We hear the US is now 10 years into an economic expansion and real estate recovery. However, the local Sierra Foothills economy, including Western Nevada County, has historically lagged economic indicators in the greater Bay Area and Sacramento regions, and this recent expansion appears no different. In fact, local trends seem to indicate that we are only about 5 years into positive economic activity. While national prognosticators are now warning of an economic softening and market correction, might our local economy just be hitting its stride with several more years of positive economic activity on the horizon? Baby Boomers and Millennials may help provide the answer.
The sheer numbers of Millennials and Baby Boomers mean that these groups remain the most influential drivers of our economy. Nevada County is well-known as a retirement haven for boomers who continue flocking to the area. Now, in addition to the boomers, we are noticing a growing swell of interest in the area from Millennials, now with kids, looking to relocate here for a more wholesome environment to raise their families. More affordable housing, abundant outdoor recreation, quality health care, low crime, diverse school choice, less congestion and other quality of life characteristics of our Gold Country environment create a strong current that I believe may continue to keep our local economy growing for some time to come – in spite of recent concerns of a slowdown.