2104 Year in Review: New Market Highs, Worrisome Inventory Numbers. Portland metro activity ended 2014 higher than 2013 numbers in all measures. New listings (37,654) were up 5.0%, pending sales (28,220) were up 4.3%, and closed sales (27,752) were up 3.6% during the whole of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013. Average and Median Sale Price were higher in 2014 than in 2013. The average price in 2014 was $333,000, up 7.2% from 2013 when the average was $310,600. In the same comparison, the median sales price also rose 7.7% from $265,000 in 2013 to $285,500 this past year. How does our average $333,000 sales price compare with Seattle’s? Check out our “Notes from Shannon and Jeanne” for this month’s cool factoid, and for a look at what your intrepid reporters see coming our way in 2015.
Year 2011 Average Residential Sales Price and Appreciation1 by Area
|AREA||Average Sales Price||Appreciation 1|
|LAKE OSWEGO/WEST LINN||$527,500||9.5%|
|NW WASH. CO.||$418,300||5.7%|
1 Percent change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014) with 12 months before (1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013)
Arrested Development. In October we reported there were signs that depressed inventories were finally rising, and bringing with them the prospect of a cooling trend in housing prices. But an unexpected easing of mortgage interest rates and a flurry of December sales brought the hammer down on inventories again, and we closed the year with the lowest inventory levels in the past seven years. Mortgage interest rates have continued to drop: at the time of this writing the 30-year conventional fixed rate is almost touching 3.5%. That’s nearing the historic 2012-2013 federally subsidized lows. And many of the elements which have kept inventories persistently low are still in place: in spite of rising home sales prices, many home owners are still reluctant to bring their properties to market. And other home owners are unlikely to sell because they’ve taken advantage of low interest rates and have recently refinanced and frankly can’t afford to sell quite yet. And building starts can’t keep up with demand.
Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area
Take a look at our “Notes. . ,” and watch us stick our necks out when we bring you our 2015 Market Outlook. Happy New Year!