Clients and Friends,
We always expect our September numbers to be down (along with August). We always expect our October and 4th quarter numbers to go up. This Fall we seem to be following the normal pattern which we trust will be good for our end of year quarter.
The September numbers are in and yes, all the numbers are ‘down’ for the Portland Metro marketplace. The sold graphs show a decline in closings in September for the past two years (volume). Our inventory has been rising for the past two years (supply & demand). Pending sales are down (which affects the closings for the next two months) and the ‘time on the market’ is up. The good news is that prices continue to climb steadily with every closing as they have been doing for 5 years (but not as rapidly). We expect price increases to level off this quarter because of the current market dynamics. True, it is normal to have declining numbers at this time of the year compared to the busy months, but these numbers are also down compared to the numbers for the same months of the past two years. The trend has been to level and slow. I know I sound like a broken record on this (a saying I suppose most people of the digital age no longer relate to!) but this is important for clients to understand.
Again, this is not all bad news. We went from a rabid buyers market from 2007-2013; a rabid sellers marketfrom 2013-2016; this year we entered a more balanced market in the Portland metroplex for both sellers and buyers. We often have difficulty adjusting to changes but those who adjust, accomplish their goals sooner than others. Homes above $500k are selling very slowly; larger rural properties are languishing. It is common now for us to get ‘price reduced’ emails, see ‘new price’ signs etc. It is common for houses to take 30 days (or more) to get an accepted offer. It is rarer to get multiple offers at once. Buyers now can expect to negotiate some price concessions and more repair issues, but it is still a good market for sellers.
The better news? Our economy is doing well; unemployment is exceptionally low; interest rates remain stunningly low! We are still under 4% for a 30 year fixed home loan and have remained so for most of the time for many years now. The biggest threat seems to be the natural disasters that plunge some areas into crisis mode with huge costs- hurricanes, wild fires, and perhaps next, flooding. People seem relieved to be past the ‘great recession’ and are putting back together a life they knew in the past. For many that is becoming home-owners again after being cast out as renters during the years of great losses.
At this time of the year, professional Realtors adapt to the slower months of the real estate year by re-assessing, re-tooling, and planning and preparing for a better next year to come. We get to take a break, catch our breath, enjoy the holidays, and intentionally improve all our services for the next year. I am grateful that all our production and service numbers are up this year over all the previous years and we are grateful for our clients that entrust their sales and purchases to us. I am proud of the consummate professionals I get to serve with and for their values, their ethics, their knowledge and wisdom, and for the reputation and trust they have built in the many communities we serve. We work extremely diligently but without your trust and your referrals to friends and family we would not be where we are today. Thank you!
Please find the Regional Multiple Listing Service Market Action Report (annotated by me) for last month. A separate Home Sales Reports pdf shows what specifically sold last month and what remains to be sold this month. This month I included an additional statistical analysis of the years going back to the crash. This allows you to see what we have been through and how much we have come back from. It is encouraging. We continue to look for good days ahead but we always need to make course corrections along the way.
So ends the 3rd Quarter for 2017. We are ready to welcome the holiday season and hope it comes this year and next with good gifts for all!
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker