Friends and Clients,
While we are at the end of another year, we still have one more report in January to close the books on 2013. I am reading many year-end reports and the consensus is certainly optimism for 2014 in the housing industry. I share that optimism and am planning for another good year but we still have a ways to go in the recovery, especially the farther out we get from Portland.
Santa wishes and New Years hope?
- The return of robust rural acreage sales (will our out of state buyers return this year?)
- The recovery of buildable rural parcels. There is excellent news in Portland and the new construction industry in our area is budding especially in the cities.
November’s Portland Metro Market Action report is similar to recent reports with plenty of good news and some sobering news:
Compared to last month, October: (seasonal cycle, but more than that, softness at the end of the year)
- Closed sales are down 16.8%
- Pending sales are down 14.0%
Compared to last November, 2012: (improvement but at a slower pace the second half of the year)
- Closed sales are up 5.1%
- Pending sales are up 5.6%
Year to date 2013 compared to year to date 2012 January through November: (overall, a very good year)
- Closed sales are up 15.4%
- Pending sales are up 12.9%
- 72 sales in November down from 84 last month
- 85 pending sales in November up from 77 last month
- 546 residential listings
- 7.6 months inventory (last month was 6.9 months; 4-6 months is a balanced market)
- Average # of days on market before going pending: 148 up from 96 last month
Some Thoughts to Consider
– It was the second good year since the crash in 2006/2007 and the financial meltdown in 2008; 2013 was also better than 2012.
– We have experienced a good fall compared to last year but weak compared to earlier this year.
– THINKING OF SELLING IN 2014? January is one of the best months of the year for online activity. Immediately after New Year’s Day people begin planning for the year and investigating options. Our online visits light up! If you are selling in 2014, we recommend being on the market sooner rather than later in the season. In 2013, our best prices and most impressive sales were in January through June. The end of year weakness may not have torpedoed the number of sales tremendously but we did see more severe negotiating concessions when the market became soft.
– The Federal Reserve decided to began tapering its monthly purchasing of bonds this month. While we think that it is in the government’s best interest to keep interest rates low (they have to pay off a lot of debt!) this will slowly affect interest rates adversely for mortgages. The most significant negative dynamic I could see that impacted the market in 2013 and caused the weakness for the rest of the year was a 1% jump in interest rates in May/June. This could happen again in 2014 and most reports I have seen expect interest rates to push up about another percent this next year.
– What is appreciation? There is so much mis-information about the rate of appreciation and confusion with the average and median sale price that I am addressing this in an article attached to this email. I hope it helps you think critically when listening to the media every month.
Thank you again to all our clients in 2013 for your trust and your choice of our services. As we turn the calendar we wish all of you a prosperous and healthy New Year in 2014. As always, we are exceedingly grateful for your referrals to your friends and family, co-workers and colleagues, and neighbors.