The View From Here April 2018

We need Listings! I repeat! We need Listings! 🙂

Spring so far, continues to spring. The numbers say that we are tracking last year's numbers, but it just doesn't feel like it...

It frankly, feels like I'm waiting for another shoe to drop or something. As you all may know, I’m a strangely cautious person, and especially so when markets are overclocking. This is one of those times...

Prices remain high, and out of reach for most of Hood River. Buyers are balking at what’s for sale these days, and some homes that are CLEARLY in the range of the average buyers, are just sitting there.

Interestingly, I expect a round of early season price reductions (or negotiated closings indicating a lower ratio price to offer, say, of around 85%-88% rather than the current averages of between 93%-97%.)

Luxury Country Home with Double Mountain Views!-RMLS#18282618

Our inventory, however, is really really low! we are at about 3.7 months of inventory at this writing, which is keeping prices supported...It does, however, indicate that folks are not moving around in the market....because there is no "gradient" to be found in the valley. There is no cheaper place to move to in this market, except the Dalles.

The Dalles, however is catching up! Prices are rising and the unit volume is also very strong. We are starting to see real, speculative investment in The Dalles, around both commercial buildings and residential, including new infill and renovations. It's always early to say "Things are changing in the Dalles!" (Because this has been an impending thing for...30 years?) but...things are changing in The Dalles.... 🙂

So that's what’s what from the Gorge this month! See you around town, feel free to ask me any questions about this crazy market we are in!

~ Maui Meyer

Owner/Managing Partner, Licensed in OR & WA


The View From Here March 2018

I’m back!

Hello and Happy Almost Spring!

Well, here we are. The last major winter storm has (probably) hit for the season, and we can now look forward to blue skies and rain. Ha ha...

At least we have snow on the mountain, which is a cold comfort for many of the farmers, who just.....barely survived this cold snap.

As well, it still feels like the market is in hibernation and not yet waking up for Spring. It is now a question of when we are going to come out of it and what that timing exactly looks like. Historically, usually by last week of February, we start getting busy and hit the ground running, but I haven't sensed that kind of business happening quite yet. We have definitely seen a bit of an uptick compared to the deep winter months of November-January, but we are still not feeling it really hit. This, combined with the Feds raising interest rates twice in the last quarter, gives me a strong reason to say that this Spring will be fairly busy but not nearly as overheated as previous years.

3734 SqFt Westside Craftsman with Shop - RMLS#18594100

I feel strongly we will have a constrained listing environment this year- keeping prices high, but potentially pushing unit volume down. The average purchase price of a home in Hood River County is almost 6x the median income of those that live in the valley, which is now the "among the worst in the nation" category.

So how do we still put up numbers and sell units? We look to "inbounds" Folks who are moving here from a different market, with different fundamentals. (think San Fran, or LA, or Seattle.) These buyers allow folks from town to "exit" out of the top of the market, and move on, often to warmer (Think Arizona) climes. We are seeing this happening with increasing regularity, but it is not yet the largest trend in the market, just one that is becoming more influential.

We will know so much more by next month, It really will be a revealing 30-45 days, with so many different variables coming together. This morning's news feed had a citation to a report that indicates home sales collapsed in January, which to me, is not surprising. Stay tuned, kids......

~ Maui Meyer

Owner/Managing Partner, Licensed in OR & WA


The View From Here September 2017

I’m back!

Sorry for the hiatus, August was busier than we had thought! It turns out, even though the pace of business (July is referred to as "tire kicker month") was slow, August’s numbers are very very strong.

Deals, especially the very large deals, from May, June and July, were all hanging up due to appraiser availability. It took many of them well into August to fill their appraisal orders.

This will look like a giant flush of very high end properties, and some will think that it is a burst of business, but in reality, it's the last, toughest deals, finally getting sold before the fall.

Charming Craftsman in Downtown White Salmon - RMLS#17077928

Prices have topped, and are "choppy" at the top. These last two weeks, the advantage has shifted back to the Buyers. The Sellers CLEARLY want to move their properties before the long winter, and in some cases, they are willing to deal. as evidenced by (We are seeing that in) complicated, and long repair addendum negotiations.  And in more and more cases, outright price adjustments (and not small ones, mind you) in lieu.

Inventory is slowly healing, at 4 months’ worth of inventory in July, up from 2.8 in April. July's sales numbers were bad, well off, of 2016's numbers. Again, it is not so much sales numbers and deals closed, many of the deals slipped into August due to appraiser issues.  That, plus what we are seeing on the ground, means that inventory numbers will rise. I bet we even see 6 mo. inventory numbers return, a number we haven’t seen since January, of 2016. (6.3).

