Email this pageView a printer friendly version of this pageBookmark and ShareChange the font size of this pageA | A

Yakima Real Estate

Yakima county’s economic vitality, along with relatively inexpensive land, modest living costs, natural beauty and a relaxed lifestyle, have spurred the success of yet another industry: real-estate.

Demand for second homes and an influx of retirees moving to the area has dramatically increased housing prices. Companies seeking inexpensive land are looking for deals on industrial and commercial sites. The wine industry is also helping to propel a boost in the tourism industry.

“[The Yakima area] is becoming an investment hotspot,” maintains Bill Almon Sr., owner of Almon Commercial Real Estate, the region’s largest commercial real estate firm. “We are dealing with clients from all over—from Texas, California and Western Washington—who are looking for large tracts of land for residential projects. What is new is the amount of outside investors.”

An average home goes for about $156,000 in Yakima County, and commercial properties cost from $7.50 to $14.50 per square foot. Industrial properties range from $1.50 to $2.50 a square foot. Almon says all these prices are well below those in most places west of the Cascades.

Potential profit is also helping to turn the area into a hot market for speculators looking to buy land as an investment. “It is booming,” says Russ Roberts, a Heritage Moultray realtor who recently moved to Yakima from San Diego. “[Investors] are buying everything.”

Times have been very good for real-estate agents, and, so far, the county has not been affected by the national housing slump.

The movement of people with disposable incomes into the area is logical, given historical trends and economics, say some realtors.

“We have seen places like the Bay Area, where people had appreciation in their homes and could sell,” says Ted Marquis Jr., manager of Creekside Reality. “Then they would buy much better homes in surrounding areas of California, while putting money in the bank. That trend is now occurring in Yakima.”

Realtor Russ Roberts is a prime example. The former San Diego resident was ready to cash out of Southern California’s skyrocketing real-estate market and get away from all the congestion. He settled on Yakima, where he could buy a nice home and still have plenty of money to put in the bank. He expects a lot more people to follow suit.

“The average home in San Diego was $535,000; here, it was about $150,000 or so," Roberts says. "Developers are constructing homes for over $300,000, and people here are saying, ‘Who in Yakima can buy these houses?’ What they don’t realize is that it is people from California and Seattle."

Yakima Real Estate Links

Yakima MLS