Photo by Jennie McGhan
This home on Westridge Drive in Grandview is one of few on the Lower Valley real estate market. Realtor Holly Castle said it was just listed, but is expected to be sold quickly due to a low inventory of available houses.
As of Thursday, September 24, 2015
It’s a sellers market.
That’s the consensus among Lower Valley realtors, who say there is a low inventory of homes available for purchase no matter the price range.
The number of rentals available? Well…Kenny Nelson, owner of DK Bain Real Estate in Sunnyside, said there hasn’t been a large number of rentals available in any of the 30 years he’s been in the business.
During the winter months, the peak season for rentals, Nelson said eight homes up for grabs in this area might be available to renters.
Of the homes being sold in the Lower Valley, Nelson and Holly Castle, owner of Northwest Wine Country Real Estate in Grandview, say newer homes are attractive to today’s buyers.
Millennials in particular, said Nelson, “…will grab a newer home before anything else, as long as it is in their price range.”
Castle said clean, updated and ready-to-go homes are also selling more quickly than homes in need of even minor repairs.
“If the home needs repairs, it will sit on the market longer,” she said.
Because it is a sellers market, Castle said even small two-bedroom homes are selling at nearly $100,000.
“The same market situation applies from Prosser to Sunnyside,” she said.
Where inventory is the best is in the mid-range market, said Castle. She said mid-range priced homes typically sell between $115,000 and $175,000.
“But, with fewer listings, buyers can’t anticipate homes at lower prices,” she said.
Nelson said today’s challenges are nothing new for realtors.
“There’s never a happy medium,” he said, noting there are ebbs and flows in real estate. Either there are too many homes or too few.
Hector Gamboa of Hearth & Home Realty in Sunnyside said developers like Aho Construction are trying to keep up with the market demand.
Currently, he said, there is one new Aho home in the second phase of Harvest Village in Sunnyside, and the model home for the third phase of the Aho housing development is presently under construction.
The benefit of having a home newly constructed, said Gamboa, is the buyer has a choice of lots, construction plans and finishes.
The drawback, he said, is the buyer must wait approximately 3-1/2 months before the home is ready.
That’s because the permits and plans must be approved, the foundation must be poured and the home built.
“There are challenges whether the buyer is looking at purchasing an existing home or new construction,” said Gamboa.
“The market is very, very tight for both rentals and purchases…but, it’s still a very positive market,” he said.