How long have you worked in the field?
“I started working in real estate in 1989.”
What is the main community you sell in?
“I sell primarily on the entire Peninsula, occasionally Naselle and Grays River.”
Would you consider it more of a buyers or sellers market? Why?
“It is more of a sellers market still right now; that may be changing. Rumor has it in the lending community the market maybe due for some correcting, but if a home is priced well they seem to sell fast, not Seattle or Portland fast but often 1 to 14 days fast. Many sellers want to test the market and want the prices to be priced higher than what sales are showing and I think that is slowing things down also.”
How do sales, and inquiries from potential buyers and sellers, compare this summer compared to last year (at the same time)?
“Inquiries seem down from last year. Prices have gone up significantly and it’s harder to find affordable housing for first-time homebuyers. For instance, most properties under $150,000 and are pretty sad either structurally or what they have to offer as far as square footage or location.”
How does your number of listings/inventory compare to last year and recent years?
“Prices have gone up and many of the general inquiries we get from Zillow, Trulia or Redfin seem to be people looking for properties below $150,000 and lots of buyers looking for RV lots. A common question I get is ‘Can I live in an RV in the county full-time?’ The answer is no. … what that says to me people are looking for affordable living. It is hard to find a good view under $400,000 in a house. So I’ll look at stats but what it feels like was the first part of this year inventory was very low. It’s not near as low now, but the prices are higher.
What are the unique benefits of purchasing in Pacific County?
“Purchasing in Pacific County and of course all of Washington state, is state income tax-free, which can give people moving from other states on fixed income an instant raise, and being so closely located to the Oregon border you get the benefits of tax-free shopping and a medical community across the river. Not to mention the beauty and moderate temperatures make Pacific County a destination paradise, as long as you can handle some wet and wind October through March.
How do your closings this summer compared to the past couple years?
“It’s weird. I’ve closed eight in the past two weeks, but I really haven’t compared them. This summer, it seems, I’m not writing as many sales, but everything is closing at once. I would say it’s a little slower.”
Are loans sufficiently available? How are interest rates?
“Loans seem readily available, still below 5 percent at 4.5 to 4.75 for a 30-year fixed rate.
How are appraisals coming in, about what you expected, higher, lower?
“The appraisals can be little slow, but considering we have no appraisers who live in Pacific County, that’s no surprise. Last year at this time we were having trouble with appraisal time frames and this year it seems to be OK.
What’s your local situation with regard to building sites? How is supply and demand?
“There’s not very many out there. There are a few good lots on the west side of the Peninsula. I probably get three or four calls a week for it. The prices have definitely gone up. If it’s a good building site it’s $50,000 to $60,000. Before you could get them for $25,000 to $35,000.”
How friendly is the market for first-time buyers compared to previous year? Is it becoming easier or increasingly out of reach?
“It’s horrible. I’m working with someone right now who is supposed to close on the 1st. It took me months to find them something that they could qualify for. I would say it’s becoming harder (for first-time buyers).”