dip" and that prices have leveled out.


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