Portland Market Update

September Residential Highlights

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

September housing prices and activity show signs of seasonal slowing.  [Reporting period: September 15, 2013].  Price appreciation slowed slightly in September as the market, overheated since January, moved into an anticipated seasonal slowdown.  New listing activity, the life-blood of our housing market, fell 14.5% from the previous month, from 3,423 to 2,925, but we must keep things in perspective: that 2,925 figure marks a 19.3% increase over the 2,451 homes listed in September 2012.  Closed sales, at 2,158, decreased by 17.7% compared to August, when there were 2,623. Nevertheless, this was the best September since 2006, when RMLS™ counted 2,506 closings.

The average sales price for September was $317,300, off .14 percent from August’s $321,900 and .28 percent off August’s $326,500 high water mark.  But again, a little perspective is in order: September’s figure is up 14.2% from the same period in 2012, when the average was $272,200.

average and median sales price

Inventory has increased slightly to 3.7 months, and total market time – the number of days from when a property is listed to when an offer is accepted – is currently 72 days.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

January

6.2

12.9

19.2

12.6

11.3

7.0

4.7

February

5.2

10.4

16.6

12.9

10.9

6.5

4.5

March

3.8

9.1

12.0

7.8

7.1

5.0

3.2

April

4.4

10.3

11.0

7.3

7.2

4.7

3.1

May

4.5

9.2

10.2

7.0

6.8

4.2

2.5

June

5.0

9.5

8.2

7.3

6.0

3.9

2.9

July

5.7

10.0

7.3

10.8

7.0

4.6

2.8

August

6.2

9.9

7.8

11.0

6.2

3.9

3.1

September

8.6

10.4

7.6

10.5

6.7

4.6

3.7

October

8.4

11.1

6.5

10.7

6.8

3.8

November

8.3

15.0

7.1

10.2

6.2

4.2

December

8.5

14.1

7.7

7.9

5.3

3.6

 

May Residential Highlights

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Robust sales, rising prices, limited inventories award 2013 Portland a Big Gold Star.  [Reporting period: May 15, 2013].  Price appreciation continued unabated all through the first five months of the year in 2011, marking the best “up” year since 2006.  The average sales price so far this year is $299,900, up 14.9% from the same period in 2012, when the average was $261,100. In the same comparison, the median price increased 15.0% from $220,000 last year to $253,000 in the first five months of 2013.  Low interest rates and low inventories contributed to the price rise as home buyers fought bloody bidding wars which had begun in the fall of 2012 in our close-in neighborhoods all the way into our outlying suburbs.  (See accompanying “Notes From Shannon and Jeanne” for commentary and a hint at how the second half of the year will play out.)

Average and Median Sales Price

Closed sales increased significantly in May; at 2,682 properties this represented a 26.2% increase from April, and a 27.8% increase over May of last year.

Competitive market elements brought the active inventory to its lowest level since May 2006, when it stood at 2.3 months.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

January

6.2

12.9

19.2

12.6

11.3

7.0

4.7

February

5.2

10.4

16.6

12.9

10.9

6.5

4.5

March

3.8

9.1

12.0

7.8

7.1

5.0

3.2

April

4.4

10.3

11.0

7.3

7.2

4.7

3.1

May

4.5

9.2

10.2

7.0

6.8

4.2

2.5

June

5.0

9.5

8.2

7.3

6.0

3.9

July

5.7

10.0

7.3

10.8

7.0

4.6

August

6.2

9.9

7.8

11.0

6.2

3.9

September

8.6

10.4

7.6

10.5

6.7

4.6

October

8.4

11.1

6.5

10.7

6.8

3.8

November

8.3

15.0

7.1

10.2

6.2

4.2

December

8.5

14.1

7.7

7.9

5.3

3.6

Residential Highlights

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

2012 was a remarkable year.  The Big Number that home owners, sellers and buyers ask us most often about is price appreciation, and this past year we saw a handsome rebound:  the average sale price in 2012 was $275,000, 4.4% higher than the average price of $263,300 in 2011, while the 2012 median sale price of $235,000 was 6.3% higher than the 2011 median of $221,000.  And prices accelerated toward the end of the year: in December the average and median prices showing double digit improvement, with the average rising 11.3% December to December, and the median rising 14.5%.  

