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Business

Summer 2002

Washington sets a record for home sales

Thanks to affordable mortgage rates that offset economic uncertainty and job cutbacks, Washington’s resale housing market set a sales record in 2001, according to statistics released by the Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER) at Washington State University.

“About 125,000 homes were sold last year, 5,000 more than in 1999, the previous record,” says Glenn Crellin, WCRER director. The median price for an existing home in Washington was $178,200 during the quarter, 0.5 percent higher than in 2000. King County had the highest median price ($260,000), Pacific County the lowest ($77,000).

The recession notwithstanding, slower increases in prices, low mortgage rates, and continued increases … » More …

Spring 2002

The other side of the coin

Making financial decisions is difficult to begin with—even more so when we let our emotions get in the way.

“Greed is good,” says Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street.

Although I would not go quite that far, greed is a natural human emotion. A Wall Street adage states that two factors move the market: fear and greed. This perception is fueled partly by the media and partly by reporters who wish to be dramatic but may not fully understand what truly drives the market. While ideas of fear and greed have dramatic potential, the characterization is far too simplistic. The human mind is too … » More …

Spring 2002

Finding what's right for you

OK, so you’re looking for work, and you’re getting good, bad, and ugly job offers. How do you determine which one to choose?

It’s no secret. The economy is drooping like a vase-full of two-week-old flowers. Here in the Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times and Seattle-Post-Intelligencer recently reported a 56-percent decline in overall employment advertising, while ads for high-tech workers are down as much as 80 percent. Boeing is whittling away 30,000 jobs, while other manufacturing sectors are also downsizing. Economists predict things won’t swing upwards until well into this year.

If you find yourself dialing the unemployment claim line every week—or if you’re thinking … » More …