After a good first quarter this year, the Portland Metro market has since fallen short of 2015 in almost every category except new listings and price appreciation. July was the weakest month for closings but August reversed that and finished modestly behind 2015. With slower sales and more inventory, Portland is trending towards a more balanced market after being one of America’s hottest markets for years. Pricing, however, continued to rise with the average and median prices up 11-12%.
Yamhill County is following the same trends (see page 2 at the bottom). Closed sales are better than July’s but fewer than August 2015. Pending sales are up from July but down from last year at this time. Inventory numbers are unchanged from July but better than 2016 as is time on the market for quicker sales now. Active listings are up going into the fall season which means our sellers have more competition and should expect more days on the market before sales. Our pricing is almost the same as last month, but better than last year.
So it is a year of mixed numbers overall. The marketplace is moderating. Why? Perhaps we cannot sustain such numbers- the pent-up demand to move was powerful when market conditions improved but that explosion cannot continue at such a frenetic pace. We are for the most part, and in some cases dramatically, already better than the top of the market in 2007. Now, however, you will hear more and more talk of bubbles and housing crashes. The truth is that buyers buy when things are good and they rarely are deterred by fear. Strangely, at the bottom of the market before things turned, we could not get buyers to buy and yet that is the best time to buy! In a bad market fear dominates and makes things worse. Finally, overall, we are still bound by a decade long lack-luster economy and the reticence that is often associated with a national election. We certainly hope for better readings in 2017.
Our vacations are behind us and today we enter the 4th quarter which for us is a quarter of intense planning, evaluations, and implementation of major improvements. For sales the ‘winter quarter’ is usually better than people think. Yes, there are fewer buyers but all of them are for-real and serious. Homes do not look their best but there is also much less competition for selling. There are reasons people buy and sell in the 4th quarter: tax benefits, relocations by businesses as they plan their next year, personal changes in preparation for the next year, and fulfilling of goals for the current year. Do not be afraid of buying or selling in the holiday quarter – it has at times been our best quarter for sales!
We are grateful to all our clients who have entrusted their sales and purchases to us this year. We are also grateful for all of you who help us spread the word that Bella Casa Real Estate Group is the premier service company in Southwest Portland and throughout Oregon’s wine region. Our commitment to you is our tag line: Buy. Sell. Be Happy.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group