Ive just returned from a visit with my in-laws in Coos Bay, Ore., where their delightful ranch-style home huddles on a tree-laden mountainside. From this vantage, they overlook a sea of Maple, Pine and Yew. A moss-covered path spirals from the yard toward a trickling creek, and vermillion toadstools litter the forest floor. Its a scene right out of the world of Brian Froud: wild, dark and magickal.
But the folks want to move.
Mom and pop, while young at heart, are getting on in years; and they worry their isolation will make medical treatment, when necessary, impracticable. Plus theyre weary of their mole infestation, they crave city water, and theyd like to be closer to a real airport.
For months, theyve been searching for a home of comparable quality and size within the Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., areas, but to no avail. The prices are extraordinary and the affordable options disappointing. Such is the state of todays real estate market, which seems advantageous for neither buyers nor sellers. Looks like the in-laws will have to enjoy their mountaintop paradise a while longer.
While foreclosure filings took a double-digit dip in November, indicating a potential leveling in the housing market, a recent article on CNNMoney.com indicated that home prices may drop further in 2008. In addition, the housing market index provided by the National Association of Home Builders came in at 19 in December, the lowest level since the indicator launched in 1985. The index gauges builders' perceptions of conditions and expectations for home sales over the next six months.
If you think trouble in the housing market doesnt affect commercial real estate like self-storage, guess again. Fluctuations in residential sales affect lender and, therefore, investor activity across all asset types.
ISS is in production right now on its February issue of the magazine, our Annual Real Estate Edition. The catchword used in many of the feature articles is volatility. And though most of our authors agree on the current state of the market, theres quite a divergence in opinion regarding how things will shake out. Everyones concerned.
If youd like to gain more perspective on the changeable realm of self-storage real estate, consider joining us in Las Vegas for the Inside Self-Storage Expo, Feb. 5-8. The conference will feature seminars on the following germane topics:
- The Dynamic Influence of Wall Street and the Finance Market on Self-Storage
- The Sub-Prime Loan Markets and Commercial/Conduit Financing
- Self-Storage Valuation: Operating Performance, Trends and Risks
If you havent already registered for the show, you can do so at www.insideselfstorage.com/expo, or just join us on site. This years event takes place at the elegant Venetian Hotel Resort Casino and Sands Expo & Convention Center. We hope to see you there.
Quickly before I sign off: I've been noting in the blog charitable efforts made by storage companies during this holiday season. Today I see Fort Knox Self Storage of Middletown, N.Y., donated storage space for non-perishable food items during a local Thanksgiving donation drive. It's the fourth year the facility has participated. Props to manager Bernice Zeman!