Filed under: Economy
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windermere tri-cities

Tri-Cities…Still a Great Place to Live With the Lowest Cost of Living in Washington State
Story released by KEPR TV at keprtv.com
By Rudabeh Shahbazi

Franklin County is already the fastest-growing county in the state, with one of the lowest foreclosure rates around. When the headlines are bleak, it’s good to know your dollar is going far. Experts say the economy is cyclical. Affordable housing and an abundance of businesses create jobs and make the population boom. That, in turn, attracts more business and drives prices down. TRIDEC CEO Carl Adrian says, it’s all about healthy competition.
“I think right now, we’ve hit a critical mass, and there’s enough spendable income that we’re seeing retailers grow, because other retailers want to be here,” said Adrian. “And as we continue to grow, in terms of population, other employers want to be here because there’s an available labor force.” A recently released ACCRA study measures the cost of living by groceries, housing, retail, utilities, transportation and health care. The information is voluntarily submitted from each area.

“It’s positive to be able to say we’re the lowest cost of living in Washington,” said Adrian.

According to the study, it costs 10 percent less than the national average to live in the Tri-Cities.

It starts with the housing market. Adrian says open land leaves room for development and the Tri-Cities has been insulated from the national foreclosure crisis.

“The cost of homes here still remains under $200,000, which you don’t find, even in some smaller cities like Ellensburg,” said mortgage broker Dana Mundy. “The cost is substantially higher than that.”

TRIDEC reps say retailers are looking for business opportunities where their employees’ paychecks will go farther, and where their own value will appreciate in an ever-growing population. Yakima did not participate in the study this quarter. Last quarter, Yakima came in at one percent below the national average.

For more valuable information about the Tri-Cities area economy please visit http://www.workforceexplorer.com/publication.asp?PUBLICATIONID=9297 .  Our Regional Labor Economist, Dean Schau, shares his expertise and knowledge on our area.