Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Northwest: Smaller Cities Buck Housing Slump

In an attempt to find some promising news about the housing market and the indicators that I've found over the last month to give us exactly what we all knew would happen (especially here in California - having seen the developers over the past four years fall all over themselves to option up anything that could be entitled quickly at astronomical prices per acre), I wanted to find areas that still had a retail market for Bay area developer clients. It will be these smaller markets that provide retail buyers for those modest developments (so long to the 1,000 acre master planned communities wanting entitlements in this market when the inventory of foreclosures show-up through these delinquencies. Below is the AP article from 7/19..

"SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Aside from being Oregon's capital city, Salem doesn't have much to boast about. Most downtown restaurants close by 7:00 p.m. and Lefty's -- the only cool bar in town, according to local college students -- is known for its karaoke fundraisers.

But the real estate market here is buzzing. For-sale signs litter front yards and the local paper is fat with ads for homes.

The community of 150,000 or so souls is a prime example of an overlooked phenomenon in the country's overheated housing market: While demand for homes has nose-dived from Florida to California, some smaller metropolitan pockets continue to thrive.

Sleepy towns like Salem, Ore.; Wenatchee, Wash.; and Provo-Orem, Utah may lack glamor but they are among the few places in the country where housing prices are growing at double-digit rates, according to a recent federal study...

..Between the first quarters of 2006 and 2007 homes in Salem appreciated 13.4 percent, 14.5 in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, and 16.8 percent in Grand Junction, Colo."

View article..

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