REVENGE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE!
Ok, it isn’t that dramatic…..For awhile now, I’ve been tracking the value of Hood River County against the rest of the market. As a gauge of our county’s pull, and the relative popularity of the “Country Country” vs the “City Country.”
It’s not in any way scientific, just a hash mark in the years numbers. For awhile there was going to be some parity, where Hood River County in total was the same value as the other three counties combined.….
But alas, a good showing by Wasco in 2011, and a resurgent interest in larger pieces of non-urban land have lead to a reversal of that trend this year.
Now, you could tie yourself up in pretzels trying to determine some drivers….shakier economics leads to more rural transactions because of foreclosures? Maybe. Prior buyers in the HR market were actually speculative and have been forced into a hiatus? Prooobably…….
The longer term trend, though, is that Hood River County (HRC) versus the rest of the market (ROTM) has been narrowing. It almost merged last year, then HRC’s volume and sides closed deflected (more about that later) downward, with a truly, truly sizable drop in number of units closed this year. I actually do think that sets us up for a bump in volume if we are to return to the historical trend….
Or not, in which case the new reality in Hood River could be a lean one….but there are just too many indicators that say otherwise…….
Worth noting is the annual number of units closed in this market (Hood River County, vs. Wasco Klickitat and Skamania) take a look.
|Total sides per year|
The Market looks in 2011 to be the same as 2009 in total numbers, but there a shift to the ROTM in 2011, and pretty much the entire drop was in the HR county market. Ouch. I could further parse it by our market areas, but I’m guessing it would show the Westside dropping off a cliff in terms of volume. Maybe I’ll do that next month.
What’s probably most sobering is that 55+ deals went away in 2010 vs. 2011. There’s a bunch of stuff in the pipe, BTW and traditionally there is a push at the very end of the year, but by and large…..well, it was a down year in terms of transactions, period.
So, what’s ahead? I expect a volume rebound in HR in 2012, which in turn will stabilize our total dollar volume, both up about 10-15%, to 2009 volumes. It could take a good decade to return to anything resembling a market volume of over 200 million, but 160-180 stabilized isn’t out of the question. The Real Estate Broker starve out continues, and technology is probably the key. The stuff happening today is incredible. If you aren’t right on the new technology, it seems to just blow past you, leaving you at a real disadvantage. Get ready, the whole model is about to change…..again!
See you next month. Check out our new website, launching in early 2011. Thank you for your readership, and your patronage this year. We look forward to being of service to you in 2012!