Home prices in Davis and Woodland have been linked for decades, with Woodland homes historically being valued at 20% less than comparable Davis homes. The attractions of Davis (university town with a public school system as good as any in the state) and the intentional slow growth policies of Davis have led to this price gap. Recently this gap has widened to something more like 40% - the house that sells for $500,000 in Davis would sell for $300,000 if in Woodland.
It's no mystery why this is happening. The market in Woodland is currently dominated by short sales and to a lesser degree by bank owned properties. Davis has escaped the worst of the market correction, shorts and bank owned properties are still the exception.
Because of the price difference we are seeing more people who live in Davis consider Woodland. Especially for those buying their first house Woodland offers some great deals, and the market in Woodland is active.
Over the next few years as the market continues to return to normality I expect that the price difference between Woodland and Davis will return to normal also. That means that home prices may appreciate faster in Woodland than in Davis until the historical price differential is reestablished. It's a great time to buy in Woodland!
Gordon Lane is a Woodland resident and Yolo County real estate agent who works in Woodland, Davis and the surrounding communties of Dunnigan, Esparto, Winters and Dixon. His family has lived and farmed in Yolo and Colusa Counties since the 1870s.