2018 Palouse Market Overview

Palouse Commercial Real Estate just completed their annual market review for Pullman and Moscow, and Justin Rasmussen was kind enough to share his thoughts and takeaways from this year’s report. Whether you are looking to diversify your investment portfolio through real estate, looking to start or expand a business, or find the perfect home for you and your family, there are some tremendous opportunities to be had on the Palouse.

Moscow And Pullman Markets Continue Positive

First and foremost, both the Moscow and Pullman markets continue to move in a positive direction. The gains made over last year are representative of the averages of the last decade since the economic downturn in 2007. Justin did note that while the market slowed down, Pullman and Moscow were relatively isolated from the steep drop-offs experienced in other parts of the country. He attributes this to the propensity for people to go back to school in times of economic hardship, which he cites as a stabilizing factor for the regional market, making investment in property in the Moscow/Pullman area safer than similar investments in other parts of the country.

Pullman Commercial Space

While much of the report showed expected gains across many vectors, Pullman had a surprisingly high vacancy rate in the retail market, with a near-5% increase over this time last year. Justin attributes this to the closing of Shopko and Ace Hardware, though he believes this to be more of an issue of timing than a worrying trend. The Ace Hardware building has already been sold, but not in time to be included with this survey. The closing of Shopko fits a national trend of the closing of big-box stores, but the building itself remains valuable and highly sought-after, given the prime location and lack of space in the surrounding area to build new structures. It remains to be seen what will take over this space, whether it will be a single entity or a combination of smaller storefronts, but it likely will not remain vacant long.

Pullman Student Housing

Another change they’ve seen compared to last year is a result of the completion and availability of new student housing structures. A growing number of students are opting to stay on-campus, creating an influx of rental homes and duplexes on the market that would normally be occupied by students. In response, many owners of these investment-type properties are putting these up for sale as single family homes. These homes often need updates and a bit of a facelift before coming to market, so demand for general contractors and skilled laborers for construction and remodeling remains highly in demand, as do the homes themselves.

Pullman And Moscow Demographics

The last portion of the report is a robust review of the demographics of Pullman and Moscow. Compared to the national norm, Moscow and Pullman have an extremely young and educated population. While a cursory glance at the income statistics may seem quite low, this figure is being artificially suppressed by the number of students with little to no income, which is not necessarily indicative of their buying power and impact on the local economy and is particularly difficult to ascertain, as students’ financial situations and backgrounds very greatly. When students are removed from the survey, you see a completely different picture, with well-paying jobs abound and income commensurate with the level of education throughout the region.

Healthy Commercial And Residential Markets

In sum, the commercial and residential real estate markets have enjoyed a comfortable year of growth, with current demand and inventory creating a healthy and balanced market. As always, the Palouse is a wonderful place to live and work, and we have the data to back up that it’s also an excellent place to own or lease property. More about Palouse Commercial Real Estate, their services, and further reading regarding their market survey can be found at http://www.palousecommercial.com/.