OREGON COAST, OR – Although its neighbors to the south routinely leave house hunters ‘California Dreamin’, and coastline price points along the great Pacific Northwest typically eclipse Space Needle stratosphere, nest seekers and brokers alike, who previously disparaged the areas trailing the Oregon Coast Highway, have begun to show the magnificent region, albeit long overdue, market-wide recognition. The shores of the Oregon coast are as diverse as any, bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range, and stretching approximately 362 miles from the Columbia River in the north, to the California state border in the south.
As varied as its geography and its inhabitants, the architectural styles, sizes and value of the homes that populate the coast, range from quaint beach cottages, the recipients of years of wind and sea spray, to multi-million-dollar, cliff-dwelling marvels, straight off the cover of Dwell magazine. Whether you prefer the rugged tranquility of sand dunes and the sounds of surf crashing against spectacular rock formations, lively seaside communities with seemingly miles of boardwalk or majestic views of historic lighthouses, the distinct characteristics of each region are gaining in appeal, especially from international buyers.
Once a deterrent to those interested in investment properties along the Oregon coast, recent market price points are providing an offset to the sometimes unpredictable, and often inclement weather patterns experienced there. Oregon has experienced an infiltration of out-of-state residents on the lookout for beachfront bargains that are, by far, less expensive than what’s available to them in their native states. While some buyers hail from as far away as Texas and Arizona, California and Washington residents make up the bulk of new clients, says Sally Conrad, a broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, “They come here and see the difference in price and what they get for their money and they buy,” 1 she says.
In Cannon Beach, a waterfront community on the northern Oregon coast known for its long, sandy shore, Cascade Sotheby’s recently sold a two-bedroom home for $483,000, just 2 blocks from the ocean. Conrad says the equivalent home in a smart Californian town that close to the ocean would cost double that amount. In the northern, central and southern markets, each with its own distinct buyer demographic, are all experiencing an influx of wealthy out-of-state buyers, helping to accelerate sales and increase prices, agents say.
Year-over-year price increases ranging from 7%-12% have been typical. Last year, Oregon’s oceanfront housing market saw a 9.5% increase in the number of homes sold compared to 2016, according to data collected by the state’s Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). The average price of a home grew 7.8%, while the average number of days on the market for a home shrank 8.7%. An example of the value that buyers will experience in Oregon, as opposed to others Pacific states is well-illustrated by the listing of an oceanfront home in Gearhart, for sale through Cascade Sotheby’s for $2.29M. The house, on 1.6 acres, measures 2,280 sq. ft., with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. In Cannon Beach, the same agent has another listing, a five-bedroom house on the beach for only $1.99M. 2
Interest among Asian buyers has intensified to the point in which Cascade Sotheby’s has established its own in-house Asia Market Division. Based out of their Lake Oswego location, and who will play a vital role in the development of the Division, Principal Broker Michael Zhang, is highly experienced in international transactions, specializing in the representation of Far East buyers. Zhang states, “Not only do Asian buyers view properties in the Pacific Northwest, primarily the Oregon Coast, as a relocation interest, but also as an extremely viable investment opportunity, considering the alternative price points of Washington and Northern California.”