Sunday, December 24, 2006

One Day Does Not A Christmas Season Make. But...

Duncan starts his blog, "A record sales day at the store, and a big sigh of relief." He posted it yesterday, but I'm guessing it was in the morning. Because I tried to get downtown yesterday, and due to the rain & flooded underpasses, it was almost impossible. Franklin underpass by Les Schwab: flooded. Underpass on 3rd under the railroad tracks: flooded. Even East-bound Greenwood was flooded. Westbound was fine though, and I (eventually) got in that way.

Besides being very hard to get to ("What? Just go down 1st from Franklin to Greenwood!" Yeah, me & about 40 others trying to execute a left turn onto Greenwood. Almost impossible. I had to turn around, find 3rd flooded, then take 3rd clear back to Greenwood.), it was miderable weather yesterday, cold with a rain/snow mix. Not a real "shoppers paradise". Whoever planned this city, didn't think about drainage. I ran across so many flooded areas, it was comical after awhile. Even little areas of Fred Meyers parking lot were flooded. Not much to do about it now, but it came at a bad time in the Christmas shopping cycle this year.

On what was to be the busiest shopping day of the year, I'm anxious to hear how the downtown season ended. Unfortunately for some, it will be their last. Ponderfusion, we bid you Good Luck! Gambit Games, we hardly knew ye (Hopefully the encircling trifecta does not take down Mondo Pizza, that would be an unspeakable travesty. Far and away the best pizza in town, I take my kids their when I want to give them a Real Reward for being good). Apricot Lane, well, goodbye. Maybe even the Italian Ice place, too. And SuperBurrito, and Double Happiness, perhaps you will make it through. Progress marches on.

On another note, someone mentioned having a spreadsheet with home price changes. If you can/want to upload it to Google spreadsheets, I will post a link. Just put the URL in a comment. Also, any comments/suggestions for links/posts are appreciated. Of course, if you're like me, you read the Comments more than anything, and this blog is unmoderated, so just post a Comment!

Finally to satisfy your real estate fix: Drove by The Shire yesterday. Perhaps it is unfair to comment on this place in a heavy rain, as it is simply a mudhole, but precious little progress has been made there in the last 45 days. There appear to be no new structures of any kind, and it's hard to say if the 2 already there are any farther along. There is plently of mud-covered heavy machinery, though. To see The Goal at this place, you have to have an active and forgiving minds-eye. It is a disaster.

And I still have yet to see a single person there. Or even a hint that anyone has ever been there in the days preceeding my drive bys. It just looks abandoned, sort of. The machinery moves, true, but there is no discernable progress. Aside from the idea that The Shire is a questionable concept, the developer is project management neophyte. He/she is expending huge amounts for little if any visible progress. Selling the units will be extremely difficult at this juncture, as the entire site is a mudpit, and very visually unattractive. Not "Shire"-ish at all. And this is going to be a visual sell-job. Too bad.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the City should drive their new lemon buses into the flooded underpasses. Then they can claim them as "flood damaged" on their insurance and write them off.

Seriously, perhaps the same City procurement manager who bought those buses also bought the water pumps that are supposed to keep the underpasses clear? It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to calculate how much pumping capacity is required.

Clearly some wanker made the decision that said "these pumps are cheaper but it means that the underpasses will be flooded X days per year."

Paul-doh! said...

here's a "reprint" from the previous blog... now noone can say I'm Captain Bringdown!

Why Bend Real Estate WIll Not Go Down

Internal Rates of Return have gone to lower acceptable levels
The historic reduction in interest rates from the early 80's is seen as permanent. People are adjusting to this new reality by buying real assets.

Inflation of raw materials will keep prices high
China and other mega-population centers will push up demand for raw building materials such that they will not fall enough in any relevant time horizon so that newly built homes will not be seen as a lower priced substitute in the future.

Income are higher than stated in Bend
There exists a "black market" income stream in Bend such that real incomes are higher than state figures indicate.

The Optimists Are Right
The "optimistic" scenario in Bend is correct, and Bend is in fact facing a "renaissance" that will permanently increase home prices as Bend becomes an urban center, and all core Bend real estate is being correctly revalued higher.

Land will remain scarce
Land will remain scarce for the foreseeable future, and people not willing to rent during their own relevant planning periods will be forced to buy.

The housing stock in Bend is high quality
The per square foot prices of Bend housing is simply a reflection of a large installed base of newer housing that is far superior to housing of years past. It merits a large increase in price per square foot.

Demographics will stay strong
Inflows from other affluent areas will keep demand for housing high. Retirees and affluent households will bring a large stock of spendable assets to Bend.

Real Estate proceeds are being reinvested
High real estate proceeds are being reinvested in new ventures that will permanently raise incomes in Bend.

Media recognition of Bend recreation establishes Bend as new outdoor mecca
Continued coverage in "Recreational Media" mean Bend travel revenues reach new higher plateaus, and higher demand & resultant income will push up real estate values permanently, as business incomes and wages go higher.

Bend is simply becoming more fairly valued
Bend was peristently undervalued in the past, and has been afflicted with the collapse of economically influential highly cyclical industries in the past which kept real assets artificially low. Bends economy is now sufficiently diversified such that investors and home buyers alike are simply removing a "collapse discount" from Bend real estate.

Lenders are more willing to lend on Bend real estate
Lenders also are removing a "collapse discount" from Bend real estate, and see the stabilizing of prices at higher levels, influx of large employers, and large demographic growth as reasons to loosen lending standards, which increase buyer demand & fund availability.

People are unwilling to leave Bend
Despite perceptions of lack of affordability, many people will not leave Bend for psychic reasons, including unique recreation and other personal attachments to the area.

Reverse Brain Drain
Bend is attracting a demographic that is more willing to take economic risks and has a higher technical expertise. These skills will lead to income streams that extend nationally and internationally, and are far higher than historical norms for the area. Current Bend residents are better educated than at any time in the past, and they will turn this expertise into income.

Bend destination resorts are comparably inexpensive
Bend will become compared to other World class destination resorts, which are at far higher cost. Bend is actually a bargain in this respect, and will attract a disproportionate share of retirees & travelers, which will raise business incomes and asset values in the area, especially high end resorts. These "comps" will spread into nearby areas, raising values.

Bend is Affordable
While prices for owning Bend real estate are historically high, renting remains competitive and quite affordable. People who believe real estate is too high can simply rent, and reinvest the savings into competing investments. People are adjusting to the idea that home ownership does not necessarily mean they can't save a nest egg in other asset classes.

Anonymous said...

Hobbits like rain and mudholes, Shire on!!!