The Trump effect. How will it impact the US economy and housing?
By Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate
The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Change was clearly demanded, and change is what we will have.
The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not been overly affected by the long-term loss in US manufacturing or stagnant wage growth of the past decade. But the votes are in and a new era is ahead of us. So, what does this mean for the housing market?
First and foremost I would say that we should all take a deep breath. In a similar fashion to the UK’s “Brexit”, there will be a “whiplash” effect, as was seen in overnight trading across the globe. However, at least in the US, equity markets have calmed as they start to take a closer look at what a Trump presidency will mean.
On a macro level, I would start by stating that political rhetoric and hyperbole do not necessarily translate into policy. That is the most important message that I want to get across. I consider it highly unlikely that many of the statements regarding trade protectionism will actually go into effect. It will be very important for President Trump to tone down his platform on renegotiating trade agreements and imposing tariffs on China. I also deem it highly unlikely that a 1,000-mile wall will actually get built.
It is crucial that some of the more inflammatory statements that President-Elect Trump has made be toned down or markets will react negatively. However, what is of greater concern to me is that neither candidate really approached questions regarding housing with any granularity. There was little-to-no-discussion regarding housing finance reform, so I will be watching this topic very closely over the coming months.
As far as the housing market is concerned, it is really too early to make any definitive comment. That said, Trump ran on a platform of deregulation and this could actually bode well for real estate. It might allow banks the freedom to lend more, which in turn, could further energize the market as more buyers may qualify for home loans.
Concerns over rising interest rates may also be overstated. As history tells us, during times of uncertainty we tend to put more money into bonds. If this holds true, then we may see a longer-than-expected period of below-average rates. Today’s uptick in bond yields is likely just temporary.
Proposed infrastructure spending could boost employment and wages, which again, would be a positive for housing markets. Furthermore, easing land use regulations has the potential to begin addressing the problem of housing affordability across many of our nation’s housing markets – specifically on the West Coast.
Economies do not like uncertainty. In the near-term we may see a temporary lull in the US economy, as well as the housing market, as we analyze what a Trump presidency really means. But at the present time, I do not see any substantive cause for panic in the housing sector.
We are a resilient nation, and as long as we continue to have checks-and balances, I have confidence that we will endure any period of uncertainty and come out stronger.
Discover some of our favorite activities in Sun Valley, Idaho, as they happen by day and night.
Photographs by Ian C. Bates Written by Gulnaz Khan
The charming resort city of Sun Valley in central Idaho offers something for every type of adventurer. Spend warm summer days hiking wildflower-filled trails and biking scenic mountain paths, and brisk nights bowling at the lodge or sipping whiskey at the pub. As the leaves turn golden and frost settles over the valley, ski, snowboard, and ice-skate by day, and cozy up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa for a relaxing evening.
Hike or horseback ride up Dollar Mountain to watch Sun Valley’s magical landscape transform as the sun goes down. During the day rolling clouds cast the wild scene in light and shadow. As the evening sky darkens into denim, Ketchum’s speckled streetlights create a glittery display.
Painters spend the afternoon capturing the Sun Valley’s sweeping landscape, immortalizing its golden grasses, evergreen trees, and layered mountains on canvas. In the evening, spectators can view nature through an artist’s eyes with a visit to the Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, which features artists like Michael Gregory.
A great day in Sun Valley begins and ends on Main Street, which offers an eclectic array of boutiques and restaurants for all tastes. Start the day with a steaming cup of joe at Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, and return in the evening for some hand-tossed pizza, cold beer, and football at Whiskey Jacques.
Fly fishers cast their lines into the rushing waters of the Big Wood River, which stretches 137 miles through central Idaho. Even if you don’t hook a trout, you can still sink a ball during a late night a game of pool at Casino bar in Ketchum.
The early morning sun shines over the rolling meadows, lodgepole forests, and Boulder Mountain Range along the 19-mile Harriman Trail. After a day of mountain biking, give your legs a rest with a windows-rolled-down drive back to town, and watch the mountains transform as night settles over Bald Mountain.
