2011 Housing Roundup

The average sales price continued to fall in 2011. More houses sold in the Portland Metro area in 2011 than in 2010, but prices slipped further for the fourth year since the July 2007 market top.  And while analysts predict that prices will firm up in 2012, that’s little consolation for a market that saw the median Portland sales price fall 6.7% in a year, to $263,300, an eleven year low.

Average Sale Price 2011

Year 2011 Average Residential Sales Price and Appreciation1 by Area

AREA Average Sales Price Appreciation/Depreciation1
NORTH PORTLAND $222,200 -3.6%
NE PORTLAND $266,900 -5.8%
SE PORTLAND $214,700 -9.7
GRESHAM/TROUTDALE $195,700 -8.4
MILWAUKIE /CLACKAMAS $240,000 -7.8%
OREGON CITY/CANBY $233,400 -8.0%
LAKE OSW’GO/WEST LINN $428,500 -1.4%
WEST PORTLAND $384,800 -6.2%
NW WASH. CO. $358,100 -1.7%
BEAVERTON/ALOHA $213,000 -9.7%
TIGARD/WILSONVILLE $278,000 -8.7%
HILLSBORO/FOR’ST GROVE $206,300 -9.2%
COLUMBIA CO. $159,400 -11.9%
YAMHILL CO. $198,800 -10.1%

1 Percent change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (1/1/2011 – 12/31/2011) with 12 months before (1/1/2010 – 12/31/2010)

The Oregonian reported on January 17 that bank owned and short sale properties continued to pull prices down.  Of homes sold in 2011, 22% were bank owned, and they sold at an average discount of 36% compared to market rate (non-distressed) properties.  Short sales, which made up 11% of sold properties last year, went for an average of 17% discount against market rate properties.  (As noted in our Notes from Shannon and Jeanne, bank owned and short sale properties currently make up 32.4% of the listed metro inventory.)

More homes sold in 2011 compared to 2010.  The 19,682 homes reported sold in 2011 represents a 4% increase over 2010 sales.  Sales volume began to increase in the fourth quarter, leading to a surprising (and welcome) strong November and December for area Realtors, their buyers and their sellers.  November pending and closed sales were up a whopping 18.2% and 18.9% respectively over November 2010 figures, and December pending and closed sales were up 19.3% and 10.3% compared to December 2010.

Available Inventory. New listings, the lifeblood of the market, slowed appreciably in November and December.  With just 5.3 months of inventory reported in December, available listings have fallen to their lowest point since July 2007.  And given the inferior quality and condition of many bank owned and short sale properties, the effect of low inventories is glaringly obvious to market participants–Realtors and their buyers.  Well priced properties in good condition are as rare as hens’ teeth and selling across the metro area very rapidly.  Bidding wars, rare in Portland since the go-go days of the mid-2000s’, are not at all uncommon today.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
January 3.2 6.2 12.9 19.2 12.6 11.3
February 2.7 5.2 10.4 16.6 12.9 10.9
March 2.0 3.8 9.1 12.0 7.8 7.1
April 2.4 4.4 10.3 11.0 7.3 7.2
May 2.3 4.5 9.2 10.2 7.0 6.8
June 2.6 5.0 9.5 8.2 7.3 6.0
July 3.5 5.7 10.0 7.3 10.8 7.0
August 3.6 6.2 9.9 7.8 11.0 6.2
September 4.5 8.6 10.4 7.6 10.5 6.7
October 4.6 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7 6.8
November 5.1 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2 6.2
December 4.5 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9 5.3