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Seattle Bubble Forum Archive • View topic - Observations from Central Oregon

Observations from Central Oregon

Myth propagated by bitter ignorant renters, or statistical reality ignored by real estate professionals?

Moderators: synthetik, The Tim, Lake Hills Renter

Observations from Central Oregon

Postby deejayoh » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:57 am

I spent a few days over spring break down in Bend/Redmond. Boarding at Bachelor, climbing at Smith Rock. I haven't been down there in 10+ years. It's a great place - but it seems like bubble-central for the PNW.

The most striking thing to me was what seemed like a enormous overbuilding of retail capacity. Redmond is a town of about 25 thousand. It sits between Bend and Terrebone (Smith Rock State Park) - but doesn't really have any source of attraction that is it's own..

I was amazed that Redmond had both a newly-built Lowes and Home Depot. These things were 50% larger than any home center I have seen in Seattle. Plus a Wal-Mart SuperCenter and mega-Safeway. Not 20 miles away, there is another Home Depot and another Lowes on the south end of Bend.

I couldn't figure out who is going to shop in all these stores. Then I started noticing, every third vehicle on the road was in some way tied to the construction industry. Tilers, roofers, cement trucks, etc. If you've read any of the you know that real estate is in a world of hurt down there. Yet they still seem to be building like mad. Plus there was tons of strip-mall capacity going in everywhere - half of it seemingly empty.

It was pretty crazy. It seems to me that place is going to be in for a world of hurt over the next few years. And HD/Lowes? I'm thinking there is still room to short them!

On the plus side, I hit a late-season storm at Bachelor. 22-inches of fresh and 10 degrees! It was a bottomless day - like riding in Utah. Two days later, it was 60 degrees and cloudless skies at Smith. Awesome stuff.
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Re: Observations from Central Oregon

Postby Markor » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:46 pm

Good report. I had been to Bend about 5 years ago, and again last year. Big difference in just 4 years. They've been Californicated. Example: bleach blond driver getting out of a new convertible Mercedes with, as Steve Martin put it, "two bowling balls on an ironing board". Oh yeah I want to pay Seattle house prices and work at Home Depot.
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