1) Recreation & Education: Eugene, also known as the Emerald City, is the second largest city in Oregon and it is popular for its natural beauty, recreational opportunities such as kayaking, rafting and bicycling, alternative lifestyles, arts, and political activism. The city was founded by Eugene Franklin Skinner in 1862 and only 10 years later the Legislative Assembly approved a bill establishing the University of Oregon. The University opened its doors in 1876 and has helped the city grow from its roots in timber and agriculture to the thriving city we know today.
2) Climate & Population: The climate in Eugene has similarities to a Mediterranean climate, making Eugene, Oregon, an attractive place to live with its mild winters and dry summers. Snowfall during winter is relatively rare and tends to melt quickly. The average annual temperature is 52.1 degrees Fahrenheit or 11.2 degrees Centigrade. Combined with the low population density of approximately 3,400 people per square mile it makes for a very comfortable place to live.
3) Job Market: Eugene has a diverse job market; the biggest employers in the city are the Sacred Heart Medical Center and the University of Oregon, and Eugene made Fortune Small Business magazine’s 2008 list of 100 best places to live and launch a small business in the United States. Other major industries include the manufacture of recreational vehicles, timber and other wood products. Many multinational corporations also had their beginnings in Eugene and these include Taco Time, Broderbund Software, Aldus Software and Nike.
4) Culture, Music, & Performing Arts: Cultural and musical events contribute to the lure of Eugene, Oregon as a destination, with major festivities such as:
* The Eugene Celebration – an annual party that covers three blocks in the downtown area.
* Oregon Festival of American Music – an eclectic two week summer festival put on by The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts.
* Oregon Bach Festival- Grammy winning music hosted by the University of Oregon.
Music lovers will also be drawn by the multitude of music organizations such as the Eugene Concert Choir, the Eugene Opera, the Eugene Ballet, the Northwest Christian University Community Choir, the Eugene Symphony, the Ballet Fantastique, the Eugene Youth Symphony, the Oregon Children’s Choir, and the Oregon Mozart Players. And for the performing arts, there are several large venues, such as the Erb Memorial Union ballroom, the Beall Concert Hall, the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.
5) Real Estate: The Eugene, Oregon real estate market appears to be relatively stable compared to other cities and states. Home prices have indeed declined from 2008 to 2009 but only by 15 to 20 percent. The highest number of sales are found in the under $350,000 segment and prices appear to be stabilizing going into the year 2010.
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Contributing factors to support the stability of the market include affordability, with median prices now under $200,000 and low mortgage rates plus the recently extended government tax credits.