Heading into the fall? We've got two more pushes. The after-school push and the investor push, and then 2017 will be in the books. I have no idea how strong those pushes will be, but if I were to guess, I'd say they will match last year’s volume and intensity. Last year was good, but not 2015, which was absurd. This will be somewhere between those two.

That’s it from here. See you on the Water..........

~ Maui Meyer

Principal Broker, Licensed in OR & WA


The View From Here June 2017

Happy June! In case you think this is out of the ordinary weather......It is not. Just sayin'. Pretty much right on schedule, things started to calm down this last month. It went from 6 offers on a property down to two. That's actually an improvement. Inventory is slowly starting to rise, as it does every year, and there are actually some REALLY special properties on the market right now. This slowing down in the market doesn’t mean prices are moderating, they are still at all-time highs. We will see how they fare by the end of Summer, but at the moment, it's looking like there will be a clean sell through of properties, and we will STILL be below 3 months of inventory.

Fantastic Downtown Townhome #17594723

I can't see an event that will heal that dearth of properties for sale until the Marchese and Barrel Springs projects on the Westside come online. Even that inventory will have modest impact. Folks are beginning to "decamp" more and more to The Dalles, where you can actually get a really nice home under $350,000. I'm philosophically opposed to making our workforce leave town every evening. Frankly, we should expect more from ourselves. But I digress. Market in Hood River is strong, and crowded, but not out of control like it was in March and April. It's a great time to come out and take a look......Oh, and if you do, COME GET A SALMON PLANKING KIT FROM US! (check out the video: It's hilarious. Have a great June everyone. If you are in the hunt with us, don’t give up hope! We will find you a place! I promise! Also with help we can organize for you fast change of address.

~ Maui Meyer

Principal Broker, Licensed in OR & WA


210 HAZEL AVE, Hood River, OR 97031 (MLS # 17006902)

The View From Here May 2017

Happy Spring Everyone! Well, spring is late in arriving in Hood River. This week marks the first of the days over 70 degrees yet this year. It's been a welcome sight to see the sun. The market however continues its record tear, ever increasing prices, and multiple offers on virtually everything.  It's been really out of control. Every year, things seem to mellow out, right about this time of year.... The Sellers keep pushing the envelope, and the Buyers kind of.... well, they kind of balk, every year. I sensed it last weekend, that the fever might have broken, And I think it has.... but only a Real Estate dork like me could see it. Ever so slightly, the Buyers have stepped back. I don’t think most folks will see the impact, (Only 3 offers! Terrible!) but it's there. I still expect these crazy times to continue until the music stops playing. The big question now is, what will cause the music to stop? Your guess is as good as mine.
210 Hazel Ave

Immaculate Downtown Home with Stunning Views - MLS # 17006902

We saw one of the first properties in the Avenues come up in years. Listed in the high 300's and had multiple bids. One could surmise this is a new record for that neighborhood. Brace yourself, $300/sf is now becoming the norm for under 1300 sf. Many of you are on our direct mail list, but if not, we are closing out this year's campaign with an especially fun promotion that I'd like to share with you.... Cedar planking kits! Have you ever cooked your salmon on a BBQ with a cedar plank? It's fun, it's easy, and the results are nearly foolproof. We are giving away salmon planking kits all Summer if you come in and say hi, and since you are ALREADY on our mailing list, just say something nice about us to any of your friends who are considering Selling or Buying.  It's a blast, and the kit is awesome, and it even comes with a You Tube instructional video...Check it out, come on in and say hi!  Kits will be available the middle of May, maybe sooner! Our Brokers are the best Real Estate team in the Gorge. You won't be disappointed.

~ Maui Meyer

The View From Here April 2017

Daffodils are up.... Finally. I saw a flowering Cherry tree on Monday.... In Portland! (we are slightly behind Portland timing wise.) I was just up the valley and you can see it pushing up, but not popping.... maybe another week plus for the lower valley, but finally, the spring is arriving. It's late this year, and so is the market. Things are moving, and inventory remains exceedingly tight. Multiple offers are pretty normal at the moment, but I have noticed, interestingly, that my last couple deals did NOT have multiple offers.... If you have a home under $400,000 the odds are good you'll get multiple offers. If you don't it means you are pushing the pricing the point where someone has to reach to get it....and of course, you only need one. We are scouring the neighborhoods for listings. All the usual neighborhoods are in vogue these days. The Avenues (close in, just west of the Middle school) remains an enigma. No one lists or sells in there.... We are in year three of below average unit volume in that market. May Street neighborhood is about average (unit volume wise) but Columbia/Cascade is below average.... The ABC's are above average, but only slightly.  Much of the unit action is in St. Charles and Sieverkropp/Avenues West micro markets, and it looks like this trend will continue into this year.