Paragliders satisfy their thirst for adventure on Bald Mountain’s ivory slopes underneath cotton-white clouds. Down the mountain, patrons of the cozy Sun Valley Lodge get their heartbeats going with a spirited game of bowling in one of the Northwest’s oldest alleys.
Bathers luxuriate the day away in one of the area’s plentiful natural hot springs, which reach piping temperatures of 124ºF. Continue your aquatic adventures at night with a dip in the heated pool at the Sun Valley Lodge.
Skaters glide across the outdoor ice rink at the Sun Valley Lodge, admiring the mountainous backdrop. After a day on the ice, grab a hot cocoa and gaze into the star-speckled sky.
Five Days. Forty Bands. One Million Smiles
Attendees from all fifty states, every Canadian province, and several foreign countries gather each October to celebrate live performances of America’s music. The Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival was birthed out of a love and appreciation for jazz music by Tom & Barbara Hazzard and is being held October 19th through 23rd this year in Sun Valley.
Celebrating its 20th year in 2016, the Festival has expanded greatly from its humble beginnings, yet the goals and objectives of the Festival remain the same—preserving the stories and history of sheep ranchers and herders, celebrating the rich cultures of the past and present, and entertaining and educating children and adults about the production of local food and fiber that have sustained local economies for generations.
The Festival is five days of nonstop family events including multicultural performers, storytelling, culinary events and cooking classes, a Fiber Festival, Championship Sheepdog Trials, a Sheepherder’s Ball and the Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep trailing down Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho.
We invite you to join us this year for the 20th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival – sheep, stories, music, food, hikes and history. October 5th through October 9th.
This year, the Baldy Hill Climb is taking place Saturday September 24th, 2016.
The Baldy Hill Climb, hosted by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, is an annual 1.9 mile, gut-wrenching, uphill climb in Sun Valley, Idaho. Hundreds of athletes from a variety of backgrounds, compete against one another to be crowned King/Queen of the mountain by climbing 3,200 vertical feet in 1.9 miles to the top of Baldy Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho. Beginning from the bottom of Bald Mtn., the primary ski mountain of the Sun Valley Resort, racers climb their way straight up the face to reach the summit of the steep ski hill.
The Baldy Hill Climb consists of 5 different categories that caters to every individual, spanning from little tikes, to sports enthusiasts, to Olympians. Whether you are a competitive, world-class athlete or just looking to push your body, the Baldy Hill Climb offers something spectacular for everyone.
Private and public infrastructure is keeping pace
In 1996, the population of Hailey was about 5,400. Today, it is about 8,000. In contrast, Ketchum’s population in that same period has dropped by 100 so that it’s now less than 2,700.
The private infrastructure of Hailey is keeping pace with the city’s growth, as evidenced by the major construction projects at the Natural Grocers building to open this fall/winter; the expansion of King’s variety store on North Main Street, also with a projected fall/winter opening; a new $900,000 headquarters for Evans Plumbing in Hailey’s light industrial area; and The Cottages of Sun Valley, an assisted living and memory care facility in north Hailey, to be completed in 2017. There are two more proposed buildings: the new Wiseguy Pizza building and D.L. Evans Bank, both on Main Street.
The estimated investment in these new construction projects is $16 million.
Natural Grocers has more than 100 stores in the western U.S. and this one will provide the Wood River Valley with another grocery option. Only USDA-certified organic produce will be sold, as the company sells no produce grown with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified plants.
The Cottages elder care will include 32 resodential suites, in two buildings for different kinds of care and will provide 30 new jobs for the Wood River Valley.
As well, there are the City of Hailey’s public infrastructure proposals, known as “Hailey Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper.” The proposals call for creating more parklets in the center core; striped bike lanes on River Street west to the Croy Canyon bridge; temporary neighborhood roundabouts to slow traffic; pedestrian crossing islands; and more Hailey and “way-finding” signage.
According to Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz, the first of the parklets in front of the Liberty Theatre on Main Street has already been installed at a cost of just under $11,000. All of the other “Hailey Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” proposals are, according to Horowitz, “…in process and not prioritized” at the moment and will be presented to the Hailey City Councils for approval in the fall.
To see the city’s proposals, visit www.haileycityhall.org/planning/documents/CCHandout.pdf
By Dick Dorworth tws
Enjoying Sun Valley’s long, sun-soaked days doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Here are ten of the best free (and nearly free) experiences to enjoy this summer.
