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Real Estate

Even super hot housing markets like LA are cooling off

A local markets report on Rapid City, Los Angeles, Fort Collins, Bend and Portland

Our local market feature spotlights five different areas across the country for each HousingWire Magazine. Local real estate agents, loan officers and appraisers from each city share what characteristics are currently defining their housing markets.

Rapid City, South Dakota

RAPID CITY, SD -JULY 2019: Arial view of Rapid City on a cloudy
Rapid City, South Dakota.

Coming in at Realtor.com’s No. 1 housing market for spring 2022, there is no doubt that the housing market in Rapid City is one to watch. In March 2022, the median list price of a home was up 21.4% year over year to $318,000, according to Realtor.com. Known as the “City of Presidents,” due to life-size bronze president statues in the downtown area, Rapid City lies on the eastern slope of the Black Hills roughly a half-hour drive from Mount Rushmore.

“It isn’t always the best fit for people who like big-city living, but for people who like the outdoors, we have all sorts of things to do in the Black Hills. There is a ton of hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, just about anything you want to do outside you can do here,” Jeremy Kahler, a local Keller Williams Realty Black Hills agent, said. As Rapid City has expanded to welcome more residents from both nearby locales and other states like California and Oregon, the area’s arts and restaurant scenes have also grown.

Kahler said the pre-COVID-19 market in Rapid City was very seasonal with a typical spring selling season, but since the onset of the pandemic he said the market has remained pretty steady. “It is just busy all year round, so it took some of the seasonality out of it. We are seeing a lot of listings come out right now, but because there are so many buyers out there, stuff is still selling as quick as it comes out, so we haven’t gained any traction on inventory.”

Los Angeles, California

Aerial view of downtown Los Angeles city skyline and skyscrapers
Los Angeles, California

It seems like every real estate agent you talk to, no matter what state they work in, says that the majority of their out-of-state buyers are coming from California, but this apparent exodus has not stopped the Los Angeles housing market from being red hot since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are still seeing a lot of multiple offer situations and depending on where you are in the city and the price point it can be more or less competitive,” Michael Nourmand, the president of Nourmand & Associates Realtors, said. “But it is not as frenetic as it was. It is more like a pre-pandemic late spring and summer market, and because we were used to such a crazy breakneck pace of the last 18 months, it feels a little bit slow because we are no longer used to a regular ‘good’ market.”

While Nourmand said most of his clients have been local Californians, he has worked with a few Floridians and New Yorkers. “We are close to the beach, great proximity to the mountains and we have incredible weather,” he said. “And we’re not a one-trick pony anymore because all of a sudden it isn’t just the entertainment industry out here. As a kid, I remember almost every deal my mom did was for someone in entertainment, but now we have these great hospitals and universities and all these amazing shops and restaurants.” 

Fort Collins, Colorado

Downtown_Fort Collins Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado

According to local lore, in the early 1800s French-Canadian fur traders were caught in a massive snowstorm and to lighten their load, they buried large amounts of poudre (gunpowder) in a cache along the banks of a river. Today, the Cache la Poudre River runs through modern-day Fort Collins.

While the city, which is roughly an hour’s drive north of Denver, is no longer home to French-Canadian fur traders or other characters that appear to have stepped off the set of an old Western film, for the past several months, working in the local housing market has felt a bit like working in the Wild West.

“Last spring was completely insane,” said Sarah Goodyear, an agent on the local Coldwell Banker-based Choice Team. “We were having like 20 to 30 offers every time we had a listing on the market and the offers would come in from day one until the seller said enough is enough.

“Usually, it would be like three or four days and there would be an accepted offer.” According to Goodyear, things are more calm this year. Recently, she helped a client put an offer in on a home and, on the day she spoke with HousingWire, it appeared that may have been the only offer on the property. “That hasn’t happened in a long time, so it was pretty different,” she said. Other signs of a slowing market include fewer showings on listings and a higher level of sensitivity to over-pricing.

“People who are thinking about selling their homes are listening to the news and are hearing stories about how crazy the market is, so when we sit down and talk with them about recent sales and what we think the range of value for their home should be, they always want to hit the top of the range — and who can blame them? But that isn’t always working out right now,” Goodyear said.

Bend, Oregon

Summertime in Old Mill District on the Deschutes River in Bend,
Bend, Oregon

Recording over 25% year-over-year median sale price growth in March according to Redfin, there is no doubt that the housing market in Bend is hot and if that price growth isn’t enough to catch your attention, the average home in Bend sells after only seven days on the market. Laying on the banks of the Deschutes River, just east of the Cascade Mountains, Bend is just minutes away from picturesque hiking, skiing and outdoor adventuring.

It is also home to a vibrant arts and foodie scene, with a multitude of year-round events from Balloons Over Bend to The Bend Brewfest. The plethora of activities and access to outdoor amenities has certainly been a draw for many homebuyers moving to the area. But, while home prices in the area are still on the rise, the number of homes sold in Bend was down 24% year over year in April, according to Bend Premier Real Estate.

As markets across the country contend with low inventory, rising interest rates, rising home prices and uncertainty caused by growing inflation, it will be interesting to see how these factors influence housing markets like Bend.

Portland, Maine

Portland Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 307 Congress
Portland, Maine

Maine’s state slogan is “The way life should be.” Sitting on the Casco Bay, less than a two-hour drive north of Boston, Portland offers incredible scenic vistas, a plethora of outdoor activities, exciting food and arts scenes and great public schools, and it definitely sounds like life in Portland is the way it ought to be.

“Right now, there are very few sellers and a whole bunch of buyers, who recognize the greater Portland area as being not even up and coming, but that it is on fire and for many good reasons,” John Scribner, a Portland-based project manager for LandVest Real Estate, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, said. In March, the coastal New England city had a sale-to-list price ratio of 109.0% according to Redfin.

Many of the buyers Scribner and his team have worked with have turned to Portland as they search for a slower pace of life without sacrificing access to amenities like good hospitals and a vibrant arts scene. “My sister moved up here a couple of years ago with her two children because everything is simpler,” Scribner said. “It is easier to get to baseball. It is easier to get to the rink and to dance class. It isn’t a slog to get anywhere, plus the museums are fantastic, the symphony is amazing. It has everything a big city has.” 

This piece on Local Markets was originally featured in the July Issue of HousingWire Magazine. To read the full issue, click here.

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