Clients and Friends,
In 2018 we have leveled off to a ‘normal’ real estate marketplace for the Portland Metro markets. We have been to the dark lonely bottom, and then to the bright exhilarating heights of recovery. We have seen the number of licensed real estate agents plummet, and then we experienced a tsunami of new and returning agents. The current normal marketplace is a competitive experience. We next expect to see an exodus of agents who cannot live on what the market may supply; there are too many competing for a more modest number of listings and buyers. This feels cruel but it is the reality of the ebb and flow in our industry for the 100+ years of Realtors.
Anecdotally, there was much talk about how quiet the Fall marketplace is. My perspective is that I have seen this happen before several times in the past and it is not a real estate issue. I was a contractor for 15 years and now a Realtor for 17 years. A few times during these years, when there was an intense political environment, people seemed to freeze up until the elections were over. This year was the most intense mid-term election ever recorded and I think many people on each side stopped to see what the outcome would be (is the sky falling; will we all perish???). If my perspective on this is true, I think we will experience a rebound in the 4th Quarter in sales, and then enjoy a good and ‘normal’ year in 2019.
There is also much continuing discussion about how interest rates will affect the real estate marketplace going forward. I hear many hyped fear tactics in the media. Remember, the media is all about selling something, and it is almost always hyped- positively or negatively. Interest rates are rising but this is not necessarily a bad thing. During the past 10 years of historically low interest rates, it was the seniors and the ‘savers’ in our culture who paid the price big time. Many seniors live off the interest of their savings, but in some cases that went down to around 1% (I remember a time they were getting 10 or 12%). Mortgage rates are still around 5% for a 30 year loan (but there are many factors in what rate an individual can get). We expect rates to go up, but even when it breaks through the 6% ceiling it will still be at historic lows! I recently talked to a very accomplished local mortgage Broker who told me that Freddie Mac’s published forecasts are for mortgage rates to climb by .5% in 2019 and another .5% in 2020. That is quite modest and still keeps us at an historic low rate overall. Another piece of trivia: in the 1980’s, mortgage rates hit 18% (and other credit rates were about 23%). During the peak year, more homes were sold in America that year, than were sold last year with our super low interest rates! Markets adjust to the new realities and professionals do the same.
Bella Casa Real Estate Group has continued to prosper in the current marketplace. So far this year in our core area of Yamhill County, we have sold 133 listings totaling $46 million in sales for Sellers. Additionally we have helped 119 buyers find their next home and these sales topped $39 million. $85+ million in sales makes us second only to a development/new construction company with large land sales, and new construction is a hot market, after 10 years of virtually no new construction. Our brokerage sales include starter homes to luxury homes, farms of all kinds and rural properties, multifamily and commercial properties. When adding in sales outside this county we currently have sales of $102 million. We are grateful for the trust of our clients have put in us and though the numbers are high, we are committed to giving the finest of services to each and every client. We never forget that you have made us successful by allowing us to serve you well. If we can help you or those you know, we are always grateful for your referrals.
Randy McCreith,Principal Broker/Owner