Post-Recession Home Values Held Firm In Northwest Small Counties

By Jessica Robinson

Across the nation, home values plummeted after the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2008. But that was not the case in some of the less populous counties in the Northwest. That’s according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Many urban areas – including Seattle, Portland and Boise – saw home values drop by tens of thousands of dollars after the recession. But drive a few hours outside of the city, and you reach a place like Minidoka County, Idaho. A new Census Bureau analysis reveals there was no significant hit on property values here -- nor in most counties with a population of 20,000-65,000. The report cites Klickitat County, Wash., as another example.

Sheryl Koyle is a real estate broker in Rupert, Idaho. She says the area didn’t exactly have a booming housing market.

Sheryl Koyle: “But when they're talking stable, it means it's not dropping any more but it's also not rising very fast. So it's just kind of status quo, if that makes sense.”

There were exceptions to the small-county rule. The median property value in Crook County, Ore., near once fast-growing Bend took a bigger hit than King County, Wash., in terms of dollars.

But experts say most smaller counties never experienced the huge rise in housing prices in the first places – and therefore, avoided the big drop.

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