Home Sellers Wanted: Apply in Portland!

Last year at this time, I wrote about the changing Portland real estate market and how we were experiencing what looked to be the beginning of a “seller’s market” due to a growing lack of inventory and increased buyer demand.  Looking back at the past 12 months, I can report that the trend has continued and deepened.

The key metric used in real estate to gauge the difference between a “buyer’s market,” a “seller’s market,” or an “equilibrium point” between the two is the amount of inventory on the market measured in months.  A six-month level of inventory is usually regarded as the equilibrium point: in such a case, the current level of inventory would be sold off in six months given the current demand. A number higher than six months suggests a “buyer’s market” — one in which there are many available homes to choose from, and a downward pressure on prices.  On the other hand, a number smaller than six months suggests a “seller’s market” — one in which the buyers are clamoring to get at the relatively few homes available to them and are willing to pay top price for them (as long as that price is within reason).  As I noted in this blog a year ago, inventory levels were at the very high level of 11.3 months in January 2011, and dropped down to 5.3 months in December of 2011. That momentum continued throughout 2012 with the December 2012 inventory hitting a several-year low point of 3.6 months.

What does all of this mean?  It means that the buyers are back in the market full force, armed with pre-approvals on low-interest mortgages and buoyed by optimism in the improving economy.  But most of all, these buyers are tired of waiting and are wanting to buy their next home NOW.  People who have been sitting on the fence deciding whether or not they should sell their home should take note.  Those who are considering both selling their home and purchasing a new one will find that these may be the best market conditions that they could hope for: one with a short market time on their listing, and a low-interest rate on their purchase.  Sellers who want to take advantage of these favorable conditions should immediately start working towards getting their homes ready for the market.

I offer a free market analysis to anyone who is interested in learning about the current market value of their home, and am happy to help advise potential home sellers on how to get their homes ready to sell.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about selling or buying a home in the greater Portland Oregon area. (www.GeneMoreland.com)


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Blues, Brews, & the Old Portland Craftsman

We are enjoying a generous serving of summer weather here in Portland: temperatures are creeping up into the rare triple digits but most areas still remain lush and green from the investment of rain earlier months have bestowed upon us.  Portlanders — always playful despite the weather — especially relish these days to get out and enjoy their city.

The Portland-metro real estate statistics for the month of July have just been released, and while all measures of real estate activity remain positive in comparison to July of 2011, the numbers suggest a slight slowing of buyer activity when compared to June of this year. Home prices increased 1.2% from June to July this year (compared to a 3.2% increase the month prior).   Existing inventory was 4.6 in July — up a tad from the 5-year low of 3.9 months in June but still way below the equilibrium point of 6 months inventory. This means that while there are still not enough homes on the market to satisfy buyer demand, Portland buyers may have been just a tad more distracted with other things during the month of July.

The Waterfront Blues Festival (www.waterfrontbluesfest.com) & the Oregon Brewer’s Festival (www.Oregonbrewfest.com) both served to draw flocks of Portlanders who otherwise might be out looking for their new digs. What will the August numbers end up showing us? My guess is a bit more of the same: I expect activity to be down from July, but the inventory still isn’t enough to satisfy the demand.  Although the buyers may be distracted with the “Bite of Oregon” (www.biteoforegon.com) or the whimsical “Mt. Tabor adult soap box derby” (www.soapboxracer.com), there is still nothing like a gorgeous, well-staged Old Portland Craftsman home to draw a crowd.

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The Portland Area Housing Market: the Dog Days of Summer 2012

As the thermometer continues to heat up during the summer months of 2012, there is much evidence to suggest that the Portland area housing market continues to heat up, too. According to “Market Action” (a publication of RMLS), “every measure of real estate activity is positive when comparing June 2012 with June 2011.” Accepted offers, closed sales, and sales prices have all increased during that time. Specifically, the median sales price rose by 8.6% in June 2012 as compared to that same month in 2011, and June was the third consecutive month in 2012 that the median home price had risen.
Probably the most telling statistic is the low amount of inventory that continues to exist in the Portland area market. Inventory is categorized as the amount of months it would take for the current inventory to be exhausted based upon current buyer demand. Six months’ inventory is regarded by real estate experts as an equilibrium point between buyer demand and seller inventory. In June of 2012, the inventory reached a five-year low of 3.9 months inventory. This means that the supply of homes in June would be sold out in only 3.9 months based upon the current demand. The last time there was this much demand in the Portland market was back in March of 2007. Simply put: this is an exceptionally good time for anyone considering selling their home in the Portland area. And for home buyers: five years of dropping prices and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates means that there remain some wonderful opportunities for them as well.
If you have any questions about the Portland area residential housing market, or if you have any interest in buying or selling a home, please feel free to contact me.

Gene Moreland, Broker


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A new year and a new outlook on real estate

As I write this, we are now one month into the new year of 2012 and the Portland Oregon housing market already looks quite a bit different from this time last year.  It seems that many of the buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines have finally gotten excited about the possibilities that low prices and even lower interest rates are providing.  In the past two weeks I have been involved in four multiple offer situations with buyers, and these have occurred in neighborhoods on either side of the Willamette River (on the west and east sides of Portland) and in different price ranges.  It seems that the inventory of available homes has dropped to the lowest point in the past three years: according to the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR), there were 5.3 months’ worth of available inventory in December 2011, down from 6.2 months in November and down from 11.3 months in January 2011.  (This figure refers to the amount of months it would take for the existing inventory to be sold if no other houses came on the market.)  The equilibrium point is around 6-7 months of inventory, so these numbers suggest that current demand has now reached an attractive point for home sellers.  Hopefully more people who are considering selling their home will get the message and will market their homes in order to attract these eager buyers!

If you have any questions regarding buying or selling a home in the Portland Oregon metropolitan area, please feel free to contact me.

Gene Moreland   www.GeneMoreland.com

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Autumn Greetings

Fall is traditionally a good time for buying and selling a home in the Portland Oregon area: the weather changes, vacations give way to the new school year, and home buyers anticipate getting into a new home before the holidays.  Inspired by this, I thought that this fall provided me with a good opportunity to create this Portland Oregon real estate blog.  I am hoping that it will be a way to reach out to home buyers and sellers that I have worked with in the past as well as introducing myself to new home buyers and sellers.

I am a native of Portland Oregon and have lived in homes in many different neighborhoods throughout the greater Portland area.  Likewise, during my 11+ years as a Portland Oregon Realtor I have helped numerous clients buy and sell homes throughout the area.  I am passionate about the characteristics of the different homes and neighborhoods in the area: Old Portland-style Craftsman homes in Irvington, Alameda, and Hawthorne; grand traditional style homes in Portland Heights and Eastmoreland; bungalow-style homes in North Portland; Rummer homes in Southwest Portland; and daylight ranch homes in Raleigh Hills, to name a few.  I intend to use this blog as a way of highlighting many of the wonderful things that the homes and neighborhoods in the Portland Oregon area have to offer.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding real estate in the Portland Oregon area.

Gene Moreland  503-802-6472    www.GeneMoreland.com


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