Clients and Friends,
Last January we were wondering what was happening to our housing recovery. By the end of the first quarter we knew the housing market was in a major funk and the numbers were discouraging for us and our clients. We later learned that the phenomenon was national and limited to the first quarter; I still have not been able to understand what caused the malaise. Fortunately, the rest of the year was very good and we ended the year better than in 2013.
This year is so much better! We had a good winter of sales and we have started the year with promising numbers. We also think that our area, which has been lagging Portland by up to 2 years, is now hitting the heart of the recovery and our growth spurt is imminent. Portland’s growth rate has slowed much. It is just leveling off because it has virtually caught up with the top of the market in 2007. We still have room for faster growth and we trust this is the year.
As you review the monthly reports, note that on the closed sales graph we have seen steady improvement now for 5 years since 2011 which was when the recovery budded in Portland. Our area budded a year later and at a slower pace. There are good signs for this year. The interest rates still hover at historic lows (under 4% for 30 yr fixed); inventory is good in our area; and buyers are back to moving out farther to get better values.
Bella Casa Real Estate Group is well-poised to take advantage sales opportunities this year. Amazingly, we have survived the great recession, which hit us just 4 months after we initiated our new brand and novel business model as a professional cooperative. We have gone from non-existent to the top of the charts as one of the most successful brokerages in the greater Yamhill County area. We are currently in the process of developing our new real estate office in Newberg, which we are working diligently to open in March. We were squeezed out of our great location, but small office, at the corners of Hwys 99 and 219, and find ourselves moving into a very spacious, two story building, at the entrance to Newberg in the former Cornerstone Coffee building near Shari’s restaurant. We look forward to seeing you there. With our exceptional facility in McMinnville and this ideal location in Newberg, we will continue to be a leading brand for premier real estate services for SW Portland and the greater Willamette Valley.
It is the time to get properties on the market for the best chances for sales and pricing. Please call any of our professionals for getting your property sold and assistance in finding the home of the next chapter of your life. The last chart in the main report is the Affordability Index which is still very attractive; I suspect by this time next year it will not look quite as good.