Hail and farewell — an overview of the real estate market

Hail and  farewell —  an overview  of the real  estate marketBy BRENT CLARK PALMER

News Review Correspondent

As hundreds of new employees were welcomed to China Lake in 2015 and 2016, according to Susan Walker of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Public Affairs Office, those in the real estate industry — and the agencies that support it — are tracking the trends in the local housing market.

For a town that serves national defense as its main industry, the market draws a parallel to the Navy’s traditional Hail and Farewell, a military ceremony where new employees are welcomed and outgoing employees are bid goodbye.

So what do those changes look like in the residential real estate market?

In 2016, the Indian Wells Valley Water District reported 33 new water hookups, 85 percent of which were for residential properties between July and November. This contrasts with only 9 hookups during the same period one year ago.

“We have noticed this boom because it has significantly impacted our revenue,” said district Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Keep.

This increase in activity has been corroborated by at least one building contractor, who has reported brisk activity during that period.

“It’s good for all of us!” said Mayor Peggy Breeden, who cited a report earlier this year by Joan Johnson, executive director at NAWCWD, who projected more than 500 new jobs at China Lake this year alone.

Yet in contrast to the apparent boom derived from these numbers, Coldwell Banker’s Clint Freeman stated that those numbers are tempered by departures in the market.

“While a record number of units were sold in 2016, we are still in a seller’s market,” said Freeman. “Although we have 73 homes for sale, the demand is not high enough for local builders or builders from out of town to come to build.

“What also is not stated is there are also people moving out of Ridgecrest.”

The News Review will explore the comings and goings of residential buyers and renters in future installments of this series.

Pictured: Some agents in the local Real Estate market are reporting high demand for homes in the Indian Wells Valley — with many selling quickly. -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2016-12-16