Welcome to March!
Well, we are off to a start, and the early numbers from January show lower than normal numbers on inventory. This seems to have stalled the markets slightly, in both The Dalles and Hood River, as the buyers begin to stack up.
So which will it be for this spring? More pent up buyer demand? Or more units? My continued impression is the answer will be more pent up buyers (meaning, prices will rise, theoretically at least).
So, we will see. Of course, as I write this, I’m looking at a stack of listing documents on my desk, so at least there is SOME movement on the listing front.
Hood River seems to be at another turning point, and for that matter so does the Dalles. It seems that every few years or so, seemingly as we stand on the cusp of maturing a bit more, we tend to go through a pretty involved period where people question the assumptions of their community and the direction in which it’s headed. All in all a good process, but it can get a bit involved, and sometimes a bit tense.
I’ve been working on an initiative in our region to promote greater awareness of the workforce housing crisis that is afflicting both Wasco and Hood River counties. Basically, it’s the lack of homes (or apartments, or studios) for people who work in our community who earn between 80%-120% of our area’s median income. This encompasses the majority of our working class folks.
You’d be surprised at how difficult it is becoming to live here if you dont have a higher than average paying job. Basically, we can’t house the people who work here, primarily because of the high price of our housing stock.
But, as a realtor I am, of course, part of the cause of these conditions. That shouldn’t mean we realtors can’t do our jobs, but we must be aware of the impacts we are having. The fact is, many many more people want to move here every day, and move here full time. But even more want to just have a summer home.
And therein lies the rub. These two groups of buyers, vying for the same house. And with fewer and fewer units available, well, that continues to put this upward pressure on the market that the banks just wont support.
So, round and round we go until something changes. Let’s seek solutions together.
Warm weather will shake me out of this funk, I hope!