We have not seen the likes of these market conditions in 30 years. Adapting to it is challenging and requires re-thinking everything to adapt to it properly.
The Current Ebb and Flow
During the real estate growth and appreciation years many people moved out farther from the urban centers to get better values. Demand in Yamhill County was fueled by lower prices (and other rural benefits). Times have changed. Today you can find exceptional values all over Portland as a result of short sales, bank-owned foreclosures, distressed and weary sellers and high inventory. Our greatest local problem is, and has been for four years, the lack of buyers! Buyers can now live closer-in, save money on fuel, save time, and realize faster and greater appreciation when this market turns around and the ebb back into Portland is followed by the flow out to the suburbs.
How Well Are Antiques Selling These Days?
There has also been a paradigm shift from ‘country living’ to the ‘urban lifestyle’. The Pearl District used to be a bunch of abandoned warehouses that no one wanted. Today it is some of the most expensive real estate in Oregon. Contemporary fads and novel ideas have resulted in a mass migration from suburbia back to the urban downtowns. Antiques are symptomatic of a dramatic shift in what is popular.
“It’s the Economy, Stupid” (famously used by Bill Clinton to beat George H. W. Bush)
The current economic conditions drive homeowners closer in to Portland. We are getting used to $3.00-$4.00 a gallon gas but these new highs have motivated many people to live as close to work and other interests as possible. Newberg might be a bedroom community of Portland but it is still a stiff commute there! Yet it is still feasible in this tough market to commute anywhere from Wilsonville to Forest Grove and into downtown Portland. However, when McMinnville suffers high unemployment, people generally move away to get closer to jobs. When there are no new jobs attracting people into McMinnville, demand is low, prices free-fall; buyers are few.
Apples and Oranges
We have noticed an amazing dynamic the past couple of years. Our rural properties are for the first time competing with rural properties in Sherwood (Parrett Mountain View Estates, etc.), rural Wilsonville, and the Stafford area in Tualatin. We have lost buyers to West Linn! When we price properties now, we have to stand back and compare our proposed market prices with markets that we never competed with in the past. Apples to apples used to be a local comparison. Particularly when pricing rural or luxury properties, no longer is it apples and oranges when Dundee gets compared to Bull Mountain.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
McMinnville (19th & Hwy 99) Newberg (College & Hwy 99)
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100 700 E 1st Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128 Newberg OR 97132
Buy. Sell. Be Happy.