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Salem Real Estate Analysis

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Salem (play /ˈsləm/) is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valleyalongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood ofWest Salem is in Polk County. Salem was founded in 1842, became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857.

Salem had a population of 154,637 at the 2010 census, making it the third largest city in the state after Portland and Eugene. Salem is less than an hour driving distance away from Portland. Salem is the principal city of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Marion and Polk counties[4] and had a combined population of 347,214 at the 2000 census.[2] A 2009 estimate placed the metropolitan population at 396,103, the state’s second largest.[5]

The city is home to Willamette University and Corban University. The State of Oregon is the largest public employer in the city, and Salem Hospital is the largest private employer. Transportation includes public transit from Salem-Keizer Transit,Amtrak service, and non-commercial air travel at McNary Field. Major roads include Interstate 5Oregon Route 99E, and Oregon Route 22 which connects West Salem across the Willamette River via the Marion Street and Center Streetbridges.


Origin of name

Map of Salem in 1876

The Native Americans who originally inhabited Salem, the Kalapuyans called the area Chemeketa, which means “meeting or resting place” in the Central Kalapuya language(Santiam). The original Kalapuya pronunciation of the word is Chim-i-ki-ti.[6] When theMethodist Mission moved to the Chemeketa plain, the new establishment was called Chemeketa, but was more widely known as the Mill because of its situation on Mill Creek.[7] When the Oregon Institute was established, the community was known as the Institute.[7]

When the Institute was dissolved, the trustees decided to lay out a townsite on the Institute lands.[7] It is uncertain who chose the name “Salem” for the new town, but it is believed to be one of two people: trustee David Leslie from Salem, Massachusetts, orWilliam H. Willson who in 1850–1851 filed the plats for the main part of the city.[7] There were many names suggested and even after the change to Salem, some people, such as Asahel Bush (editor of the Oregon Statesman), believed the name should be changed back to Chemeketa.[8]

The name Salem is derived from the semitic words (Arabic salam [سَلاَمٌ] and Hebrew shalom [שָׁלוֹם]) for peace. The Vern Miller Civic Center which houses the city offices and library has a public space dedicated as the Peace Plaza in recognition of the names by which the city has been known.[8] Salem is also thought to be the original name of Jerusalem used in Genesis 14:18.[9][10]

Native Americans

It is estimated that the Willamette Valley area has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. The Kalapuya peoples would gather on the plateau east and south of the current downtown area in the winter and establish camps. They fished and harvested in the streams and fields of the area. One staple of life was the camas root and periodically the Kalapuya would set fires that would clear and fertilize the meadows where it grew.[11] In the early 1850s the Kalapuya, along with the other native peoples west of the Cascade Mountains, were removed by the US government through a combination of treaties and force. Most Kalapuya people were moved to the Grande Ronde Reservation somewhat to the west of Salem, with smaller numbers ending up at Siletz Reservation and other Oregon and Washington reservations.[12]


The first people of European descent arrived in the area as early as 1812; they were animal trappers and food gatherers for the fur trading companies in Astoria, Oregon.

The first permanent American settlement in the area was the Jason Lee Methodist mission (1840) located in the area north of Salem known as Wheatland.[13] In 1842, the missionaries established the Oregon Institute (the forerunner of Willamette University) in the area that was to become the site of Salem. In 1844, the mission was dissolved and the town site established.

In 1851, Salem became the territorial capital after it was moved from Oregon City. The capital was moved briefly to Corvallis in 1855, but was moved back to Salem permanently that same year. Salem incorporated as a city in 1857 and with the coming of statehood in 1859 became the state capital.

Capitol buildings

Capitol building after 1935 fire.

Oregon has had three capitol buildings in Salem. A two-story state house, which had been occupied for only two months, burned to the ground in December 1855. Oregon’s second capitol building was completed in 1876 on the site of the original. The revival-style building was based in part on the U.S. Capitol building. The building received its distinctive copper dome in 1893. On April 25, 1935, this building was also destroyed by fire. The third and current Oregon State Capitol was completed on the same site in 1938. It is recognizable by its distinctive pioneer statue atop the capitol dome that is plated with gold-leaf and officially named the Oregon Pioneer.

