Friends and Clients,
2014 began with silence, a lull in sales, and disappointing numbers. It looks like the year will end with a roar. The Portland metroplex is doing very well. The numbers for the urban areas of Portland have moderated but are still strong and consistent. These areas have already reached the peaks of the top of the market in the summer of 2007. The numbers of this 5 county area are bolstered by the improvements of the outlying rural areas as they continue to play catch-up with the urban areas. October produced the highest numbers of sales since pre-recession in 2006, 8 years ago. In October, the year-to-date numbers already surpassed the end of year numbers of 2013.
This report also shows the seasonal cycle is healthy. There is nice recovery from the traditionally slower months of August and September. We have good evidence that the winter sales will be strong as they traditionally are. Strong pending sales now bode well for the end of year closings.
The 3rd quarter Affordability Index is included in this report. Many of our Portland area markets are getting quite expensive and the normal dynamic to push out farther to get affordability is helping areas like Yamhill County. Interest rates have been amazingly low (under 4% recently for 30 yr fixed loans) so it is the high prices and low inventory that is hurting affordability. Rural areas like ours continue to lag Portland by at least 1.5 years. We not yet suffering from low inventory because of lingering pent-up demand by sellers to move-on.
Anecdotally, the housing market is still tough and a bumpy road in our area. I am amazed at how brutal buyers continue to be. We are experiencing extremely tough negotiations, inflexible buyers who freely move-on to another property and aggressive demands from buyers following the inspection. Buyers apparently did not get the memo that it is no longer a buyers’ market! In other news, houses in the lower price ranges are moving very well but the higher ranges are surprisingly anemic still. The luxury market remains stagnant at about 1 sale every 2 months.
In addition to the regular monthly housing reports, I have included a couple of links to charts which focus on buildable lots and land. This is a sector that is fledgling but promising. This is the time of the year we see land sales increase as people plan to build next year and be done by summer. As always, we are always happy to discuss market conditions and expectations and to customize them to your situation.
This Thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for. In our line of work it is a recovery which is here and coming still; it is you and your trust in us. We are re-tooling for an even better year coming very soon and trust that we all will prosper in the New Year!
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
Bella Casa Real Estate Group