Classic Craftsman on National Register - RMLS#17362039

As for pricing? It's high, but feels like it's topped. My forecast remains the same, Tight inventory, very high prices, lots of hustle to get a deal. Many of my clients have now given up and are de-camping to The Dalles. It's a bummer to lose some of these folks from Hood River, but there are fantastic values in The Dalles, and you can feel in improving sentiment everywhere. I think it will be a break out year for The Dalles, volume and price point wise. I'd like to give a big shout out to our new younger Brokers in our office, who have done such a fantastic job of learning the Art of Real Estate, and who are building impressive client portfolios by the day! I was reviewing their work this last week, and I’m so impressed with both our Hood River and our Dalles teams. Fantastic work, by the next generation of Real Estate Brokers in our region. .... And that's it for April's view. Sorry to be so choppy, but that's kind of what the market feels like now, too......

~ Maui Meyer

105 N 20th St

The View From Here March 2017

Happy March Everyone.... It's not spring, but everything is pushing hard.....spring is right around the corner.....And with it comes some more inventory.....hopefully. So far, we are a little slow out of the gate in terms of overall activity. I was reviewing the Gorge market performance with one of my vendors, and he noted that the activity in the market is down by over 50%. January, was solid, February was.....simply quiet. I think folks will come back online here as the weather warms up, so we'll have to wait and see. Prices, remain astronomically high. There are also no buildable lots (or very few) available in our market. Those prices also remain aggressive.
105 N 20th St

Easy Living Minutes From Downtown - RMLS#17522514

Some inventory relief appears to be on the way, however. In Hood River, Barrel Springs and the "Kitts/Marchese" annexations are underway, and appear to be moving through the city planning. Phase 3 (It think it is) of the Sieverkropp addition is underway, and appears to be attempting to get platted and released in this selling season  (June timeframe) I think they'll make it. Given the later availability of lots (Q3 and Q4 of this year), I'm feeling like a bunch of our business will be pushing out towards the end of the year, when folks can buy a new house, and will then sell their existing homes. It appears to be a larger part of the market right now, folks who are "trading up" and selling, for good returns to the new arrivals in town, most notably, INSITU employees, (rumored to be hiring 300 more employees) and other employees of other vendors that supply materials to INSITU. Prices high, inventory tight. Lots of new, young Brokers on our team, out there working hard for a living. More data next month, as we move out into the actual sales season.... I’m excited for 2017!

~ Maui Meyer

The View From Here February 2017

Greetings My Real Estate Friends, Well, I thought quite seriously about terminating The View From Here Newsletter because frankly, it gets boring talking about how high the prices are in Hood River. After a couple months off, I was persuaded to continue the now NEARLY DECADE LONG tradition of the email string.....Crazy eh? Hood River Real Estate is Frozen. Frozen. Frozen......!!!! Like, literally. Every year, when we get some snow around New Year’s, everyone cheerily locks down for a week or two, then we get back to normal around mid-January and get to work. This year, we are stuck in that loop. Over and over again, just as we think we are past the snow, we get hit with another event. This last one (The fourth or fifth, I think) comes with a cap of ice, which if you've experienced it, is no fun at all. The snow is bad, but a 1/2" crust of ice on top of it is so much worse.
Dividable Land Close to Town - RMLS#16676911

Dividable Land Close to Town - RMLS#16676911

So, Real Estate. Currently the market is in deep hibernation, there are almost no homes for sale. We are talking with clients about Spring plans, and there looks to be some listing volume on its way, but the buyer demand this year will be high You've heard me refer to the Buyers being "veneer thin" in the past....meaning that once a home or two sells in a certain market, and all the hype gets built up, the prices suddenly moderate as the fourth or fifth Seller to list tried to extend the hype that so recently swirled in their neighborhood, only to find that.......there were only three or four buyers for that neighborhood. That used to be a rule in Hood River, but I suspect that it has served its purpose, and that now, we are looking at 6 - 9 plus clients in many neighborhoods and market segments looking for homes. In some market segments and neighborhoods, (price and location) I bet it's over a dozen. That's it for this month. Thanks for reading, and we'll catch up with you next month! ~ Maui Meyer
Bristol Rd, Snowden, WA

