Activists Taking on Oregon Wineries Over Land Use

A local anti-sprawl group—Goal One Coalition—is challenging Oregon wineries in their desire to serve restaurant-style meals at their tasting rooms. Why?  Land use.
 
Overall, Oregon’s state land use laws have prevented the sprawl common in, say, Southern California.  Agree with them or not, they’ve been in place since 1973.  But—that doesn’t mean they are without problems, and the aforementioned situation is one example.
 
Allowing folks to have a meal with their wine sounds like a good idea to me.

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Mortgage Rates Move Higher As Treasury Yields Increase

Treasury yields have been climbing higher since fall 2010.  As a result, mortgage rates have been moving higher as well—and have topped 5% for the first time in months.   Mortgage rates move in tandem with Treasury yields; specifically 30-year mortgages track 10-year bonds. While rates are currently still near historic lows and very affordable, they are predicted to go up in 2011, perhaps to 6%.

Eugene’s UGB and Affordability

Increased density and more multi-family housing in Eugene  is what the powers that be see in our future.   We’re still a few weeks off from learning if the Urban Growth Boundry (UGB) will grow.  My guess is not, but we shall see.  The unintended consequence of a tight UGB is higher land cost, and therefore less afordability, but this is often overlooked.

Banks: Credit Restrictions Too High

Banks agree with Realtors that credit is too tight.  In a recent National Association of Realtors podcast, NAR President Ron Phipps discussed his recent meetings with Citibank.  Folks who should be able to get mortgages aren’t getting mortgages…the pendulum has swung too far. 

Things will loosen up again–but no one is sure how soon.

Eugene Commercial Real Estate On The Rise

High quality commercial real estate is in demand, and prices are edging up.  Both in Eugene and nation-wide.  Why?  The lack of alternative investments.  Even 6% or 7% cash-flow coupled with appreciation is good compared to minuscule interest paid by banks or bonds.

For instance, a year ago the Mortgage Bankers Association sold it’s glass-walled office building to real-estate data firm CoStar Group Inc. for $41.3 million (they purchased the building in 2007 for $79 million–ouch). Now, a German real-estate fund is buying the building from CoStar for $101 million.  Seventy million in a year–that’ll get your attention.

Woodfield Station in South Eugene (Willamette Plaza on 29th and Willamette to old-timers) recently sold for over 25 million dollars to Iowa PERS.  The previous owner, an insurance company, purchased the property in 1971 and subsequently redeveloped it over the years.  Cap rates weren’t disclosed, but I’d guess they were low.

High quality is back in fashion again.  Contact me for your commercial real estate needs in Eugene. 

Woodfield Station in Eugene, OR