Hike Up, Hitch a Ride Down: Locals know there is a fountain of youth in Sun Valley, and it’s hidden on the daily pilgrimage up Bald Mountain. Hikers of all ages climb to the summit via the Bald Mountain Trail then hitch a free ride down on the Christmas Chairlift and Roundhouse Gondola. If you get hungry on your trek, swing by the Roundhouse for lunch. >>More: Hiking Trails in Sun Valley
Hone Your Throwing Arm: Disc golf is a mix of frisbee and golf, and can be enjoyed for free at the Ketchum Disc Golf Course and Keefer Park in Hailey. Bring your own discs, then try your best to hole out in less shots than your friends. Dogs are welcome at both courses.
See Art, Sip Wine: Fine art and wine come together at the free monthly gallery walk hosted by the Sun Valley Gallery Association. Sip a glass of chardonnay while admiring works by some of the country’s most talented artists. Grab a map so you don’t miss a single stop.
Dance the Night Away: Free music is on tap almost every night of the week in Sun Valley. Pack a picnic dinner, a bottle of wine, and a blanket for Ketchum’s Ketch’em Alive on Tuesday night and Jazz in the Park on Sunday night. Enjoy free music at the Wicked Spud in Hailey on Wednesday night, and Mahoney’s in Bellevue on Thursday night. Check out a full list of music events, including the free Summer Symphony, on our calendar.
Practice Yoga in the Mountains: Enjoy free yoga every Saturday morning on the lawn at River Run. Sunrise Flow starts at 8:45AM and Gentle Yoga, suitable for all ages and abilities, starts at 10:00AM. Be warned: it’s hard to hold a tree pose while taking in the incredible mountain views.
Catch a Lesson in Casting: The rivers and creeks around Sun Valley are a fly fisher’s dream. Learn the basics of fly casting with free lessons from Silver Creek Outfitters every Tuesday through Saturday at 5:30PM on the lawn at the Sun Valley Inn. No experience required except a sense of humor for when you catch the tree behind you. Come as you are – all equipment is provided.
Cool Off in Rivers and Parks: Don’t be fooled by Sun Valley’s annual snowfall stats, our summers pack some serious heat. Keep it cool with a dip in the Big Wood River. Favored swimming holes include the hospital bridge in Ketchum (accessible via the bike path) and the entrance to Colorado Gulch in Hailey. For family fun with young ones, check out the free splash pads at Memory Park in downtown Ketchum and Jimmy’s Garden in Hailey. >>More: Guide to Sun Valley’s Swimming Spots
Make a Furry Friend: It’s a dog’s life in Sun Valley. Between the endless miles of hiking, swimming and dog friendly events, your pooch has never had it so good. Don’t have a dog? Join the Animal Center of the Wood River Valley at Adams Gulch on Wednesdays from 9:00AM-3:30PM for Hikin’ Buddies. Bring the family and take a dog out for a romp through the canyon.
Feed Your Brain: Interact with engaging speakers year-round at the Community Library’s free series of lectures and discussions. Topics range from climbing the seven summits to the Civil War. Call ahead to reserve a seat if you want a guaranteed spot in the main lecture room. For those interested in local history, hop on the free Sun Valley Story Tour every Friday. Find out where Hemingway dined with his wife for the last time, the location of Union Pacific Railway Terminal, and more.
Hit the Putting Green: Enjoy epic views of Bald Mountain while playing a round at Sun Valley’s 18 hole Sawtooth Putting Course. Scoring a par on the putting course will make you feel like a serious – though not too serious – golfer. Grab a cocktail at the Sun Valley Club to sip as you play. Cost is $8 per adult and $4 per child under 12. Putters and balls provided.
While travelers flock to the ski town during winter months, this mountain locale has just as much to offer when the weather's warm.
