Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guam and the cost of housing

The military build-up will likely increase the cost of living on Guam, especially housing. Housing costs will be driven up by this simple fact: The build-up will increase the island's population by about 15%. For sure, rents will rise as the available rental market decreases. Many will, of course, live on the bases but not everyone. A certain percentage of people will relocate permanently to Guam and that may put added pressure on housing prices.

For now, Guam remains relatively affordable. Here are some historical statistics through 2008 on housing prices trends

Single family homes on Guam that cost less than $220,000 are available and there are numerous condos in the $140,000 to $200,000 range. There are a number of real estate firms that provide searchable listing. Here's a link to the Guam Board of Realtors searchable listing. (For specific real estate firms, see reference link list on right hand side toward bottom.) Here's the link to the main Guam Board of Realtors site.

Regarding cost of living, Guam lawmakers just approved the minimum wage increase from $6.55 to $7.25, reports the Pacific Daily News. Lawmakers had no choice thanks to the build-up.

The $7.25 wage is also the minimum in nearly half the states. Here’s a rundown from U.S. Department of Labor statistics.

Washington: $8.55
Oregon: $8.40
Illinois: $8 to $8.25 in 2010
Vermont: $8.06
California, Massachusetts: $8
Connecticut: $8 going to $8.25 on Jan. 1 2010
District of Columbia: $7.55
Maine: $7.50
New Mexico: $7.50
Michigan: $7.40
Rhode Island: $7.40
Ohio: $7.30
Colorado: $7.28
States at $7.25: Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Hawaii, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvnia, Texas, Utah, South Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Maryland, Iowa, Kentucky
Florida, $7.21
Alaska, Delaware,$7.15
Missouri: $7.05
Nevada: $6.85
Wisconsin:$6.50
Arkansas: $6.25
Georgia: $5.15
Wyoming: $5.15
Virgin Islands: $4.30
Puerto Rico: $4.10
Kansas: $2.65
The federal minimum wage is rising to $7.25 on Friday.

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