One of the interesting aspects of handling a diverse range of projects is that you get insights on the local economic climate from multiple perspectives. In fact, I often marvel at how our inventory can encompass such a wide variety of experiences that all exist within twenty or so miles from our office.
The most active among our residential listings is our townhome project in Soquel, which was recently completed, with 5 of the 15 homes now under contract or happily occupied by their new owners. The end units have sold out for the largest model, but end units can still be had in both the mid-size and smaller floor-plans, as we continue to get a steady stream of people at our weekly open houses and the homes continue to sell for their asking prices without the need for concessions.
By contrast, our country properties aren’t as active as our in-town listings, which could show a general move back toward living in town after the trend towards social distancing we saw during the pandemic. These include an old farm in Aromas, which has a little fixer of a house on 67 acres with two parcels with an old barn and two ponds, and a 20-acre ridge top farm at the Summit that overlooks the trailhead of Soquel Demonstration Forest from a vantage point that takes in the entire Monterey Bay.
Our current investment listing inventory includes two different offerings coming on in Harvey West, both with industrial zoning, and both are getting strong preliminary interest. One is a traditional manufacturing facility with ample power that should appeal to the growing number of startups moving into the area, and the other a longtime popular restaurant with a former residence on top that would lend itself nicely as a live/workspace.
For residential income properties, we have recommended adjustments to our sellers, as in the case of the complex of five townhouse-style units we have listed in Santa Cruz to account for a general downward trend in rents we have been seeing of late among the 250 or so doors we manage. We are getting more inquiries after dropping prices slightly, which shows that people are still buying and renting properties, but not willing to continue paying a premium.
Over the same timeframe, we have been hired to help list quite a few businesses for sale over the course of the past few months, with several reporting that it has become difficult to find and retain good employees, and the number of businesses we have listed for sale recently crossed into the double digits for the first time in over a decade.
Ultimately, the ebbs and flows in any market seek the point where equilibrium is reached, as we seek clues to the future in the feedback we get along the way. And through it all, we remain available to help problem solve and meet our clients’ needs.