The View From Here December 2016

Wow, so much to take in..... This post-election world has yet to set in, but it’s clear, we are in new territory...... Hey everyone welcome to America in Late 2016. Bet you didn’t think it would look like this. Markets soaring (Both Real Estate and Equities) but nothing but uncertainty ahead. So let's dive in! The Case Shiller index this month has fully recovered from the 2008 housing crisis, and values have returned to their pre-2008 levels. Portland (Closest Market tracked by Case Shiller) is putting up a 10.9 annualized rate as of September. Stories from the ground however, show signs of softening. Sales pace is down in PDX and prices appear to have crested. The same for Hood River, except for the sales pace. Things are still clicking here....slight uptick in inventory, which is common for this time of year, appears to be slightly larger than in years past....leading to hopes of better inventory levels for 2017.
Bristol Rd, Snowden, WA

64 Bristol Rd, Snowden, WA - RMLS#16340505

The outlook for 2017 now indicates headwinds, and a slower pace of appreciation (again, also helpful for inventory). PDX is forecast to soften to 5%+ for 2017 given the new economy, and rising interest rates. I would suspect Hood River to be similar, and slightly more constrained, unit wise. I do feel however, that we will NOT be as tight on inventory levels for 2017. A Goldilocks era for Hood River Real Estate? Hmmm... Not sure. If more units become available in the city for sale (not likely) but if so, we might see prices moderate slightly. That however, is a big IF. The building season for 2017 does look to be crowded, with an absolute bomb of properties in for permits at the moment (probably 20+ right now with another 30 or so that I can see, all for spring of 2017). That's a lot of construction. The last time I saw the characters I’m seeing now getting into housing was spring of 2008. Welcome to the roller coaster....that pause you are experiencing....will be temporary. See you in 2017! Thanks for a great year, and your referrals, recommendations and business. -Maui Meyer

The View From Here November 2016

I might actually make it this month! We used to all get together in the coffee shops around here in September. Relax, congratulate ourselves for not losing our minds over the summer, and generally, bask in the glory that is September, the best month of Summer, when we get to enjoy the place with fewer folks around....... I looked up from my computer last week, and it was the FOURTH WEEK OF OCTOBER, Folks! We are still posting summer numbers and summer volume. Working the front, showing properties, and generally, wondering when we might get a break. Hope to reconnect with my friends soon as, we got a glimpse of it just this week, as things slowed down, finally. So it looks like November is the month to relax, because December is a busy "island" in the winter. We are grateful for the work, to be sure. But we are also grateful for the break.
The Commercial Heart of Mosier - RMLS#16064754

The Commercial Heart of Mosier - RMLS#16064754

Prices remain high, with some softening at the very top, given that folks are realizing, late in the summer that they will not be able to attain their over inflated numbers. In the lower price lower stratosphere, under $700k, prices are rock solid and high with psf at $300 and up!. Multiple offers in October.... very rarely seen, are still common. Hot neighborhoods continue to be May Street, Downtown and West Side, though many clients are looking for upper valley retreats. I'm not sure if that is because they are so new to the valley, or they really want to mow 5 acres. Odell is seeing some action, and Miller Road too. This last week, the big hunters showed up as there are now offers on a number of $1m+ properties in the valley. We will most likely begin our pause here, with only the 1031 push at the end of the year ahead......Then it's on to 2017 and spring. No signs of weakening here at the moment.....but possibly fatigue....... -Maui Meyer
414 E 3rd St

The View From Here October 2016

It's officially Fall! Wow. I looked on the website and see that I haven't posted since June. That was a long break. Thanks everyone. My apologies. But I'm back! We took a trip of a lifetime this summer for my 50th. Boy travelling with the family is fun. In my working life, I think I've only taken two vacations of two weeks, and only a handful of as many as 10 days (less than five, most likely). But this summer I took a month off. Traveled around Europe in an RV. Very, very, fun. My team in Hood River and The Dalles did a fantastic job, and didn't miss a beat. We also kept in touch from the road, but otherwise, were offline and loving life. I am refreshed, and have a new understanding of my family, and the way I want to live my life. Not to ramble on, but I am very, very aware of how lucky I am. So, Hood River real estate.... In keeping with tradition, the market calmed down through July, (remember, we call that "Tire Kicker Month") but as soon as August hit, things picked up again. And the buyers are still there, in force, throwing multiple bids at properties. The multiple offer part is what's interesting. That is not usually what happens this time of year. Usually everyone settles down by the end of June, and the market stagnates a bit until right about now (October) before we get one final push into the end of the year, and 1031 season. I have to admit, I'm surprised. More and more families are moving to town, and as I had mentioned before, they are now bringing kids and grandparents with them. Three houses at a whack.
414 E 3rd St

