Well, this is my first outlook posting for the View Blog. In brief, I must say, the Hood River Real Estate market look strong for 2006.
As an investor, developer, and local businessperson, one would say that I probably don’t have any other choice but to always say that it is a bull market. For me, that isn’t the case.
I’ve always though Hood River was a great place to be. It’s got a great community, an intact functioning agriculture base, and a generally relaxed way of life. Real Estate speculation isn’t generally a part of that, and in fact, over the last decade, being involved in Real Estate was considered, by just about EVERYONE, to be a risky proposition, at best.
I grew up in Hawaii, and I know firsthand what a bad Real Estate market can do to people, so I’m nautrally wary. After my first two development projects, I stepped back and waited for the floor to drop out, and I was wrong. I continued to have a cautious stance for the following two years, and was again, wrong (well not really, just more cautious)
Now, in 2005, our Fall outlook was one of caution, and to be sure, signs abound. Overheated action with Heavy Buyer overhang in the sub $330,000 price range can only be seen as inflationary, and will probably only be mitigated by the development of the additional 190+++ lots on the West Side of Hood River, but there may be so much pent up demand that even those might not be enough. While we wait, the surrounding communities of The Dalles and White Salmon and Stevenson continue to grow, absorbing demand.
I’ve got an old friend, Fred Haywood, who likes to use the “octopus” method of describing the market. He’s lived through a few bust cycles himself. He like to say that when times are great, the octopus sticks its tentacles out and reaches for more things, but when times are not good, or there is an emergency, the octopus shrinks into a ball as a defensive maneuver.
Hood River Real Estate will be much like this in in 2006. It will continue to grow, but in the event of any external shocks, will retreat to the more proven urban fabric pieces………Look for a ton of demand in the 300k range, tapering off to the 700 range (too many 400k homes trying to masqureade as 700k homes) and then increasing above that. Many Many people have found Hood River and it is now, officially on “the map.” Currently, it’s one of the cheapest places on “the map” of cool, second home towns. I’m not sure if that makes for a great community long term, but if the people who purchase are looking to move here, and understand what living in a rural commuity entails, it should be an exciting time for Hood River.