The active inventory dropped to a new low of 6,352 homes on the market, resulting in the lowest inventory in at least six years, at 3.6 months.   As the year came to a close new listings dried up, with only 1,286 entered in December, which is 24.4% fewer than the 1,700 listed in December 2011. 

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

January

6.2

12.9

19.2

12.6

11.3

7.0

February

5.2

10.4

16.6

12.9

10.9

6.5

March

3.8

9.1

12.0

7.8

7.1

5.0

April

4.4

10.3

11.0

7.3

7.2

4.7

May

4.5

9.2

10.2

7.0

6.8

4.2

June

5.0

9.5

8.2

7.3

6.0

3.9

July

5.7

10.0

7.3

10.8

7.0

4.6

August

6.2

9.9

7.8

11.0

6.2

3.9

September

8.6

10.4

7.6

10.5

6.7

4.6

October

8.4

11.1

6.5

10.7

6.8

3.8

November

8.3

15.0

7.1

10.2

6.2

4.2

December

8.5

14.1

7.7

7.9

5.3

3.6

 2012 Summary

There were 32,300 new listings, 24,010 accepted offers, and 23,438 closed sales in 2012. Compared to the same period last year, new listings were down by 5.2% from the 2011 listing count of 34,084. Pending sales were up 16.2% from 20,670 last year. And closed sales were up 19.1% from 19,682 sold in 2012 to 23,438 in 2013. More big numbers: the average price increase and improved numbers of sales resulted in a very healthy increase in the total dollar volume of sales, which rose to $6.45 billing in 2012, up from $5.2 billion in 2011 and $5.3 billion in 2010.   

Total market time dropped 21.5% from 143 days last year to 112 days in 2012. 

Average Sales Price Dec12

Overall, 2012 was the most robust year we have seen in the market since 2007 – and we’re looking forward to another great one ahead.  For a preview of this year’s market, please check out our Notes from Shannon and Jeanne

Residential Highlights

Monday, October 29th, 2012

The Market is Still Up Up Up. In terms of number of sales, September’s 1,894 closed sales, up a whopping 19.4% from September 2011, marked the best September since 2005 for closed sales.  While the figure represents a decline from this past August’s five-year record of 2,554 sales in a single month, the September mark is a good indicator of the market’s overall strong momentum.  (Anecdotally, October sales are running strongly, with our own REMAX office reporting sales well ahead of last year’s October sales.)

That momentum expressed itself in September among pending sales as well.  Pending Sales, which is a marker for as-yet unreported October closed sales, were also strong last month, with 2,058 accepted offers running a solid 10.6% ahead of October ’11.

Low inventories, the scourge of this year’s real estate market, declined again in September as new listing activity fell 20.9% against the previous month’s efforts–and August listing activity was not exactly stellar.  With just 2,451 homes coming to market in September the unsold inventory levels have fallen back to their July lows.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
January 6.2 12.9 19.2 12.6 11.3 7.0
February 5.2 10.4 16.6 12.9 10.9 6.5
March 3.8 9.1 12.0 7.8 7.1 5.0
April 4.4 10.3 11.0 7.3 7.2 4.7
May 4.5 9.2 10.2 7.0 6.8 4.2
June 5.0 9.5 8.2 7.3 6.0 3.9
July 5.7 10.0 7.3 10.8 7.0 4.6
August 6.2 9.9 7.8 11.0 6.2 3.9
September 8.6 10.4 7.6 10.5 6.7 4.6
October 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7 6.8
November 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2 6.2
December 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9 5.3

Prices Have Continued To Rise. The average sales price year-to-date of $272,200 is 2.9% higher than the average price in the same period last year, while the 2012 year-to-date median of $230,400 is 3.8% higher than the median last year. Total market time has dropped 20.7% from 145 days last year to 115 days for the first three quarters of 2012.

Sales prices rebound. The May $234,500 median sales price rose 6.6% when comparing May 2012 with the same month in 2011.  The average sales price ($281,400) is also up 7.2% when comparing the current month to the same month in 2011 and 1.1% over the comparable period so far this year.