Sprawling View & Excellent Downtown Location - RMLS#16299203

Inventories are still tight, but in this last maybe week or so, the buyer heat has started to wane. Most likely seasonal, because I don't think the buyers have gone away for good, they've just gone away for the winter....... We need more units to sell, and we need to develop more options on the land we have in order to take the pressure off, but it does not appear there is much help on the horizon. The City of Hood River is backed up and dealing with a multitude of issues, and I fear, this paucity of property will continue, assuming the more "global" economy remains stuck together. So? Next Spring? More of the same. High prices, limited demand. Since more supply isn't forthcoming, it appears that the only thing that could change this trajectory is waning demand, which is not likely, unless we slip into a recession...... Which I don't hear anyone talking about...... do you? Thanks for reading. See you next month! Maui Meyer

The View From Here June 2016

Hey There Real Estate Friends! Happy Memorial Day weekend... Wow. Half the year gone by, like a blur. But enough with the formalities, want to know if the market pulled back? Yes? No? ?? The answer is.....barely, but it did pull back! We have been seeing properties stick on the market for a bit more time, as the PSF averages reach for new highs, after ALL of them being reset (beginning by the way, with a pivotal sale that happened this week last year...I'm talking about you Pam.) in the last year.... Two resets in a year? Aint gonna happen my friends, and at the margins, the buyers are balking. My quotes for listing are pulling back into the middle of the suggested range (which is costing me listings, but heck, what do they pay me for but good advice, right?) and these properties are sitting.....I'll admit, I'm listing a few of them, and the pattern, with all its nuances, repeats itself again this year..... the same.... only slightly different. But that means inventory is growing! However slightly, it is. These properties are over-priced, they will sit all summer until August, and then they will get cleared out, every year, like they always do..... But WOW are there cool properties to look at right now! New construction in town, a rare willow ponds custom, why, I bet any minute someone puts a Grande Dame up for sale... (Or wait, one of those IS for sale, Kind of) but yes, now's a good time to look into the market in Hood River! The weather is so very normal these days, but of course, (because we all like to complain about the weather) it feels so strange after the last three dry, hot years....Hey everyone who moved here less than three years ago, THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL WEATHER..... Ok, PSA complete.
Privacy, Acreage, Home & Horse Property - RMLS#16059470

Privacy, Acreage, Home & Horse Property - RMLS#16059470

I came across some cool reads this month too..... Michael Brush writes about how the current market displays some disturbing cultural similarities (house flipping shows and zero percent mortgages anyone?) to 2007 in his piece: The seeds of the next housing crisis have been planted - And this one, from WaPo. America's great housing divide:Are you a winner or loser? It's a great article. It basically says that the recovery was uneven in housing, and I mean REALLY uneven. Given that Real Estate makes up a large percentage of personal net worth for the majority of Americans..... Well, think of the impact. 2008 was hard for everyone. It stopped being hard for 20% of home owning Americans. but for the other 80%.....It never recovered. Think about that. When you talk about a disgruntled populace, you don't need to look much further than that statistic. (Ok editor's note, the 80/20 was my estimate) So there you go! I hope you enjoy the reads. Have a great Early June and we'll see you on the water! ~ Maui Meyer

The View From Here May 2016

Greetings everyone! I made it out on the water last week with my Boy..... Wow. Brisk! I forget that's what I used to do for a living, stand around in the sunny windy cold.......... This month I welcomed one of my returning team members from Copper West's early days back into our fold as one of my assistants. Katie Cassady is returning to us after multiple years in San Diego working for Jones Lang LaSalle, a large commercial broker. She wanted to return home, and do Real Estate in Hood River. Between Katie and Elise Byers, we have full time coverage of the entire market now. The three of us are working just my files. It has cut my response time down to minutes, given me depth of real time information for my clients that is not only unsurpassed, but developed in real time with my clients. Thanks to our cloud platform (and my new IPad Pro. Yikes if anyone wants to see the future....Buy an IPad Pro, seriously.) MOSTLY, however, it has allowed me to slow down, and pay more attention to my clients. I'm learning so much more from my work at the moment, enjoying clients, understanding more about what they need, and figuring ways to get that extra little bit out of our listings. Having a team isn't for everyone, but I now know it's for me.
Peaceful Private Retreat - RMLS#16350957