State fair and cherry festival

Oregon State Fair 1867

Agriculture has always been important to Salem and the city has historically recognized and celebrated it in a number of ways. In 1861, Salem was chosen as the permanent site of the Oregon State Fair by the Oregon State Agricultural Association.[14] Salem is nicknamed the “Cherry City”, because of the past importance of the local cherry-growing industry.[15] The first cherry festival in Salem was held in 1903 and was an annual event, with parades and the election of a cherry queen, until sometime after World War I. The event was briefly revived as the Salem Cherryland Festival for several years in the late 1940s.[16]

Geography and Climate

Salem is located in the north-central Willamette Valley, in Marion and Polk counties. The 45th Parallel (the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator) passes through Salem’s city limits.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.4 square miles (120 km2), of which 45.7 square miles (118 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (1.35%) is water.

Although the Willamette River flows through Salem, the North Santiam River watershedis Salem’s primary drinking water source. Other important streams that pass through Salem are Mill Creek, the Mill Race, Pringle Creek, and Shelton Ditch.[17] Smaller streams in eastern part of the city include Clark Creek, Jory Creek, Battle Creek, Croisan Creek, and Claggett Creek, while Glen Creek and Brush Creek flow throughWest Salem.[17]

Elevation within the city limits ranges about 120 to 800 feet (37 to 240 m). Salem contains the volcanic Salem Hills in the south and is sandwiched by the 1,000 ft (300 m) Eola Hills directly to the West and the 600 ft (180 m) Waldo Hills to the east. Northern and eastern Salem are less hilly. South and West Salem contain some canyons and are the hilliest areas. The coast range and theCascades including Mount HoodMount Jefferson, and on the clearest of days, Mount St. Helens can be viewed throughout the city.

Like most of the Willamette Valley area, Salem has a Marine West Coast climate (Köppen Cfb) with some distinct characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. Rain is heaviest in late fall and throughout winter, but precipitation is spread from October until May, with a dry season from June through September. Light snowfall occurs in winter, but major snows are rare. Mostly cloudy skies, and low cloud ceilings are commonplace during the rainy season.

Salem’s mean annual temperature is 52.6 °F (11.4 °C);[18] its annual precipitation is 40 inches (1,020 mm), with an average 6 inches (15 cm) of snow included. However, the median snowfall over the 1971–2000 period was 0.[18] Salem is about 47 miles (76 km) south of Portland, but actually has a lower average temperature than Portland (53.5 °F (11.9 °C)).[19]

In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.5 males.There were 50,676 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.10.As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 136,924 people, 50,676 households, and 32,331 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,994.0 people per square mile (1,156.1/km²). There were 53,817 housing units at an average density of 1,176.8 per square mile (454.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.1% White, 1.3% African American, 1.5% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latinoof any race were 14.6% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 70.7% of the population in 2010,[24] compared to 88.6% in 1990.[25]

The median income for a household in the city was $38,881, and the median income for a family was $46,409. Males had a median income of $34,746 versus $26,789 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,141. About 10.5% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Salem Real Estate Listings

