Clients and Friends,
The market conditions in the greater Portland area continue to defy gravity, setting new record highs for the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Particularly in Portland, we have left the top of the market far behind. July improvements over last July range from 25% and 30% everywhere, even in Yamhill County. We are now see some numbers drop but according to the normal annual cycle.
Will our local markets this year fall off as they have done for the past two years?
The markets normally begin to slow in August and September and this year is no different. The new listing rush is from January through June and most people planning to buy are at least pending by the end of July so the ‘Christmas rush’ for our industry is over now. We also attribute some of the slow down this year to the unusually hot weather we are experiencing- not much fun to spend the day going from house to house when it is over 95 degrees outside. August also is THE vacation month; where is everyone???
It does seem that the marketplace is strong enough in our area to carry us through this year as a very good year for real estate. We remain optimistic but continue to remind our clients that August and September are seemingly the slowest months of the year for activity. We prefer the winter months to these two months. Perhaps it is because most people retain higher expectations coming off the first part of the year these months by contrast seem so bad.
We have much good news but also some issues to complain about! Transaction time periods are ridiculous and we are now quoting 60 days for a loan to process so we can close a sale. Appraisers are scheduled out at least a month (instead of a week) and contractors are also about a month out for repair work. Lenders (not mortgage brokers) seem careless about closing dates and the infamous ‘underwriters’ seem callous and cruel about what their failures to take deadlines seriously do to people’s lives. They would care more (we hope) if they actually talked with their clients and had to interact with the people paying their salaries. It is easy to bark out orders for a 4th closing extension addendum when they do not have to witness the carnage of their failures.
THIS IS STILL AN EXCEPTIONAL TIME TO BUY REAL ESTATE.
This month’s Market Action Report includes the 2nd Quarter Affordability Index. While changing conditions affect our ability to purchase, we are still at a point where the market is as affordable as in late 2008 (financial meltdown) and mid-2013. In fact, in spite of the threatening news regarding interest rates and the higher prices out there, the market this summer is every bit as affordable as it was last summer.
Realtors often take their vacation and family time during August and September to minimally impact their client’s priorities. We work together with colleagues in our brokerage, and team members, to insure our clients are not compromised by our personal lives. Unlike many bureaucrats, we face our clients regularly and work on their listings, transactions, and purchases frequently. Our motto is what drives us: Buy. Sell. Be Happy. We work diligently to insure that is a reality.
Thank you for entrusting your homes and purchases to us; we are grateful and committed to being the best for you and gaining clients for life. Your referrals to us from your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors are so much appreciated.