Peaceful Private Retreat - RMLS#16350957

The market? Still white hot, but showing signs of touching the bottom edge of the "hot market" veneer I've written about all these years. (When we think it's going to be "busy forever!" only to have it suddenly cool off.) This is the time of year I'm always surprised at how things pull back, or we sell through all the Buyers in the market..... I keep hoping that I'll be wrong, but almost every year, in about three weeks, somehow the Buyers just shut off for a bit.....The "Spring Fever Breaks" as they say. Prices are still topping out, but have stopped rising for now. They are really really high. Nice houses still command a premium, average houses, merely sell quickly. We are now into inventory that has real, honest to goodness challenges, but because of the market, folks are willing to overlook real problems in order to get a home. That's risky behavior, and the last time we saw it was in 2008. Portland now seems to be the place to move away from, and folks are regularly selling their homes, reaping a huge windfall, and moving out East to the Gorge......It's like a giant treadmill. SF moves to PDX. PDX moves to HR. See you on the water! ~ Maui Meyer

The View From Here: April 2016

April is here... Happy Spring folks! It came on quickly this year, with rain up until last week, and then sun, sun, sun! I looked at The Dalles forecast yesterday, Sunny, literally for the entire 45 day forecast........ Our markets are hot and moving. We are pushing new price points in nearly all neighborhoods, and the days on market are dropping like a rock. This is the usual spring pattern, but with a slight more fever this time around..... You want to know what's driving more of the market right now? Portlanders who are stuck in traffic. I've taken to responding to cold inquires with, "...and are you sitting in traffic right now?" The answer has been 100% yes.
678 Highline

Beautiful Home with Stunning River Views RMLS#16540352

I had no idea how bad it has become. I was speaking with a client from the Bay area this week as well, and he mentioned to me that both his company, and a friend of his' company were planning on large expansions (50-100 employees each) and you know where they were going to do it? In the cheapest West Coast City, Portland. He said. "I hear it's bad up there now, but at least you can still buy a house for under 1 million and be close to work so it's not a hard decision to put 100 employees up there....." And that's how it goes. We can plan all we want but in the end, it's just a larger game that we end up being pawns in. It should be a strong season, and we really are just starting, so I suspect we'll keep up with the spring buying into June, and calm down into July. I suspect the dog days of summer will push into the fall because everyone will be transfixed with the election....So, everything shifts by 2-3 weeks this year..... Still frothy out here, but great, great clients, all moving to town in a giant game of musical chairs..... SF to PDX to HR. See you next month! ~ Maui Meyer

The View From Here March 2016

I had a full blown Real Estate rant going there for a minute. Thank goodness I've managed to not send it out, and have calmed down...... Our market is really really hot right now. Buyers are getting frustrated, but that doesn't stop them from pushing the prices higher by the day. Our inventory is still very very low, and multiple offers are common. It's a great time to sell if you are in Hood River, but where would you go to? The Dalles is emerging as the hot market for this year. They still have value, and have inventory. It's crazy busy over there, busier than last year, and the prices are slowly.....slowly beginning to creep up!
Great Hood River Location with Privacy RMLS#16502544

Great Hood River Location with Privacy RMLS#16502544

In Hood River, the big fight is over Short Term Vacation Rentals. The Realtors are split on the issue. (I come down on pro-affordable housing, which necessitates strong STR controls) but I appear to be in the Realtor minority, but the popular majority..... It makes for a really really interesting time around here...... Weather is warming up, and spring is just in its earliest stages. This spring promises to be a sprint, starting early, and probably pushing right up until the end of the first half of the year..... All this hard work is going to pay off when I finally relax and shop for a vacation on sites like and pick the perfect situation for myself. Nothing seems to be standing in our way.... which is of course, when you need to be looking for something! See you next month! Buy a house now, we are running out! -Maui Meyer
Westside Farmhouse

The View From Here February 2016

One month down, 11 to go!

