Clients and Friends,
My apologies for this being so late getting the May report into your hands. The good news is that the markets have come back very strong in the second quarter and we are working long, intense, hours. The long hours have been ours for 7 years now but now the time is better spent negotiating offers and working out the challenges in transactions, which are still numerous. The rains have returned and perhaps we can say for sure now, the epic drought is over.
We are very pleased with the improvements in the marketplace for sellers and for the increase in the number of buyers. Interest rates subsided to low levels again by April, the economy continues to inch forward, and optimism in the housing sector is strong and spreading wide. There seems to be a pent-up demand for housing, and the changes in life that go with that, and it is finally being let loose in our area of south west Portland.
Pricing is strong and appreciation is clearly on the move again. In many cases, there are sudden and impressive corrections in the marketplace expansion and the values of properties. There are still many local areas, and in some price ranges, where stubborn resistance remains but the expansion of purchases into higher price ranges and for more sophisticated properties (rural and luxury) is encouraging.
The May Reports…
After experiencing softness in sales at the end of 2013 and deadness for the first quarter of 2014, May was a good month by the numbers. New listings have increased impressively as sellers are now confident they do not have to give their properties away to move. Inventory remains low but is stable overall as sales absorb these new properties to the market. Pending sales are back to where they were in May 2013, which was a very good month. Closed sales are lower than last year by 7.4% but we expect closed sales to be better by next month based on current pending sales. Year-to-date- the pending and closed numbers are still running behind 2013 but we should catch-up in next month’s report. Time on the market continues to drop and the average sales price continues to rise which is a function of higher end properties selling. The market is nearing the average and median pricing that was achieved at the top of the market in 2007. Remember, Average and Median pricing is not individual appreciation but they measure the health of the overall marketplace for sales and the breadth of the market including all price levels and types of properties.
All of Yamhill County’s numbers are impressive. The full recovery Portland has been enjoying for two years has finally reached us! It is no longer a buyer’s market in our areas but it is not yet a seller’s market either. There is something refreshing about balance and stability which we love. Dynamics involving price and inventory in the urban centers are pushing buyers out farther and that is good for us. New construction is airborne again and meeting demand silenced since 2007. We would still like to see recovery stronger in higher price points, for our more expensive rural properties, and for luxury listings. There is still room for much improvement! We patiently wait and work towards that.
No complaints here! The June reports will be out by this weekend so you will be hearing from me again, shortly. As always, we are glad to dialogue about the markets, how it may affect your property and compare notes on all of our expectations for the rest of this year and for the long term. If we can help your family and friends, your colleagues and neighbors, or you, please call; it is our privilege.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
Bella Casa Real Estate Group