Clients & Friends,
While we are experiencing the normal annual cycle with gently slowing sales during the fall and winter months, we can now conclude that we are not going to experience the sharp setbacks we have seen during the latter months of the previous few years. Those months saw sellers lowering their prices and negotiating more aggressively so as not to carry their homes through another winter. This year, sales are brisk, consistent, and predictable! Sellers are not desperate and the old inventory is now sold removing the long-term stress. Again, we are back to normal market conditions for most of our areas and price ranges.
The rising tide of prices continues unabated especially in the urban areas of the Portland metroplex. This is raising all boats even out into Oregon’s rural wine country. Portland is only slightly behind Denver and San Francisco in the highest rate of price appreciation nationally according to Case-Shiller. Most notably, near the end of this year, we are seeing much higher prices in the luxury home markets and apparently more buyers able and willing to pay prices above the average even at the top of the markets in 2007.
Our slowest sector remains rural properties but with every market analysis we do we see many more sales in the books! Still noticeable is how significantly lower the closed price is from the original price (testament to a ‘buyers market’ hold-out). This will begin to change soon as competition picks-up, inventory is reduced, and sellers have more information for accurately pricing their homes. This market is following all the trends we have witnessed since the beginning of 2012 in Portland so be encouraged…
The quarterly Affordability Index is included on the last page of the Market Action Report. We continue to enjoy historically low interest rates which may be the most important factor in purchasing. Prices are rising but in our area prices are still modest and inventory is still normal. Market conditions overall are as affordable as homes were in 2009 and again in 2013 when our area only began to recover. While in most cases it is a ‘sellers’ market, buyers still have great opportunities. In spite of Portland’s high prices, look at how affordable properties are now compared to the top of the market in 2007!
We have so much to be thankful for this year and eagerly look forward to enjoying the many graces of the Christmas holidays. We are already working diligently to prepare for the new year when the listing season begins with an flood of optimism. We have every reason to expect an even better year in real estate. We would love to serve you and your friends and loved ones in 2016. Thank you for thinking of us as we prepare to close-out a good year and usher in an even better year.
Included in this report is: