Oregon’s coastal real estate market has always been marketed by hyping the region’s natural beauty enriched by an aura of romance and freedom; however recent flooding and years of recession have exposed a coastal real estate market that is as damaged as some still underwater properties from recent winter storms. For instance, receding floodwaters both here in Florence, and up and down the Oregon coast, reveal both destruction and a buyer’s market for hundreds of thousands of once top commercial and residential properties that are now going to seed after years of recession. “We have these lawyers and doctors from Eugene and Portland who come down to the coast and want that ‘classy design’ and snazzy multi-layered beach homes so they can out-due their well-off colleagues,” says local real estate developer Greg Nash whose expertise in both building and selling coastal property down in southern California has made him the “go to guy” for those with Mitt Romney money to buy a summer home at the seashore.
Coastal real estate boom now gone with the wind
“I think the grandeur, beauty and magic of the coastal housing boom before the recession hit us hard in 2008 is over,” quipped Nash while eyeing a flooded restaurant property in Florence that once was the talk of the town, but now has been abandoned for as long as locals can remember.
In turn, Nash explains that “the very wealthy” are looking elsewhere to build their second, third or even fourth vacation home – while super rich such as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney boasts six homes.
At the same time, Nash explains that other wealthy Americans boast “several homes,” with a coastal property for summer BBQs and deck parties with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop as essential to enjoying the “good life.”
Moreover, another real estate agent named Shirley Erickson -- who sold numerous beach front properties up the coast in Newport -- said in a Jan. 22 Huliq interview that "the community of high class neighbors" that once marked this region are now "gone," or moved to other trendy locations; thus leaving "common folk" to muse about investing in coastal property that Erickson says "they make into seasonal rentals for gangs of college students from Eugene or Corvallis to enjoy as their summer party palaces."
"Nobody likes these loud kids with their beer parties, and fires on the beach all night," adds Erickson.
Neighbor Situation hurts “pure luxury”
Nash also thinks “those days of wine and roses for the coastal real estate market are over simply because of the current ‘neighbor situation.’”
“The Neighbor Situation,” is a recent white paper produced by an influential real estate firm that caters to the very rich who want primo summer homes right on the very edge of the Oregon, Washington State or California coast.
This real estate “white paper” points out the great number of foreclosures that are now either “bank owned” or no longer used coastal properties – up and down the entire stretch of the West Coast – that are today mixed in between those high-end properties where wealthy lawyers and doctors “like to play on the weekend.”
No warranty against Mother Nature
California real estate expert Greg Nash – whose legend for helping to develop high-end coastal retreats for the super wealthy from the Silicon Valley when they “wanted to play” along the San Francisco Bay-area coast south of this famous city on the bay – also noted that “the threat of an earthquake,” with experts not saying if one will hit, but when will it hit, and the Tsunami waves that slammed the entire West Coast last March after the Japan earthquake – have all impacted today’s coastal real estate market.
For instance, powerful winds – that resulted in trees that line many top high-end coastal properties here along the Oregon coast this past week – are yet “another distraction” and possible deal killer for thousands of summer homes that will no longer satisfy the aristocrats who like Disney-quality grounds around their expansive coastal mansions.
“We have a lot of clean-up to do, and with this past week’s storms and resulting flooding along the coast, we can’t see the sunlight with an already long list of usual post-seasonal repairs, painting and ground work that’s already way behind due to ongoing clean-up still going on from last year’s Tsunami,” explained one of Nash’s home repair foreman who added: “We can’t keep up with what Mother Nature is throwing at us.”
In turn, those uncompromising buyers who can afford any address along the West Coast real estate market “are now looking elsewhere,” quips Nash, with a sense of chagrin at admitting “it’s really a buyer’s market right now, but those who may be buying are not, let’s say, the most brilliant choices to have as neighbors if you’re a well-off judge or CEO who wants to entertain at his beach house.”
Image source of an abandoned restaurant in Florence, Oregon, that was surrounded by flood waters Jan. 25 that makes selling such a recession weary property even “harder to move in today’s coastal real estate market.” Photo by Dave Masko