Sept 2012 Average Sale Price

Residential Highlights

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Prices Jump, market indicators are up, up, up. Low interest rates and unfettered demand pushed May Metro sales figures up 6.6% compared to May 2011.  The 2,098 homes sold in May were the most reported in any month since August 2007, according to the RMLS of Oregon.  That figure put May sales 15.1% ahead of April’s 1,822 home sales.  And wait, there’s more: pending sales jumped to 2,522 homes in May, which represents 16.4% more than the 2,167 reported in May 2011 and 6.6% more than the 2,365 in April of this year.

The only dark spot in a stellar month was unsold inventory, which, conforming to a worrisome 15-month trend, is the lowest it has been since March 2007. It would take only 4.2 months to sell the 8,742 active listings at May’s sales rate.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
January 6.2 12.9 19.2 12.6 11.3 7.0
February 5.2 10.4 16.6 12.9 10.9 6.5
March 3.8 9.1 12.0 7.8 7.1 5.0
April 4.4 10.3 11.0 7.3 7.2 4.7
May 4.5 9.2 10.2 7.0 6.8 4.2
June 5.0 9.5 8.2 7.3 6.0
July 5.7 10.0 7.3 10.8 7.0
August 6.2 9.9 7.8 11.0 6.2
September 8.6 10.4 7.6 10.5 6.7
October 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7 6.8
November 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2 6.2
December 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9 5.3

Sales prices rebound. The May $234,500 median sales price rose 6.6% when comparing May 2012 with the same month in 2011.  The average sales price ($281,400) is also up 7.2% when comparing the current month to the same month in 2011 and 1.1% over the comparable period so far this year.

Residential Highlights

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Activity Up, Prices Stable in April. Comparing April 2012 with April 2011 showed improvement in both pending and closed sales, which were also up compared to the previous month.  In fact, with the exception of March and April of 2010 which were impacted by deadlines for the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, the number of pending sales is higher than any month since August 2007. New listings this April were down slightly compared to April last year (3,099), but rose 5.3% compared to March of this year (2,886).  The unsold inventory is the lowest it has been since June 2007. It would take only 4.7 months to sell the 8,523 active listings at the April rate of sales.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
January 6.2 12.9 19.2 12.6 11.3 7.0
February 5.2 10.4 16.6 12.9 10.9 6.5
March 3.8 9.1 12.0 7.8 7.1 5.0
April 4.4 10.3 11.0 7.3 7.2 4.7
May 4.5 9.2 10.2 7.0 6.8
June 5.0 9.5 8.2 7.3 6.0
July 5.7 10.0 7.3 10.8 7.0
August 6.2 9.9 7.8 11.0 6.2
September 8.6 10.4 7.6 10.5 6.7
October 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7 6.8
November 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2 6.2
December 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9 5.3

Sales prices stable. When comparing homes prices year-to-date this year and last, there is less than 1% difference in both median sales price and average sales price. The month’s median sale price was $225,000, 2.3 percent higher than a year earlier. The average, however, fell 1.8 percent to $262,400.  Look to the May numbers, due out during the third week of June, for sizeable gains in both the median and average sales price.

April 2012 – Residential Highlights

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Continuing concern among agents and buyers over shallow inventories. The lead market story of the year focuses on continuing low inventories of homes.  As noted in our 2011 Housing Roundup, available listings have dipped to lows not seen since 2007.  If you factor for a third of available inventory being in inferior/poor condition, the numbers of good saleable homes are at record lows.  Bidding wars are becoming commonplace in our close-in neighborhoods, and even condo sales, which have been stuck for ages, are moving along briskly.

Inventory in Months, Portland Metro Area

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
January 6.2 12.9 19.2 12.6 11.3 7.0
February 5.2 10.4 16.6 12.9 10.9 6.5
March 3.8 9.1 12.0 7.8 7.1
April 4.4 10.3 11.0 7.3 7.2
May 4.5 9.2 10.2 7.0 6.8
June 5.0 9.5 8.2 7.3 6.0
July 5.7 10.0 7.3 10.8 7.0
August 6.2 9.9 7.8 11.0 6.2
September 8.6 10.4 7.6 10.5 6.7
October 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7 6.8
November 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2 6.2
December 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9 5.3

Sales Prices have responded favorably to the inventory shortage. The RMLS of Oregon reports that the average sale price for February 2012 rose 4.3% compared to February 2011, while the median sale price fell 1.3%.  Month to month, comparing January 2012 to February 2012, the average sale price went up from $249,100 to $255,100 (2.4%) and the median sale price rose from $207,500 to $211,000 (1.7%).  Market watchers note that sharper price appreciation is being dampened by strict appraisal standards: bidding wars frequently take prices well above a property’s listing (asking) price, but current appraisal guidelines are preventing excessive price appreciation.

