It seems like so long ago, but it was just a year ago that the financial markets were melting-down and our whole economy was seizing-up. People and institutions world-wide stopped everything to try to understand what was happening. Every one of our massive investment banks went bankrupt, were forcibly sold-off, or morphed into something completely different under the intense heat of the moment. Following September, 2008’s explosive news, October, November, and December, were dark months for everyone.
We have seen much recovery since then, and October 2009’s Market Action Report continues to document incremental improvements every month in the Portland metropolitan housing sector.
However, do not be overly exuberant about the first statistics to greet you as you read the report: 64% increase in pending sales; 37% increase in closed sales! Remember, these numbers are compared to October 2008, when the world stood still. This category of measurement is meaningless until we get to January 2010.
The best number all year has been our inventory number. Inventory is the number of months it would take to sell off all current listings at the current rate of sales. This number was an astounding 20 months last December, but has fallen to 6.5 month by October. 6 months of inventory is generally considered to be a balanced market between buyers and sellers. We have not seen this number since the inception of the sub-prime mortgage woes in 2007. This should continue to lead to stabilized pricing and a return to more normal market conditions. Yes, there can be some added qualifiers about discouraged sellers giving up, others not willing to sell in this kind of a market, and the toll of distressed properties, but sales are genuinely up.
Pending sales and closed sales are at, and above, summer of 2007 levels. There has been significant recovery from the lows last year.
As to prices, on average for all the Portland metro markets, our pricing has fallen to levels last seen in early 2005. Remember, all markets are local and various neighborhoods and price ranges may be much better or much worse. There is still much insecurity and fear in the markets about prices and the economy. This has not helped stabilize pricing which has steadily declined this year.
Finally, the Affordability Index from the National Association of Realtors® shows that buying conditions (interest rates, prices, income, etc) have not been this good since December of 2004! Add to that the $8,000 tax incentives for first time home-buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers makes this an exceptional opportunity for anyone who can buy now.
Attached you will find the October 2009 Market Action Report, sales data for Yamhill County in the last 30 days (formatted 3 ways: Yamhill County Properties by property type, Yamhill County Properties by city, Yamhill County Properties by price) and our working summation of what we understand about the tax programs for buyers. As always, we are glad to answer questions and provide the finest services for buying and selling real estate in our local markets.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
The McCreith Team
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128
503-310-9844 Portland area
503-437-4808 McMInnville area
Buy. Sell. Be Happy.