Wow, it has been raining a lot! We get asked by out of state clients about the rain here in Oregon and we tell them the truth. However, this year the weather is making us look like liars!
The Portland metroplex in December and for 2015 achieved the highest volume of real estate sales on record. A glut of pending sales from October and November CLOSED last month lifting December 21% higher than last December and pushing 2015 sales 20% higher than in 2014. Available INVENTORY dropped to a record low of just 1.2 months to sell all listings at the current rate of sales. The market is as high now as it was low in 2011. Buying in Portland is as challenging and demoralizing as selling a house was in 2011. The pendulum has swung again! We have gone from a rabid buyers’ market to a rabid sellers’ market in 3 years. There is concern we are creating another bubble in Portland; others believe Portland is just coming of age, experiencing an explosion of popularity, and going through an expected growth surge. Portland is still the most affordable metro area on the west coast.
Locally, in Oregon’s wine county, we have a more balanced marketplace. 2015 was dramatically better than 2014 by 30%+ but it led to a more ‘normal’ and reasonable marketplace. Rural properties, buildable parcels, and luxury properties remain challenging to sell (still a buyers’ market) but that seems to be changing. We expect continued positive growth in 2016 and significant price appreciation. Yamhill County has been lagging Portland in the housing recovery by as much as 2 years. It remains to be seen if we will follow Portland into a frenetic marketplace. I hope not; balance produces fair sales; imbalance brings out the worst in people and can lead to devastating consequences as we have seen since 2007.
We never lack for negative news in our connected world and one economic sector’s boom is another sector’s bust (e.g. oil). Apart from bad news becoming destructive, we expect a positive 2016. Interest rates have turned the corner but many believe they will remain stable in the low 4% to no more than 5% range on a 30 yr fixed loan. Inventory is tight but new construction is booming and more people are whole again and ready and able to sell at restored prices. We expect prices to continue to rise in Portland’s outlying areas but would welcome a cooling trend in Portland. We are off to a good start in January.
It is the ‘listing season’ so the marketplace will soon swell with new listings for sale. The best time to get a property sold at a higher price is between January through July. Our properties during the second half of the year can depreciate and linger on the market. Please send us referrals to your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I have attached a printout of the top 30 offices’ sales numbers for Yamhill County in 2015. Our agents have achieved the top position in almost every category. You can market and negotiate your property through us with confidence and know that our office helps more buyers buy in Yamhill County than any other office!
Included is the Portland Market Action report published by the Regional Multiple Listing Service, Home Sales Reports for Yamhill and Washington Counties, and the Marketshare sales report for 2015.
Included in this report is: