“Residential home appreciation rates continue to rise in smaller towns in the Northwest, even though many areas of the country are facing gloomy prices and it’s difficult to sell a home.
Salem, Oregon (Oregon’s state capital), may not be as busy and cosmopolitan as its neighboring metropolis, but it and the surrounding Willamette Valley continues to see rising home values (nearly 10% in the first half of 2007). Why? Perhaps it’s because the smaller city was not part of the original housing boom, and therefore didn’t have the same level of builder speculation as the big kids in the state. Or it could be the plethora of recreational activities, seemingly closer at hand.
One economist from a federal housing agency, Andrew Leventis, says “The Pacific Northwest was a little bit late coming to the party. The extreme appreciation over the past five or six years in the country only just began in the Northwest a few years ago.”
Nationwide, house prices rose 0.5 percent the first quarter of 2007 above the fourth quarter of 2006. Oregon experienced a growth in the same timeframe of 10.77 percent. Salem area prices are rising fast because, until recently, the capital city was overlooked and bargains are easier to find.
Food for thought, for those thinking about leaving the Rat Race and willing to commute a bit longer for a better quality of life in a smaller town.