Local News: Real Estate Market Rebound? Tsunami debris; Offshore earthquakes; If I Were Mayor…

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Local News

Positive Signs Shown in Real Estate Market

The real estate market in Florence started the year off in a much more positive light than it has the past few years.  Tawfik Ahdab with the Pacific Valuation Group says there were 69 closed single family residential sales in the area between January 1st and March 31st; the best quarterly performance since 2007.  Ahdab says the 45 pending sales at the end of March also offered a stronger showing.

Andy Johnson with Coldwell Banker Coast Real Estate echoed the optimism.

Andy Johnson – “The numbers are up in terms of number of sales and dollar volume as a whole.   The average price is down a little bit; marketing times are, eh, you know, similar.  But, uh, it’s definitely a bright spot.”

While the numbers may compare with pre-recession sales figures, the pricing is well below.  The average price for homes has fallen from a record high five years ago.

Andy Johnson – “283 or 93 thousand at one point… at it’s peak.  It’s at 174,400 for the average price currently.”

One other bright spot noted in the market is that so-called “duress sales”… foreclosures or privately owned residences that are being offered for less than what is owed… are a much smaller portion of not only the closed sales, but also the listings available on the market.

Quakes Not Related

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake was recorded about 160-miles off the Oregon Coast yesterday afternoon, but there were no reports of damage onshore… and no tsunami.  The 3:40 PM quake was about six miles below the ocean floor due west of Coos Bay.  Two other similar sized quakes were recorded yesterday afternoon off the Northern California Coast at about the same time..  Doug Gibbons with the U.S. Geological Survey said none were related to two massive quakes in Indonesia earlier Wednesday.

Tsunami Debris Response

A series of meetings along the Oregon Coast will share information and science about marine debris left by the March 2011 Japanese tsunami.  Several different organizations and community groups are partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oregon State University Extension and Oregon Sea Grant in tracking the debris and strengthen citizen response networks to deal with the bulk of the debris as it may begin washing ashore.  The meetings began on the north coast yesterday and will continue through Saturday.  Newport City Hall will host one this evening at six; another is scheduled for ten to 11:30 tomorrow at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue in Florence, with two more set for Coos County later Friday.

If I Were Mayor

Who wants to be mayor?  Local students can participate in a contest aimed at raising awareness of civic involvement.  Florence Mayor Phil Brubaker says…

Phil Brubaker – “The whole idea is to have the participation of the next generation involved in imagining what it would be like to help run the city.”

There are three different local categories… students in grades four through six can create a poster showing what they would do if they were mayor; seventh and eighth graders are asked to submit an essay or a video; and high schoolers can enter a video or a powerpoint outlining what they would do.

The local winners will compete statewide for a chance to win a new laptop.  Contest rules and entry information is available at the City of Florence website… the deadline is next Friday, April 20th.