Luxury home, vineyard and winery markets beginning to show signs of life
North County Real Estate has had a pretty good run over the past few years. The first quarter of 2016 continued our forward progress in North County. Given the fact that two thirds of Americans think the Country is moving in the wrong direction, our local economic position is enviable.
Residential single family homes, priced at $500,000 and below, are the star of our local market. Year to year price increases were 6-percent on homes below an acre and 8-percent on homes on one or more acres. The number of homes sold in the first quarter of 2016 was similar to the number sold in the 1st quarter of 2015. Available homes for sale figures were also consistent on a year to year basis. Spring buying seems to have started off nicely.
Higher priced homes are active in Templeton, West Paso Robles, and South Atascadero. The million dollar luxury market is beginning to show signs of life. We see sales in the $800,000-$1,000,000 range increasing which bodes well for the upper end. Prices are very attractive for buyers above the million dollar price tag.
After a somewhat dormant period, there is activity in vineyards and wineries. More vineyards will be coming on the market and more sales will be closing in this market. Grape prices are firm plus. Eastside vineyard pricing is highly dependent on vineyard quality. Westside vineyards and plantable acreage are in high demand. Wineries are still selling below replacement cost, but brands are in high demand. Government restrictions on planting and water use will only strengthen existing planted and built properties.
Commercially we still have a mixed bag. Many vacant store fronts, especially in Atascadero, point to a tepid rent environment. Small business continues to suffer in this current climate. Prime locations are in demand. Tourism is strong with a bright future.
Tourism shows no sign of tapering off. New hotels continue to come into the city planning process. Low gas prices should help continue the stream of visitors from the Bay Area and the L.A. Basin. Our wine industry is strong.
People probably aren’t as optimistic as they should be. The 90 million Millennials are on their way to buy homes, cars, and raise families. Leaders change and confidence can grow. We live in a high quality community. Quality holds its own in tough times and soars during prosperity. I think we are knocking on the Golden Door, The Promised Land.