Active Listings in Salem

2503 Shipman Ln SE Salem, OR 97317
Photo of 2503 Shipman Ln SE, Salem, OR 97317 (MLS # 771211)
6 beds 3 baths 3,403 sqft $690,000
1797 Schoolhouse Ct NW Salem, OR 97304
Photo of 1797 Schoolhouse Ct NW, Salem, OR 97304 (MLS # 771427)
3 beds 2 baths 1,347 sqft $349,900
2121 Pippin Lp NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 2121 Pippin Lp NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 770449)
3 beds 2 baths 1,512 sqft $220,000
4365 Burlington Lp NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 4365 Burlington Lp NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 771403)
3 beds 2 baths 1,280 sqft $289,900
4618 Ward Dr NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 4618 Ward Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 771369)
4 beds 4 baths 2,583 sqft $497,500
4816 Apollo Av NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 4816 Apollo Av NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 771400)
3 beds 3 baths 1,552 sqft $349,995
4468 Farm Field Av NE Salem, OR 97305-4904
Photo of 4468 Farm Field Av NE, Salem, OR 97305-4904 (MLS # 771280)
4 beds 3 baths 2,519 sqft $379,900
1774 Sunburst Terrace NW Salem, OR 97304
Photo of 1774 Sunburst Terrace NW, Salem, OR 97304 (MLS # 771397)
4 beds 3 baths 2,255 sqft $471,000
1194 Karen Wy NW Salem, OR 97304-2945
Photo of 1194 Karen Wy NW, Salem, OR 97304-2945 (MLS # 771363)
2 beds 2 baths 1,209 sqft $245,000
6000 Sunnyview Rd NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 6000 Sunnyview Rd NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 770069)
3 beds 3 baths 1,936 sqft $850,000
3765 Lynette Ct NE Salem, OR 97305-3046
Photo of 3765 Lynette Ct NE, Salem, OR 97305-3046 (MLS # 771381)
3 beds 2 baths 1,459 sqft $330,000
468 Hawthorne Av NE Salem, OR 97301
Photo of 468 Hawthorne Av NE, Salem, OR 97301 (MLS # 771343)
3 beds 2 baths 1,410 sqft $285,000
3892 Ward (-4346) Pl NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 3892 Ward (-4346) Pl NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 771376)
25 beds 5 baths 9,048 sqft $1,600,000
4330 Ward (-4346) Pl NE Salem, OR 97305
Photo of 4330 Ward (-4346) Pl NE, Salem, OR 97305 (MLS # 771374)
23 beds 5 baths 9,048 sqft $1,400,000
1834 Winchester St NW Salem, OR 97304-1826
Photo of 1834 Winchester St NW, Salem, OR 97304-1826 (MLS # 771370)
3 beds 2 baths 1,456 sqft $350,000
945 Belmont St NE Salem, OR 97301-1146
Photo of 945 Belmont St NE, Salem, OR 97301-1146 (MLS # 771366)
5 beds 3 baths 2,519 sqft $350,000
850 Jev Ct NW Salem, OR 97304-2652
Photo of 850 Jev Ct NW, Salem, OR 97304-2652 (MLS # 771348)
3 beds 2 baths 2,060 sqft $419,900
643 Crooked River Av Salem, OR 97304
Photo of 643 Crooked River Av, Salem, OR 97304 (MLS # 771321)
3 beds 2 baths 1,368 sqft $336,500
413 Clara Ct NE Salem, OR 97301-4878
Photo of 413 Clara Ct NE, Salem, OR 97301-4878 (MLS # 761775)
3 beds 3 baths 1,392 sqft $278,000
3020 Evergreen Av NE Salem, OR 97301
Photo of 3020 Evergreen Av NE, Salem, OR 97301 (MLS # 770470)
3 beds 2 baths 1,620 sqft $274,900
2960 D St NE Salem, OR 97301
Photo of 2960 D St NE, Salem, OR 97301 (MLS # 771222)
3 beds 1 bath 1,171 sqft $305,000
460 Rosemont Av Salem, OR 97304
Photo of 460 Rosemont Av, Salem, OR 97304 (MLS # 771315)
3 beds 1 bath 1,630 sqft $284,900
3756 Eden Wy NW Salem, OR 97304
Photo of 3756 Eden Wy NW, Salem, OR 97304 (MLS # 771303)
5 beds 2 baths 2,712 sqft $429,900
370 Norway St NE Salem, OR 97301
Photo of 370 Norway St NE, Salem, OR 97301 (MLS # 771300)
2 beds 1 bath 880 sqft $199,000
620 25th St SE Salem, OR 97301
Photo of 620 25th St SE, Salem, OR 97301 (MLS # 771298)
3 beds 2 baths 1,235 sqft $289,000

Salem School Data

Salem School Districts

Oregon Department Of Education
Salem-Keizer School District 24j
Willamette Esd
Ode Ycep District
Ode Head Start
Ode Ltct District
Chemawa Indian School District

Salem Schools

Oregon School For The Deaf
K-12, public
Robert S Farrell High School
6-12, public
Yoshikai Elementary School
K-5, public
Crossler Middle School
6-8, public
Houck Middle School
6-8, public
Stephens Middle School
6-8, public
Barbara Roberts High School and Secondary Programs
6-12, public
Auburn Elementary School
K-5, public
Bethel Elementary School
3-5, public
Brush College Elementary School
K-5, public
Bush Elementary School
K-5, public
Candalaria Elementary School
K-5, public
Englewood Elementary School
K-5, public
Wright Elementary School
K-5, public
Four Corners Elementary School
K-5, public
Fruitland Elementary School
K-2, public
Grant Community School
K-5, public
Scott Elementary School
K-5, public
Hazel Green Elementary School
K-5, public
Highland Elementary School
K-5, public
Hoover Elementary School
K-5, public
Lake Labish Elementary School
K-5, public
Liberty Elementary School
K-5, public
Mckinley Elementary School
K-5, public
Eyre Elementary School
K-5, public
Great Schools Logo

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm by Joni McClintock