Thursday, October 20, 2011

HoCo Loco Econ Update

According to the September issue of Howard County Economic Indicators, jewelry sales in HoCo are doing surprisingly well. Retail performance in the county overall has been “mixed bag” but jewelry sales “are doing surprisingly well,” along with hardware, major appliances, automotive items and sporting goods.

It’s a different story for women’s clothing, office supplies, and lawn and garden stuff.

The report had a couple of other interesting observations. Realtors are “busy” though prices “are continuing to come down.” New home sales are up compared to a year ago and HoCo continues to be the exception in the metro region in this regard. Single family home sales increased 48.4 % over last the same period last year with an average selling price of $460,170.00.

Office vacancies climbed slightly from 12.2% last year to 13.9% today. The report notes that, so far at least, "direct impact from BRAC has been muted." While I generally agree with this observation we have seen a marked uptick in Fort Meade related activity in the past few weeks.

Mirroring the national outlook, the report concludes that “the local economic outlook has become less optimistic as uncertainties about the future remain.”

And then there’s that…

Note: Howard County Economic Indicators is a joint publication of Howard County Government and the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.
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