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High Desert homes in demand; prices inch up

     Demand is up for homes in the High Desert, but the supply isn’t keeping up, according to November real...

Article Date : 12/18/2009
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Furniture stores hit by housing slump (Posted Date :Saturday, December 29, 2007)
The beginning of the trend? Experts expects the housing market to take two or three years to recover
Some furniture stores in the Victor Valley are shutting their doors because of lack of sales sparked by the housing slump.

The Home Gallery, Jonathan’s Furniture, Levitz and Really Living Furniture are all going out of business.

“The rent where we’re at is too high and the sales are too low,” said Jonathan Tobon, owner of Jonathan’s Furniture, which has been in business for three-and-a-half years and will close on Sunday.

Tobon said sales have been really low in recent months.

Levitz is closing not only their Victorville store, but all 76 locations nationwide after a bankruptcy court approved the $57.6 million sale of the chain to an investment group.

The company has 32 stores in California, including the one in Victorville.

“The housing sector causes several parts of the economy to ebb and flow,” said John Husing, Inland Empire economist.

Husing said the furniture store closures are directly related to the slowdown of housing. When the market is strong, furniture stores, home improvement stores, real estate companies and lumber yards all thrive. When it is weak, they begin to suffer.

This could be only the beginning of the trend. Husing expects the market to take another two or three years to recover from the current downturn.

The good news is that some businesses may be able to weather the storm. Husing said that in the last housing slump in the early 1990s, it took eight or nine years for the market to correct itself.

“Maybe they’ve overextended themselves, but I think a lot of it is management,” said Don Lager, president of Midway Home Solutions in Victorville, which has been open since 1961.

Lager said his business is down as well, but he has just had to adjust.

“Business is off, but we’re just doing things better; we’ve got to,” he added.

Ryan Orr, Staff Writer

By : Daily Press
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