I'm always amazed at how fast January slips by. We have come to expect it to be so much slower than it ever turns out to be! This year, it's no different. Only wetter. Early January the water was snow, and now it's rain, but ever so slightly less cold and wet than December, in that it constantly reminds us....Spring is on the way....I had thought by January of 2016, we'd have a great picture of the 2016 market... but here we are, splitting hairs on market Strength/Weakness all the way into February. Here's the view from the ground here in the Gorge. 1. Inventory is at 4.3 months, which is a historic low (9 is perfect, 10 is  about what we traditionally have for comparison). Truly, everything is  picked over. 2. Downtown has broken out to a new pricing high. 3. STILL, in other parts of our marketplace, prices, while high, and firmed  up, aren't setting new levels.... yet. 4. There are Buyers everywhere. Literally.
2645 Kingsley Rd

Westside Farmhouse with Beautiful Mountain View RMLS#15484984

So, if there's one thing I do know, it's how fast these things can change. One 500 point drop in the stock market and the makeup of our clientele shifts immediately. I'm sounding a note of caution as we move forward into this new world of highest prices in Hood River's history, against an emerging "soft" global economy, and those impacts in this region. On one hand we have raw resources, on the other; we can fall out of favor in a fickle real estate market. My call for this spring? If you own a home and would like to move up in size or price, please call us. There's still value above $500,000. Below that it's frothy. Expect it to continue, as all of 2016's buildable lands have been procured and built on, almost a year ahead of schedule. I'd also expect a late year softening, as new land comes on the market, and the effects of a soft economy start to see into our market. Collapse? Of course not, softening, tempering, most likely. We are at the top of this market cycle, waiting for it to lighten up..... We can sense it.... but we can't see it.

~ Maui Meyer

414 Bluff Rd RMLS#16013324

The View From Here December 2015

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Yes, it's my usual mushy Thanksgiving email. I think for a change this year, I'll save the gratitude until my last post of the year, so you get a month reprieve, my friends. Part of that is because I haven't had a single moment to step back and reflect the year now soon gone by. There have been few breaks in the market, and when there have been, they measure in days, not weeks as is normal. I worry that my team will careen into the new year, with no pause, or sense of the cycle of Real Estate that is so crucial to this marketplace.  I've been urging my Brokers to step back this December, in an intentional manner, so that they can, however briefly, recuperate, and plan for 2016. We have, however, been busy setting new price levels in multiple markets. Downtown, we pushed into the $280-290 per sq ft range in condos, and in the heights, we are up over $260-270 psf. (Up from $245-250 and $215-225 previously)
414 Bluff Rd

New Construction in Great Location RMLS#15668353

Two completely different buyers, too. Multiple offers, and multiple cash buyers. This isn’t your usual crowd in Hood River. Those buyers are still out there, looking for anything to bid on. At this point, I suspect the market topping prices will tease out enough folks to sell, but I worry that we are accelerating 2016's inventory into this, usually slow market over the winter.  I suspect that is the case, and we will continue to have limited inventory and upward price pressure into 2016. None of that is probably healthy for this market, as the average home is now many times the average wage (In HR its now over 6X the average wage) Up the valley remains within purchasing range of local residents, but that too, is beginning to fade. Outlook for 2016? Busy over Winter, tight inventory in the Spring, prices pushing upwards but not getting there. Maybe a slight pricing bump in late March/April, but cooling off a bit after that. Depends on the Buyer's pool for 2016....... See you next month! -Maui Meyer
Gorgeous 8 Room Craftsman B & B

The View From Here: October 2015

It's officially Fall!

Well, it's not letting up, which is unusual for this time of year. Buyers are still out in force, and the last flush of properties, which were priced a bit higher than normal for this market (500-700) are moving. If you would like a property in Stonegate, now is your time to move. After years of no one moving, there are seven new listings in Stonegate. It looks to me like a combination of opportunity selling, and family growth. Regardless, the prices are aggressive, and though some folks are balking, one or two of the nicer properties, once they move, might actually validate that neighborhood and set new pricing levels. Inventory elsewhere is tight, but improving....though slowly. May street school district continues its hot streak, and that hot streak is starting to grow into the ABC streets. Rosauers (Pacific Heights) still has few properties available, though construction is underway on new homes in the latest addition. It remains to be seen what that does for other homes once 30 new homes hit the market, but we shall see. I suspect they will be easily absorbed, and will have a tempering effect on other housing prices, and that this will last for a few years, as the new addition up in Rosauers gets built out, and then follow on inventory hits the market.... Which is to say, I think we are at a structural high point, unless the builders can't keep up? So far, it looks like they will finally have an inventory of lots to build on, and that inventory looks to last between 5-7 years at full buildout, tempering prices a bit.
Gorgeous 8 Room Craftsman B & B

