Clients and Friends,
Good news again! If you are a seller in Yamhill County, we are officially a ‘seller’s market’ for the first time in 8 years! We have 3.3 months of inventory. Remember, this is an average for a massive county; local conditions can vary, but this has been a long time coming. Sellers have been beat up for many years in a very unfair marketplace for them. We have had a balanced market for just over a year but we have now moved into a market where the advantage goes to the seller. Buyers will resist this dynamic by attempting aggressive negotiations, this is predictable. They do so at their own peril as others will get the purchases and the prices will continue to rise while they will lose the best values.
Look at the graphs in the Market Action Report for April 2015 (particularly the ‘closed sales’) for the whole metroplex and you will see that March, and now April, are months where the numbers spike. Note also that the median sales price is now at the top of the market level (2007), and the average sale price is just about to touch the 10 year peak. Of course this reflects much of the very hot market in Portland and urban areas but it is where we are headed.
This month also includes The Affordability Index on page 7 of the Market Action Report through the first quarter of this year. It is as affordable a time to buy as it was in 2010 when the market had fallen quite a bit and was on the way down even more. This is the good news for buyers! With continuing historically low interest rates and the market going up quickly, this optimum situation to buy may not last long. We advise buyers not to play games and not to wait.
I think we have a great situation in the marketplace right now. Clearly the trend for 2-3 years is consistently improving and now the market engine seems to be hitting on all cylinders- even in our area. It seems like a safe time for real estate purchases. In our area we also are still a relatively balanced market between buyers and sellers since we just crossed the line in the sellers’ favor. Interest rates are still under 4% for a 30 year fixed loan and money is readily available. Inventory is still reasonable but it seems to be shrinking. If you are selling and buying, you need to consider both sides of the dynamics in the market. It appears to be as good as we can expect to get a good price with few concessions, and also to get a fair price for your next home which is on the way to greater appreciation. See the Home Sales Reports for more details.
Finally, the only negative note I would sound is related to our sales transactions. The distressed years washed a lot of vendors and agents out to sea. With increased demand, it is getting challenging to get home inspectors, well contractors, repair & specialty contractors, and most notably- appraisers- in a reasonable time frame. Supply and demand issues are accompanied by other struggles. In my opinion, excessive regulation in all the real estate related industries has crippled most areas of the process of closing your home. Tinkering and tampering with all the elements of the sale process has been experimental, most of which are bad ideas from people who do not understand or have other agendas. In many cases the changes made would be laughable if not so tragic and damaging to consumers. For the next example coming our way is that soon the closing process will be handled almost exclusively by the lenders. Really??
No one in the industry is less responsive to anyone, less customer service oriented, and more careless with closing dates and people’s lives than lenders (I generalize to be sure). Currently what has traditionally taken 30 days for a closing, now routinely takes 45 days. I am expecting by late summer, our transactions will likely take 60 days and include a tremendous amount of frustration (which is mounting even now). If this sounds political and that I am just anti-regulation, I argue that I am just anti foolish, ignorant, and window-dressing regulation! I am all for regulating the excesses in the financial markets which created the demand (and I mean literally ‘demand!’) for inferior loans. Like the drug plague, demand which is lucrative will always find corrupt people to meet that demand regardless of how many people get burned in the process. Irresponsibility related to money is deadly every time.
We can help you through the rough waters of a transaction (and that is rigorous work) but we also enjoy the process of working with you to sell your properties and buy your next venture in real estate. Please call us for your real estate needs and wants. We have many of the finest agents in the greater Yamhill County and SW Portland areas.
Bella Casa Real Estate Group is finally moving this week into our gorgeous office building in Newberg. Look for our signs as you enter Yamhill County after coming down Rex Hill. We are in the two story building formerly, Underground Coffee. A four month remodel closes out this holiday weekend and we are excited. We now have exceptional offices in both McMinnville and Newberg as we serve the greater Yamhill County area.
Happy Memorial Day. It is a great family and holiday weekend, but also an appropriate time to thank Veterans for protecting our freedoms and remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
Bella Casa Real Estate Group