SOURCE: HouseValues

June 09, 2006 14:19 ET

Governor Gregoire Offers Upbeat Message on Economic Development, the Importance of Creating Good-Paying Jobs While Diversifying the State's Economy

Tour of HouseValues' Growing Yakima Office Underscores Private Enterprise Working With Government: Partnership Is 'Model for Any Community in the Rest of the State'

YAKIMA, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 9, 2006 -- Governor Chris Gregoire's visit to Yakima yesterday was punctuated with an important message as it relates to economic development: Successful, growing companies like HouseValues (NASDAQ: SOLD) are investing in local communities while partnering with state and local government officials to keep good paying-jobs in state. And the results are a win-win for all involved, she believes.

The governor made her remarks as part of an afternoon tour of HouseValues' multi-million dollar facility, which opened in January and already has 60 full time employees. Company officials say another 45 full time employees are slated to begin work June 19.

Founded less than seven years ago, HouseValues has grown to more than 500 employees and has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation.

"We desperately wanted to keep HouseValues here and wanted them to expand here," she said. "The result is a model for any community in the rest of the state. It's been a tremendous partnership with the leadership of the company."

She added, "You can host the President of Mexico, you can bring in HouseValues here to establish its business… there's nothing you can't do in Yakima to expand your economy and your competitiveness in the global marketplace."

Gregoire became directly involved in the decision by HouseValues to expand to Yakima when she learned the Kirkland-based company was considering opening a major new facility to serve its rapidly expanding customer base. "We (Washington State) need to think of ourselves more like a small nation, not a state and see the endless possibilities like the leaders of HouseValues see."

About HouseValues Inc.

Founded in 1999, HouseValues Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLD) provides consumers and real estate professionals with the information and tools they need for success throughout the home buying and selling process. The company's flagship consumer products include HomePages.com™, a lifestyle and neighborhood-centric home buying and selling service; TheLoanPage.com, a service that provides current and prospective home owners with competitive mortgage and refinance quotes from leading lenders; HouseValues.com®, a service that provides home sellers with market valuations of their current home; and JustListed.com™, a service that alerts home buyers as soon as new homes hit the market that meet their criteria. Learn more at www.housevaluesinc.com.

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