Sun Valley, Idaho—where the first destination ski resort in North America was established in 1936—may have its roots in winter. But visit during the warmer months and you’ll understand the cliché that resides at the heart of every mountain town: People may come for the snow, but they stay for the summers. Here are a few ways to enjoy the region, which receives some 200 sunny days each year. By Nathan Borchelt
Ascend Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain wasn’t the first mountain to be skied when the resort opened in 1936; that privilege went to Dollar Mountain on the other side of the valley. But there’s no denying Baldy’s presence when you’re in Sun Valley. At 9,150 feet, it dominates almost every horizon and is a microcosm of all the things offered in the region. Ride the gondola to the Roundhouse for panoramic patio views out toward the Pioneer and Boulder Mountains. Read More…
Visit Sun Valley Lodge
Founded in 1936, the Sun Valley Lodge stood as the centerpiece of the resort and it’s a must-visit to appreciate the storied history of this mountain town. Black-and-white photographs of generations of celebrities and winter-sport athletes—Ernest Hemingway, the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Warren Miller, Picabo Street, Arnold Schwarzenegger—adorn every wall of the 108-room accommodation, which recently underwent a full face-lift, including the introduction of a 20,000-square-foot day spa. Read More…
Explore the Region’s Living History
Sun Valley came into existence when an Austrian count selected it to be the place to establish the first European-style ski resort in North America. He was commissioned by the then head of the Union Pacific Railroad, which predicted the resort would attract celebrities and then armies of train-riding tourists—which is exactly what happened. Read More…
Day Hike Pioneer Cabin Loop
A profusion of dining, shopping, galleries, and outdoor activities make it easy to spend your entire time within the city limits of Sun Valley and neighboring Ketchum, but you’d be doing the region a disservice if you didn’t explore all that easy-access backcountry. The day hike up to Pioneer Cabin is a local favorite, with good reason. Read More…
Fly-Fish at Silver Creek Preserve
Those yearning to cast their way into tall tales about Idaho’s famed big brown and rainbow trout should plan on a 30-mile pilgrimage from Ketchum to visit the clear, spring-fed waters of Silver Creek Preserve. Read More…
Spend the Night in a Yurt
The expansive backcountry surrounding Sun Valley bowls you over with its unfettered beauty, but its easy access and profusion of options can also overwhelm. To get a taste without taking on too much, hook up with Sun Valley Trekking for one of their guided multiday treks to the Pioneer Yurt. Read More…
Mountain Bike Into Town
Destinations like Whistler, Moab, and Tahoe attract the bulk of vacationing mountain bikers—and that suits the riders of Sun Valley and nearby Ketchum just fine. But you shouldn’t miss out. Read More…
Raft the Salmon River
The more than a hundred inches of snow that falls annually makes Sun Valley one of the top ski destinations on the continent. As all that snow melts, it transforms the area’s rivers into conduits of pretty serious white water. Read More…
Embrace Sun Valley’s Culture
It’s impossible to overstate the accessibility of Sun Valley’s active pursuits, but that doesn’t mean that the area is only about adventure. It boasts more than 20 art galleries, mostly within a small cluster of buildings in Ketchum. Read More…
Swim in an Alpine Lake
Diving into the placid, cold waters of a high-alpine lake ranks as a quintessential mountain experience, and Sun Valley provides ample opportunities to make this happen. A 30-mile drive north of town delivers you to the Titus Lake trailhead, which offers a three-mile round-trip jaunt, which climbs 1,050 feet before reaching the water. Read More…
In an ongoing effort to become true year-round destinations, ski resorts have increasingly embraced golf, mountain biking, hiking, adventure sports and culinary events. But they are finding out that one of the biggest appeals to travelers is the sound of music.
America’s top ski resorts, which tend to be full of luxury hotels, great restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities, also offer an incredible lineup of music, from classical to jazz, bluegrass, rock, and contemporary. Many of these destinations are also “off season” bargains in summer.
Sun Valley, ID: America’s very first destination ski resort also has one of the most well-established musical events, the Sun Valley Symphony, celebrating 31 seasons as the largest privately funded, free-admission symphony in America. A summer tradition (June-August), the symphony attracts locals and visitors alike who picnic on the lawn with Champagne and extravagant hampers. There are also 1,600-seats inside the beautiful purpose built pavilion. This season’s highlight is Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” reimagined in a grand production using immense and elaborate puppets to bring the ballet to life (August 1).