The media and industry experts can talk about the housing bubble bust and decreasing or increasing home value prices across the nation all they want, but if you're looking to buy or sell a home, knowing national statistics won't make your job any easier. (If you're curious though, the national median home value in 2006 was about $221,900). In order to figure out the best time to buy or sell, you need to dig into the specifics of the area you're thinking of making a move in and get the details on the state of the market and all the attractions the area has to offer.
The state of Oregon (with its capital city of Salem) is fast becoming one of the real estate hot spots of the nation. More and more people are relocating to Oregon, especially Californians, according to statistics by 3 national moving companies. It's not hard to see why: with a population creeping up on 4 million, the cost of living is fairly low, unemployment rates are decreasing and Oregon has plenty of attractions to offer to new initiates. A rise in economy and job growth is a sure fire way to keep a real estate market stable and continue to have steadily increasing home value prices, while a big tourism industry is a great way to continually attract potential residents to a state.
Oregon's economy relies heavily on its agriculture (cattle, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, wheat) and industries such as lumber, wood and paper products, machinery, scientific instruments, food processing and tourism. The unemployment rate, which stayed in and around 7% or so through early and mid 2000s, has dropped to 5.1, edging closer to the historical low of 4.7% Oregon experienced in 1995. The median household income was about $43,262 in 2005 and with more jobs available, more first-time home buyers can afford a higher home value than previously.
Oregon has seven distinct regions, and between them, there's something for everyone to do in the Beaver state, which helps keep their home value median rising. Oregon can be broken down into: Portland Metro, the Coast, Williamette Valley, Souther Oregon, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon and Mt. Hood/The Gorge. You can check out cultural attractions and the nightlife in the Portland Metro area, drive up and down the Coast and visit famous lighthouses and fishing villages, visit Williamette Valley for wineries and scenic covered bridges, or take a trip to Southern Oregon to see the deepest lake in the US: Crater Lake, which was formed in about 5700BC after a 12,000 foot volcano called Mt. Mazama explosively erupted. Then you can travel to Eastern Oregon for Hell's Canyon and the famous Oregon Trail and north a bit to the Mt. Hood and the Gorge area to ski, hike and windsurf.
Last but not least is Central Oregon, and currently the hot spot for real estate activity in Oregon. Central Oregon is a playground of skiing, golf, hiking, biking fishing and climbing. Bend is the new big area for real estate in Oregon, especially with job growth in transportation and utilities, tourism, education and health and government services. The current home value median in the state of Oregon is about $236,000, while in Bend that home value median is actually much higher at $279,000. Oregon as a whole is seeing homes stay on the market for an average of 60-120 days, with homes taking a bit longer to sell in the Bend area, simply because of the boom there in 2006, which is slowing down. The Bend, Portland and Klamath Falls areas are all seeing activity in sales of single family homes, while Salem and Eugene activity tends to come from “move up” buyers.
According to a federal agency report, home value prices in Bend appreciated faster than any other city in the nation in 2006. The market has since slowed down, but home value medians in the area continue to rise and the inventory of unsold homes has stayed relatively steady since the first of the year at about 2,250 homes on the market. Though the huge boom Bend and the rest of Oregon experienced is likely over, with everything Oregon has to offer and the way 2007 is shaping up, it looks as if Oregon will continue to enjoy increasing home value prices and one of the more successful markets in the nation.
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Ashley Lichty is a webmaster and the resident SEO of Web Xtreme, Inc. She has a background in real estate and marketing with an emphasis in writing.