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.
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