Corvallis Business: Real Estate Still Not Cold, A Chilly Treatment for ALS, Stock Market Woes

The people of the Mid-Valley stepped up for the Corvallis Boys & Girls Club this last week. At the 24th annual Celebrate Kids fundraiser, while fewer people were in attendance than last year, they donated more money than last year. Enough that they received the matching $25,000 pledged by Julie Ringo Battaglia.  

Real Estate Cooling, Not Cold: In an article coming out of OPB, it was said that the housing market is beginning to cool. This was expected to some degree with the Fed raising interest rates by 0.75% for the third time in recent months. Another sign of cooling could also be the median house price going down recently – most notably in Deschutes County where it dropped by $70,000 between May and August.  

According to Samantha Alley of RE/MAX, a slowing of house sales is to be expected in the fall due to most families with school-aged children trying to complete any school district changes prior to September. Generally, that leaves September for final paperwork.  

Families that move house during the school year are more likely to do so because of specific reasons concerning parent employment. Alley added that median house prices might be lower in October mostly because the type of house going on the market are generally not family homes. This gears the sales focus toward different buyers – older people who are downsizing, couples without kids, and singles.   

One other item in the OPB story was that the number of houses on the market in August of 2022 in Oregon was 12,000, while in 2019 there were 18,300 homes on the market for the same time period. Alley sees this as a good turn toward our pre-pandemic normal.  

According to Drew Coleman, founder of Portland-based Opt Real Estate and past president of the Oregon Realtors Association, nationwide for 2022 there will be approximately a 9.3% appreciation rate which he sees trending to 4.19% in 2023.   

Typical appreciation rate, according to Alley, is 4.19% which makes the current rate more than double normal. The appreciation rate for 2021 was 19.19%.   

Did You Know: Samantha Alley lets the Benton Furniture Share use her truck twice a week to help them move furniture. Their furniture truck broke down about five years ago, and she volunteered hers – and she’s still volunteering it.  

A Chilly Cure: In 2014, something odd was happening all over the internet.  

People were talking about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and promising to donate money to find a cure. They were then calling out a friend or family member to do the same before someone else dumped a bucket of ice water over their heads. If you didn’t see it, then you likely heard about the “ice bucket challenge.”  

While it may have left a few folks dripping and shaking, it also may very well save a lot of lives. You see, $2.2 million raised through this challenge was used to create a new drug which the Food and Drug Administration just approved for use to treat ALS.  

This is not a cure. It is able to extend a person’s life by five-to-six months. So why is this in a business column? 

If a bunch of people dousing themselves with ice water for the public to see is enough to get the world to work towards a treatment for a debilitating disease, what could a small business do with the internet? How could a few TikTok or Instagram videos change the course of your business? And who knows best how to make these applications work?  

So, we are challenging local businesses to talk to the youth around you. Ask them what they think you could do with social media to promote your brand or bring people to your sale or fund the next thing that could save lives.  

Investor Hell: As we enter the last quarter of the year, many are considering where to put their 401K money, and the right answer might be Treasury bills with their almost 3.3% yield. 

On average, the S&P 500 falls about 1% every September. However for 2022, it fell by over 9% for the month. The only September worse than this was in 2002 when the S&P fell 11% as the US went into war mode following 9/11. 

All three major indexes have fallen over 20% since their most recent highs. Nasdaq is down more than 30% for the year, and the Dow has lost any gains from the last two years bringing it back to November 2020 levels. 

One other promising idea for investors would be to take a look at I-Bonds. The Series I Savings Bond – named because their interest rate is linked to the inflation rate – is the underdog of the savings bond world. Yet in January of 2022, the U.S. Treasury sold about $3 billion in these bonds, which currently carry a guaranteed return rate of 9.62% if purchased before the end of October, 2022.   

Chamber Events: Coming this week from the Chamber of Commerce…    

October 5, from 5:00-6:00 p.m., join the virtual meet up with other Chamber members to learn ways to maximize your web presence. Find the finer details here. 

Also on October 5, support multicultural networking with Hello Mid-Valley from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the LeSells Stuart Center at OSU, located at 875 SW 26th St. Register for this free event here  

Join the Cancer Care Virtual Seminar about metastatic breast cancer on October 6 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. This is a free webinar. Reserve your place here  

Saturday, October 8, put on your running shoes for the 36th annual Great Pumpkin Run! Happening at the Benton County Fairgrounds from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., this 5k or 10k walk/run – plus obstacle course for the kids – benefits Home Life, an organization that works with people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Register to run here  

By Sally K Lehman 

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