Friday, May 22, 2015

Land Opportunities Abound

In the local market we are still fortunate to have a large area in which homes can be built on five acre estate parcels. These need not be far away from town, and many in fact are very close in.

I recently showed a five acre parcel ready to build in Hockinson just five minutes out of East Vancouver. It was listed at $179,900. Buyers dreaming about that country estate should consider looking now. Land prices are inching up and rates for now remain low. Building costs however have been rising sharply. Building materials are experiencing price increases that are disproportionate to the economy at large. This could be due to the recent heavy demand added by a major influx of suburban and urban development in the local market.

Here in Clark County five acre building sites abound from areas in close like Camas, Hockinson, or Ridgefield all the way out to places like Yacolt and Amboy. The further out locations will often yield better pricing. The trade off becomes convenience versus value.

Some of the lots that are found for sale are located in subdivisions with a strict set of CCRs or even an HOA that may place restrictions on the size and type of buildings. Other lots are relatively unregulated in that regard. Our office currently has a generous supply of listings for buildable land. I am quite impressed with the variety.

Red area is seeing suburban development pressure,
yellow area remains mostly rural in nature
and is outside of the urban growth boundary
For those who wish to have a five acre estate in close to the city, the time is now. These types of parcels are reacting to the increased pressure from hungry buyers. Soon land pricing couple with building costs may push these completely out of the reach of the middle class.

The future of housing is in cramped quarters with neighborhoods stuffed with homes on tiny lots. The chances to own some space grow thin as increased regulations and the finite nature of land create a market that can only get tighter. In the graphic shown the area in the inside the yellow line is all within 20-25 minutes of PDX and has many opportunities to have a five acre country estate.

We are very fortunate in the metro Portland-Vancouver area to still be able to have a rural country home less than 30 minutes to the city core. Seattle lost that ability long ago. Those wishing to enjoy the country estate are well advised to make their move now.

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