It seems as though our economy is slowly improving but all consumers are proceeding very cautiously. I received a letter the other day from a Realtor in Southern California that stated, “home sales are back!” That is good news to us in Douglas County because, as we all know, most of our sales are from the California area. Since California represents the 7th largest economy in the world, it’s economy is very important to us. We have a large pent up demand with many people needing or wanting to buy but can’t for a number of reasons. We are still seeing many short sales with close to 30% of all our pending sales fitting that status.
I am working hard on the National level, to get Congress to put pressure on our financial institutions who hold mortgages that are underwater or people finding themselves behind in the mortgages to modify what is owed and keep people in their homes. When a house is foreclosed on, everyone loses.
I also want to remind everyone to vote “Yes on Our UCC” measure 10-115 that will be before us in May because it is so necessary in redefining our county. This $40,000,000 bond levy will cost the average home owner 29 cents per thousand of assessed value over 25 years or $43.50 per year if you owned a home valued at $150,000. What that means to Douglas County and the college is 3 new buildings being constructed, a Allied and Health Building, a Technological building and a Regional Training and Educational facility in South County. This $40,000,000 investment will mean over $200,000,000 to our community over the next 2-4 years as they construct these facilities in terms of new jobs, vendors and others that will directly benefit in our local economy. This is huge!
March real estate highlights saw closed sales increase from March 2011 to March 2012 by +26.9% from 67 to 85 and year to date by 16.2% from 185 to 215. I am glad to see us going in this upward trend because that means that sellers are helping our buyers get into the home of their dreams. More sellers are helping with closing costs, reducing their prices to bring them in line with bank appraisals. Sellers are able to do this because wherever they are relocating to they are finding prices on homes reduced as well at about the same percentages. Also, the current inventory of homes is at the lowest level it has been since August of 2007 at 10.2 months which is down significantly from a 30.3 month level in 2009.
The average sales price year to date has dropped compared to 2011 from $155,600 to $147,200 or (- 8.5%). However, the average sales price comparing March 2011 to March 2012 has increased by 7.3% from $137,200 to $147,200 which means we are trending in the right direction. The Sutherlin-Oakland, Northwest Roseburg, North Douglas, Myrtle Creek have all seen significant gains in closed sales each capturing 12-15% of the market.
Please keep our troops and their families in your thoughts and prayers for they are fighting for us and our freedoms. Remember to vote yes for “Our UCC” take the initiative to make our county stronger, it’s the right thing to do now and into the future. Just imagine if UCC was not here and what it would mean to all us that graduated from the college, took retaining classes to reenter the work force (over 22,000 credits have been obtained ), or attended social events. Our college is a “Gem” in our own back yard so let’s continue to make it better.