Fairfax Economic Forecast Shows Better Vacancy, Unemployment, Foreclosure Rates
City is still feeling the effects from the recession.
Fairfax City expects continued improvements in its vacancy, unemployment and residential foreclosure rates for fiscal year 2014.
City Manager Bob Sisson presented an economic outlook for Fairfax at a council meeting on Nov. 27, kicking off Fairfax City's FY2014 budget season.
The economic forecast sets the tone for budget tallks. Staffers use this forecast to help estimate where the city sits in terms of revenue and expenses in the near future.
Sisson and his staff have to contend with a $5.2 million deficit, increases in capital improvement project funding and the city's school tuition bill in balancing the FY2014 budget. Council members will work with staff until they adopt a budget in May.
Here's a breakdown of expected city revenues and expenses for 2014:
FY2014 Economy Forecast
- Businesses are still feeling the effects from the recession.
- Federal spending is expected to continue to decrease.
- About 77 percent of city residents work outside of Fairfax City. Cuts to federal job opportunities and funding will have a local effect.
- City staffers are unsure what the "fiscal cliff" dilemma means for Fairfax City.
- As of 2011 there were 5,250 licensed businesses in Fairfax City. That number has steadily increased since 2005.
- There is about 8 million square feet of commercial real estate in Fairfax City. Of that, 10.4 percent of office space is vacant and 2.8 percent of retail space is vacant. These vacancy rates are still lower than the surrounding county and D.C. region.
- Those vacancy rates have decreased from 13.4 percent (office) and 4 percent (retail) since 2011.
- The unemployment rate in Fairfax City has decreased from 7.3 percent in September 2011 to 5.6 percent in September 2012.
FY2014 Real Estate Forecast
- The number of residential foreclosures in 2012 so far is down 45 percent from last year.
- Average days on the market in 2012 so far is up 12 percent from last year.
- Since October the number of homes sold in 2012 is up 14.4 percent from 2011.
- City staff expects residential and non-residential prices to show modest increases into 2016. Interest rates will also likely remain favorable.
Patch will follow the budget process throughout the winter months and into April.
Click here to watch city staff go over their FY2014 budget expectations.