>Baker City Herald | Baker County Oregon's News Leader

Baker news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow BakerCityHerald.com

Baker City Herald print edition

view all Baker City Herald print publications »

The Baker City Herald is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


AP Business Video

AP Business News

  • 3 ways insurers can discourage sick from enrolling
    Insurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the health care overhaul. But consumer advocates warn that companies are still using wiggle room to discourage the sickest - and costliest - patients from enrolling....
  • Video games come of age as spectator sport
    NEW YORK (AP) -- Video games have been a spectator sport since teenagers crowded around arcade machines to watch friends play "Pac-Man." And for decades, kids have gathered in living rooms to marvel at how others master games like "Street Fighter II" and "Super Mario Bros."...
  • Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved
    NEW YORK (AP) -- Time Warner Cable said Wednesday that service was largely restored after a problem during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours....
  • US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday forecast that the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent in 2014, undermined by a poor performance during the first three months of the year....

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Business arrow Baker real estate bucks market trends

Baker real estate bucks market trends


Local Realtors, from left, Marty Lien, Sharon Rudi and Mary Jo Grove inspect a Baker City home that’s for sale. Agents say Baker County avoided the dramatic fluctuations that have roiled the real estate markets in other parts of Oregon and the U.S.
Local Realtors, from left, Marty Lien, Sharon Rudi and Mary Jo Grove inspect a Baker City home that’s for sale. Agents say Baker County avoided the dramatic fluctuations that have roiled the real estate markets in other parts of Oregon and the U.S.
By LISA BRITTON
For the Baker City Herald

Housing market woes across the country just can’t be compared to Baker City.

“Our market is so unique and nonstandard,” said Andrew Bryan, who bought Baker City Realty in 2008.

Nationally, real estate troubles hit in 2008.

“We had about a year lag time,” Bryan said.

And now, three years later, local Realtors are optimistic.

“We still have people looking, we still have people buying,” said Marty Lien, a Realtor since 1989 who works for John J. Howard & Associates.

“It’s fluctuated up and down over the years,” she said. “I always have a positive attitude about the market.”

(Notice the capital “R” in Realtor? That means the person belongs to the National Association of Realtors and abides by a set code of ethics and standards of practice.)

Numbers, provided by the Regional Multiple Listing Services (RMLS), tell the story.

At the end of November 2010, the number of closed sales in Baker County was 123.

For November 2011, that number was 122.

Remember 2008?

The RMLS recorded 215 closed sales at the end of December 2007, and then that dropped to 146 by December 2008.

It hasn’t changed much since.

But the terms “foreclosure” and “short sale” come up often in local MLS meetings. (A short sale happens when a homeowner owes more than the house is worth and needs to sell quickly.)

“We probably get five requests a week,” Mary Jo Grove said of foreclosures.

(The “we” she talks about is The Grove Team of Mary Jo, Jim Grove and Carla Smith with Nelson Real Estate.)

Grove estimates foreclosures are about 20 percent of the local market right now, maybe a bit less.

The total inventory — the number of “for sale” signs you see around town — has stayed fairly stable.

“We always have a lot of houses for sale,” said Grove, who’s been a Realtor since 1980.

Of course, these numbers vary by subcategory.

“The farm and ranch market has not seen  much movement for three years,” Bryan said. “The under-$100,000 market keeps moving along.”

Which, he said, makes it possible for families to move from renting to owning, or to a larger home.

“It’s a great time to go from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom,” Bryan said.

Although house values have decreased in recent years, Grove said Baker wasn’t hit as hard as Boise and Bend where values dropped about 50 percent.

“Compared to that, it’s just not that bad,” she said. “Our prices never go crazy-high and never go crazy-low. What we have going for a buyer is prices are down and interest rates are cheap.”

Rates are below 4 percent.

Grove remembers when a 14 percent variable interest rate was standard.

“It’s mind-boggling how really good interest rates truly are,” she said.

But getting financed is a bit tougher these days.

“It used to be you could make an offer, then get financed,” Bryan said. “Now you have to get pre-approved, all set, good-to-go before you put an offer in.”

But if you want to buy, now is the time.

“I think it is a great time to buy,” Grove said. “And if people need to sell, if it’s priced competitively, it’ll sell.”

As for potential buyers, Bryan said he’s seen three main groups moving to town: former military, lower-income individuals on Social Security and artists.

“Those are the calls I’m fielding the most consistently,” he said.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
Features
Outdoors / Go Magazine / Milestones / Living Well
Baker Herald
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Commenting Policy / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Videos / Local Business Links / Community Links / Weather and Road Cams / RSS Feed

Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use