22 Scotsman Guide Residential Edition | scotsmanguide.com | December 2013
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Nebraska’s economy largely persevered throughout the recession. Since 2008, the state’s unemployment rate has been among the lowest in the country, and according to the Nebraska Department of
Economic Development, the state’s nonfarm employment has been generally positive for several years
running. This past August, the Nebraska Department of Labor estimated that there were 972,361 such
jobs in the state, a year-over-year increase of 1 percent. The state’s manufacturing employment grew
this past August, as well, adding 2. 3 percent more jobs year over year. Nebraska’s real gross domestic
product grew by 1.5 percent in 2012, according to the bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Cornhusker State’s recent economic success can be traced to several factors. According to an
August 2010 article from NPr, University of Nebraska–Lincoln economics professor Eric Thompson
attributed the state’s stability in part to high workforce quality and relative steadiness in home prices.
Nebraska’s resilient economy has led to a spate of recent accolades. Among them, Forbes.com recently
named Nebraska as the sixth-best state for business, while Market Watch.com named Nebraska as one
of the top 10 states in which to retire.
omaha area home sales
Although Nebraska’s largest city
never entirely lost its steam in the
recession, Omaha’s housing market
is still on the upswing. According to
the Omaha Area board of realtors
— which broadly tracks the housing
market in the Omaha region, including the suburb of Council bluffs, Iowa
— the average home sales price in the
Omaha area increased year over year
each month between October 2012
and this past September, when the
average home price was $179,701.
Considering its healthy housing market, it may come as no surprise that the Omaha-area economy
is relatively stable, as well. According to the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, the
Greater Omaha metropolitan statistical area’s cost of living is about 10 percent to 13 percent less than
the national average. Additionally, the area’s median household income was slightly higher than the
national median this past year, according to the group. Kiplinger.com recently ranked Omaha No. 1 on
its list of the “ 10 best Cities for Cheapskates.”
Like its unemployment figures,
Nebraska’s delinquency activity is
minimal compared to many other
parts of the country. According to
the Mortgage bankers Association,
its percentage of loans in foreclosure was just 1.05 percent this
past second quarter, compared to
3. 33 percent for the nation overall.
Nebraska’s percentage of loans with
installments past due was also less
than the national average this past
second quarter — 5. 32 percent versus 6. 8 percent, respectively.
The state’s foreclosure activity has been declining steadily since first-quarter 2012, when Nebraska’s
number of auctions, defaults and real estate owned (rEO) properties was at its largest since 2009,
according to realty Trac. This past third quarter, the state had its lowest number of auctions, defaults
and rEOs since second-quarter ’09.
In terms of its employment picture, Nebraska weathered the recession remarkably well. The state’s unemployment rate never even reached 5 percent. At its apex, the rate hit 4. 9 percent in July 2009 and again in
January 2010. For comparison, the nation’s unemployment rate was 9. 5 percent in July ’09 and 9. 8 percent
in January ’ 10. Nebraska’s unemployment rate continues to rank among the lowest in the nation. This past
August, the rate was 4. 2 percent, lower than every state but North Dakota and South Dakota.
BY IVANNA C. SUKKAR BY RAYMOND FLEISCHMANN
3 Cities to Watch
Located near the center of the state, Grand Island
is Nebraska’s fourth-largest city. both the population and the household income in Grand Island
have been growing as of late, with the latter reaching $45,095 this past year, according to the Grand
Island Chamber of Commerce. Like many places
in Nebraska, the city also boasts a low unemployment rate — just 3. 7 percent in 2012.
The state’s capital and second most populous city,
Lincoln’s economy is additionally buoyed by the presence of the University of Nebraska’s flagship campus. Citing its low unemployment rate, Forbes.com
recently ranked Lincoln as the fourth-best place for
business and careers. between this past January and
this past September, the Lincoln area’s median home
sales price was $143,550.
Papillion is located about 10 miles away from Offutt
Air Force base, the county’s largest employer.
Papillion manages to strike a balance between affordability and a high standard of living. The town’s
median home price is $141,000 according to Money
Magazine, which recently ranked it No. 17 on its list
of towns where homes are affordable.
sources: bureau of Economic Analysis, Forbes.com, Grand Island Chamber
of Commerce, Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, Kiplinger.
com, Lincoln.NE.gov, Market Watch.com, Money Magazine, Mortgage bankers
Association, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, NPr, Omaha
Area board of realtors, realtors Association of Lincoln, realty Trac, Sarpy.com,
U. S. Census bureau, U. S. Department of Labor
wHAT THE LOCALS SAy
“Obviously, your Omaha and Lincoln — the eastern
part of the state — is usually an area that’s a driving
factor [of the state’s housing market], whereas the
western part of the state is smaller communities
where there’s not as much building going on.
In Omaha and Lincoln, we’ve seen some of the
busiest new-build markets this year that we’ve
seen probably in five to seven years. There’s been
a lot of new activity and new building, and I think
that’ll continue through next year.”
— BRENT RASMuSSEN, PRESIDENT,
MOR TgAgE SPECIALISTS LLC
raymond Fleischmann is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
oMaha-aRea hoMe SaLeS
Source: Omaha Area board of realtors
neBRa Ska FoReCLoSuRe FiLingS
source: realty Trac
Q1’09 Q3’09 Q1’ 10 Q3’ 10 Q1’ 11 Q3’ 11 Q1’ 12 Q3’ 12 Q1’ 13 Q3’ 13
Average sales price Closed sales
Default Auction REO