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 this month’s 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.

2011 Housing Roundup

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

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

October 2011 – Residential Highlights

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Sales activity in the Portland Metro area showed improvements in closed and pending sales this August compared to August 2010. Closed sales grew 30.7% in August compared to the prior August; pending sales were up 29.6%. August 2011 activity compared to August 2010 is up; comparatively speaking though, prices are down.

At August’s rate of sales, the 11,276 active residential listings would last about 6.2 months.

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
October 4.6 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7
November 5.1 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2
December 4.5 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9

Sale Prices

As the graph below illustrates, the Metro area experienced a modest price run between April and July of this year. Faltering August prices took back a little of the gain. We saw, comparing July 2011 to August 2011, the average sale price decrease slightly from $275,100 to $271,800 (-1.2%), while the median sale price also decreased from $227,200 to $225,000 (-1.0%). The average sale price for August 2011 declined 9.2% compared to August 2010. The median sale price fell 10.0%.  While the Metro annual average decline of -9.2% is disconcerting, close-in areas have suffered relatively less (N. Portland -4.7%; NE Portland -4.4%; SE Portland -7.2%, W Portland -2.5%) than outlying areas (Gresham/Troutdale -7.4%; Milwaukie/Clackamas -10.8%; Oregon City/Canby -12.0%).

Average Sale Price August 2011

Year-to-Date

Comparing January-August 2010 with the same period in 2011, sales activity was mixed. Closed sales decreased by 0.5% (13,185 vs. 13,114). Pending sales increased by 2.8% (14,248 vs. 14,645). New listings fell 26.0% (34,043 vs. 25,189).

May 2011 – Residential Highlights

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The RMLS of Oregon reported another lackluster month for residential real estate sales in Portland.  Sales activity was down appreciably in April 2011 compared with April 2010, and average and median sale prices increased very modestly compared with the previous month of March 2011.  The year-over-year difference is attributable to the fact we were enjoying the last of the federal first-time buyer incentives at this time last year; nearly a year has passed since the housing market has had any Federal assistance.  The decline is palpable:  closed sales were down 17% in April 2011 compared to April 2010.  Pending sales were down 33%, and new listings dropped 34.2% (our italics).

Comparing March 2011 with April 2011, closed sales barely dipped from 1,615 to 1,611 (-0.3%).  Pending sales also decreased slightly from 2,014 to 2,005 (-0.5%). New listings went up slightly from 3,056 to 3,099 (1.4%).

At the month’s rate of sales, the 11,621 active residential listings would last about 7.2 months.

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
June 2.6 5.0 9.5 8.2 7.3
July 3.5 5.7 10.0 7.3 10.8
August 3.6 6.2 9.9 7.8 11.0
September 4.5 8.6 10.4 7.6 10.5
October 4.6 8.4 11.1 6.5 10.7
November 5.1 8.3 15.0 7.1 10.2
December 4.5 8.5 14.1 7.7 7.9

Sale Prices

The average sale price for April 2011 declined 5.2% compared to April 2010.  The median sale price also fell 8.4%.  Month to month, comparing March 2011 to April 2011, the average sale price increased slightly from $261,100 to $267,300 (2.4%) while median sale price also increased from $215,000 to $219,900 (2.3%).

Year-to-Date

Comparing January-April 2010 with the same period in 2011, sales activity was down. Closed sales decreased by 6.6% (5,900 v. 5,513).  Pending sales went down by 19.7% (8,476 v. 6,806), and new listings fell 30.9% (17,918 v. 12,378).

Additionally, the average sale price fell 8.1% ($279,700 v. $257,000), and the median sale price dropped 10.4% ($239,900 v. $215,000).

Weak listing activity, coupled with generally weak buyer activity has slowed the pace of real estate sales in the metro area considerably since the widely reported “December Rush.”  As of the date of this report – May 24 – the outlook for this month is much brighter, market watchers anticipate seeing the pace of sales this month to outstrip any other month this year.  Super-low interest rates, pent-up buyer demand, and those occasional sun breaks are the leading candidates for an explanation of the sudden spurt in sales.