Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
The Yakima Valley housing market continues to rank nationally in both increasing home values and secure places to live. This month inmanNEWS.com listed Yakima, Washington as having the nation’s third largest price increase in median single-family existing homes for 4th Qtr 2011 home sales over 4th Qtr 2010, at 11.4 percent, and the only west coast market in the top ten. To complement this report was another from Farmers Insurance Group which ranked Yakima at 14th nationally for safe and secure mid-sized cities between 150,000 – 500,000. Yakima’s real estate market has weathered the storm much better than most other areas of the country during this market downturn. In addition to the favorable 4th Qtr results, the real estate website also listed 3rd Qtr results for 2011 over 2010, and Yakima was first in the nation in home prices posting an 18.42 percent increase year over year. Furthermore, Zillow.com has ranked Yakima’s housing market 5th in the nation in both 2010 and 2011 for posting the largest housing gain over a five-year period. For eight years Farmers Insurance has ranked nearly 400 communities based on crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, mortality rates, job loss numbers and other factors.
For several years in a row, Yakima has ranked among the top 15 with three eastern Washington communities in the top 20 for mid-sized cities. Both these factors are no surprise to local residents. Historically, the region has experienced slow yet steady growth in both population and real estate values. According to David McFadden, president of New Vision, the Yakima County Development Association, “We’re pleased that Yakima’s housing market continues remaining strong. Yakima County ranks 12th nationally in agricultural production and enjoys a slower growing established regional economy. We typically do not experience the extreme high’s and low’s in market values other communities have, which makes our region attractive for both residential and industrial real estate investors.”