Thursday, May 22, 2008 Newsletter ~ 05.2008

Whale Watching from the shores of Ocean Shores
After spending the winter months off Baja California, gray whales make their way north to their feeding grounds in Alaska. The Washington coast off Ocean Shores is filled with prime viewing spots to watch the whales during their spring migration. Some whales hang around and feed as they approach Grays Harbor. The majority of these gray whales will eventually reach their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. By then it will be late June, the peak of Arctic summer.
To watch for a Gray, scan the ocean surface for a spout (a spray of tiny water droplets) from the blowholes on top of the whales head. Then, use binoculars or a spotting scope for a closer look. Most gray whales swim within 3 km of shore. While feeding, Grays tend to stay in a small area and follow a simple pattern of breathing and diving. Usually they spout three times at intervals of about 20 seconds while on the surface. Then they sound for two to four minutes to feed, resurfacing to repeat the cycle. A great spot to watch for Grays and the occasional Orca is down at the North Jetty. Sometimes, they get very close to the shore. On two occasions last year, a Gray Whale breached the surface within 50 feet of me and my little kayak. Good thing they don't eat people.

Ocean Shores Real Estate Update
It's supposed to be the end of Spring, but the weather has been so finicky this year. One day it's 80 and sunny, the next is raining and 50. Yuk! This has been affecting the market unfortunately. Anyway, here are some apple to apple comparisons of the Ocean Shores real estate market. Comparisons are from April 1st, 2007 to May 20th, 2007 and then the same time period for 2008.
4/1/07 - 5/20/07: 32 Sold, Average Square Footage: 1,512 sq ft, Average Price Per Square Foot: $163.15, Average Days on Market: 162, Average Sales Price $235,273.
4/1/08 - 5/20/08: 27 Sold, Average Square Footage: 1,431 sq ft, Average Price Per Square Foot: $135.53, Average Days on Market: 206, Average Sales Price $193,685.
4/1/07 - 5/20/07: 7 Sold, Average Square Footage: 976 sq ft, Average Price Per Square Foot: $243.51, Average Days on Market: 158, Average Sales Price $240,557.
4/1/08 - 5/20/08: 5 Sold, Average Square Footage: 996 sq ft, Average Price Per Square Foot: $232.35, Average Days on Market: 335, Average Sales Price $246,200.
4/1/07 - 5/20/07: 48 Sold, Average Days on Market: 211, Average Sales Price $50,319
4/1/07 - 5/20/07: 36 Sold, Average Days on Market: 271, Average Sales Price $40,860

Conclusion: It's ugly! Sales are still slow out here on the beach. But, here's a few good excuses on why this is: the weather has for the most part been horrible this Spring (feels like winter most of the time). I thought this planet was heating up? Throw in the mix of record high gas prices and the uncertainty of the upcoming presidential election and things are just a mess. Even though numbers are down, if the property is priced right (and of course marketed properly), it will sell. Buyers are looking for deals out here. New construction is doing very well. Everyone is predicting the market to dramatically heat up during the summer. Overall, real estate values are a function of supply and demand. More and more people are still just discovering Ocean Shores and as they do, they tend to fall in love with this place and buy... All numbers & stats are from the NWMLS. If you have any questions regarding these numbers or activity in the real estate market, please call Jeff Daniel of Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties at 360.581.9020. Thanks!

Upcoming Events

Kite Challenge, Flag Day Parade & Dance, June 14-15
Kite fliers from around the world gather for competitions, activities and kite displays at Ocean Shores Convention Center, Ocean Shores; admission is free, 360.289.0667. A full day of activities! The Kite Challenge is sponsored by "Team Cutting Edge Kites" - 2005 and 2006 World Champions. Free kite flying lessons, stunt competitions, fun flies, displays and more. Also, honor our nation's flag with an old fashioned parade. Over 50 entrants parade through the streets of downtown. Dance to live music from 7-11 p.m. at the Convention Center.
Five Star Dealerships Sand & Sawdust, June 27 - 29
Master woodcarvers from all over the world compete. Auctions held daily. Saturday families and artists compete on the beach for the best sand sculpture. Free sand-sculpting lessons given on Friday.
4th of July Picnic & Fire O'er the Water, July 3 - 4
Celebrate Independence Day on July 3rd at our Community Picnic. Enjoy games, prizes, food, and fun. Stay over for the best fireworks show on the coast at Ocean City.

* Ocean Shores Liquor Store Now open 7 Days a Week
After this week's election for a new mayor and two new city council positions, the results are somewhat in and Dean Bunkers will be Ocean Shores' new full-time mayor. Meanwhile, vote totals for the two council positions are too close to call.
* Final Clam Dig of the Season!
Clam enthusiasts have received the go-ahead to proceed with a final razor clam dig May 24, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches were approved for the one-day morning dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams were safe to eat. Low tide at the beaches will be 9:58 a.m., at 0.5 feet. No digging will be allowed after noon. No digging will be allowed at Long Beach, where the state's annual allowable catch has been reached. Kalaloch Beach remains closed to harvest. Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said "WDFW is able to offer one more dig at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks because there are sufficient clams remaining in the total allowable catch for those beaches. Even though digging was excellent during our early May opener, the digger turnout was lower than expected, leaving enough clams for a last dig." Ayres said. "This is the first time in two decades that WDFW has been able to offer a razor clam opener this late in the spring. Ayres reminded people they must keep the first 15 clams they dig and not return any to the beach.
* Surf Fishermen Pulled Down by Rip Tide
A surf fisherman who was apparently pulled down by a rip tide near Ocean Shores has died. The Grays Harbor County sheriff's office says the 62-year-old Olympia man, Dae W. Rhim, was fishing Friday near the Roosevelt Beach approach when his wife, who was watching from shore, saw him go under. He was pulled out of the surf by a passer-by and died on the way to a hospital. Two people have already died this year on the Washington coast in rip tides. Ocean Shores Deputy Police Chief Russ Fitts says a simple safety rule for waders to follow is, "Ankles OK, knees no way".
* Ocean Shores Liquor Store Now open 7 Days a Week
Just in case you wanted to know...

Jeff Daniel
Designated Broker
Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties
749 Point Brown Ave NW/PMB 1568, Ocean Shores, WA 98569
1.360.581.9020 (cell) - 1.888.469.3100 (toll free) - 1.360.289.3111 (fax)

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