Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Middletown Economy Outperforms State

The city released economic statistics in early June, showing that while Middletown has been affected by the economic downturn, we are much better off than other communities in Connecticut and the rest of the nation.

Construction and Home Sales
In the first 4 months of 2009, 22 building permits were issued, compared to 47 in the same months of 2008. The city's report notes, however, that Middletown ranks 5th out of the 127 CT communities, "the bright side is that Middletown's construction market is better than at least 122 other communities."

Home sales also declined, with condominiums hit the hardest. There were 26 condo sales in January to April 2009, compared to 61 a year ago. The current supply of condos for sale is a "staggering" 33 months, compared to the average of a 6 month supply. In comparison, Single-Family home sales dropped from 71 to 62, with a 10.5 month supply (average 7 months).

Employment and income
Middletown's employment figures are much better than those of both the state and the nation. The unemployment rate for April was 7.2%, up from 4.2% a year ago, but significantly less than the 7.9% of the state and 8.9% of the nation. The April 2008 unemployment rate was considered "full employment", Middletown would need to add 228 jobs to return to that condition.

The median income for Middletown in 2008 was $60,542, compared to $58,174 in 2007. The report notes that the drop in interest rates means that there is a substantial rise in the maximum house price that a family with the median income can afford. With 3% down, and spending 30% of gross income, the current maximum house price is $207,000, compared to $175,000 a year ago.

The report provides a moderately gloomy forecast for the next few months of our local economy, "Unemployment continues to grow. Trade name registration has slowed from previous April and March. Rumors of another Pratt and Whitney round of layoffs. Expect unemployment to go over 8% in June or July."

The full report is available.

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