Gorgeous 8 Room Craftsman B & B...... RMLS#15643710

It seems that we might just get that pressure reprieve we've been looking for over the winter, allowing the builders to get ahead of the demand, and allowing the buildable land inventory to build up. On the city front, they Hood River City council has taken a stand and will begin regulating short term rentals in the City of Hood River. This means that flood of properties that have become short term rentals will begin to slow, and that too, should help with housing affordability. The cities approach is interesting. They are not limiting Short term rentals, they are just defining it as subordinate to a primary residential use, meaning, you have to live in your home 275 days of the year, and can rent out your home, unrestricted, for only 90. If they stick to their guns, visitors will still have places to come to, but the ownership structures will change. Stay tuned. The next bottleneck? West side transportation approvals and infrastructure buildout. If it goes smooth, it's only a couple years of bottleneck in about 7-10 years. If it doesn't go smooth......Inventory will stall, and prices will fire up again...... Stay tuned, stay will be nothing if not interesting! Thanks for reading, see you next month! Maui Meyer

The View From Here: September 2015

It's September!

Summer is coming to a close, but the buyers are still out there. It takes a hearty person to stick with the hunt through this summer. Multiple offers, homes pushing the valuation envelope, sellers calling the shots. It's enough to become dispirited. As of right now, the buyers continue to come, and they are still hungry. The tone and texture of their interest has changed, and this current stream of folks are long term buyers, getting ready for a fall hunt for property, moving around in the market, or becoming owners after they have rented for awhile. There's been a decent flush of property on the selling side, a couple of homes in Stonegate, and rumors of more in Summitview. That, and construction beginning in Sieverkropp all indicate that there will be some better inventory numbers for the fall/spring of 2016.  I'm looking forward to that. Lenders seem to be pushing things too. Money has gotten easier to come by, but it doesn’t seem too frothy and hyped, just the lenders trying to push money into the market. I see this in somewhat relaxed appraisal review, (IMO) as if the underwriters are finally accepting the validity of this tiny market.... Nah, they are just trying to make quota.
Gorgeous Modern 3bd/3bth Townhouse in Downtown Hood River RMLS# 15510206

Gorgeous Modern 3bd/3bth Townhouse in Downtown Hood River RMLS# 15510206

For the fall? The Dalles continues to be white hot with our brokers on a non-stop sprint. Hood River is not far behind, with the fall push underway, there was nearly no break this year. Expect some big ticket properties to go this fall as the year closes out, with new floors in almost every neighborhood and market. We are focused on finishing the year strong, and being a big part of the fall gala season (Lots of good and worthwhile events to be a part of in Hood River). There should be a strong finish to a record breaking year for us. 2016 will begin with renovated offices and new team members who are planning on joining us in 2016. Let the planning and construction begin...... Maui Meyer
7640 Smullen Rd

The View From Here: July 2015

Happy July everyone!

Tattered and Torn. Somewhere in my eighties past, that was some line from a I sit here in Dog River Coffee this early July (I'm late, yes I know) stringing together random thoughts, I have to say, something about that phrase resonates. Free beer to whomever finds whatever song that line comes from.... Inventory is down. Way down. Buyers have waned, as folks turn to summer. All in all, this fits with our yearly trend......July is relatively quiet. Still busy, but it's really the early set up for September. Prices have broken out, and it seems that nearly every closing (which remember, were negotiated back in May and early June) are pushing neighborhoods to new resets. I'll save the numbers until you all call me, but I'm seeing 5% psf bumps in some neighborhoods. HOWEVER! That is traditionally, and from what I’m seeing, actually the top of it. We are at the top of the market. There, I said it.
7640 Smullen Rd

Stunning Mt. Hood View! RMLS#15198732

Buyers are pulling back.... mostly out of fatigue (and season) and slowly, ever so slowly, the power shifts back from the Sellers to a more reasonable balance between the Sellers and the Buyers. But the Sellers, generally don’t get that memo until August.....which makes for some fractious negotiating this month. The Sieverkropp properties are almost completely online, adding much needed inventory to the market, and a few projects on the Westside are also near completion, further alleviating the Buyer demand going into the fall. So here, we go....Prices topping in July, seller/buyer balance beginning to shift back to neutral (but not yet) and inventory, slowly increasing.....(though it might not look like it, as some of the inventory will not be reflected in the tracked numbers) This last month, I picked up one of the finest views I've ever had the honor to market. Smullin Road. Words really don’t do it justice....But the photos might..... Take a look! See you next month! I sure hope it cools off sometime soon! Maui Meyer