Sponsored by Energy Trust

Vacancies swamp Sisters

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

 

0611_VacanciesSisters
Nearly a quarter of the homes in Sisters are vacant, like this one, compared to 12% in Bend. // Photo courtesy Jeff Dobson, Sisters Hometown Realty
Most tales about rapid and sometimes reckless growth east of the Cascades tend to center around the fortunes of Bend. But the latest Census figures show that the Central Oregon town that grew fastest over the past decade was Sisters.

The population in this quaint mountain town more than doubled from 959 people in 2000 to 2,038 in 2010. Homes multiplied even faster. Sisters upgraded its sewer system just prior to the real estate boom, enabling more property owners to subdivide and build for an influx of retirees and speculators, many of whom were willing to pay California prices. By the time the construction dust had settled, Sisters was topping the charts among Oregon cities in the less appealing category of home vacancies. According to the latest U.S. Census data, nearly a quarter of the homes in Sisters (23.6%) are vacant, as compared to 12% in Bend.

Charting home prices in Sisters over the past 10 years doesn’t show a bubble, it shows a steep mountain: up to a pinnacle and back down quickly to base camp. One home listed for $1.6 million in January 2009 sold in March 2011 for $439,000. Another property listed for $370,000 went back to the bank and sold for $140,000.

Asked who got hurt the worst by the market collapse, Jeff Dobson of Sisters Hometown Realty cites builders who went out of business and people who lost their homes, and then adds, “It might be harder to find people who didn’t get hurt.”

Dobson says the market is recovering, but there may still be some price adjustments to come. “Right now we have a dearth of inventory in the $100,000-$200,000 range,” he says. That’s quite a change for an area that saw median home prices peak at $460,000 in 2006.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Woman of Steel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Tamara Lundgren tackles the challenges—without getting trampled.


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS