Monday, July 14, 2014

Portland Home Values

Portland’s real estate market has remained active this summer.  Home sales in June increased slightly more than 4% from last year.  In fact, it was the strongest June in Portland since 2007.  There is currently just 2.8 months of unsold inventory in the Portland Metro Area with some popular close-in eastside neighborhoods fewer than a month.

Click here and read my summary below for an update on Portland Home Values.

In Summary

The most compelling news is an 8.7% rise in the average sales price of a Portland home this year.  This is combined with a 34% increase in the average sales price since the market hit its lowest point in 2011-12.  The average priced Portland home right now is about $329,000.  A median priced home is $303,000 (a median value represents a mid-point with an equal number of houses priced above and below this number). 

An average home sold in 2011 of about $245,000 would be worth $329,000 today.  This is great testimony to the rewards of home ownership.  It is also a great time to sell!

Has a new housing bubble formed in Portland?  Perhaps not.  According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.  The acceleration in home prices has slowed in comparison to last year.  This is viewed as a positive and more healthy trend.  This is also good news for first time home buyers who have struggled to enter the market.  There are significant differences right now, compared to 2005-06.  Borrowing standards are much tighter.  People who get mortgages are meeting very strict standards.  Second, there are large cash purchases.  People are cashing in stock options and property investors are coming in with all cash.  Any time there are cash transactions and higher down payments, the risk of decline is reduced.  Lawrence suggests prices have not set new highs yet, and that the market is still in recovery mode. 
     


How are homes selling in your neighborhood?

Close-in neighborhoods in North, Northeast, and Southeast Portland continue to be popular with houses selling quickly.  Inner-SE prices lead the pack at 14.6% this year!  The inventory of homes for sale is about one-month, while the Portland Metro Area is 2.8 months.

Southwest and Northwest Portland, Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro remain active.  Beaverton and Aloha prices have risen almost 13% this year.

Area’s more rural East and Southeast like Gresham, Troutdale, Oregon City, and Milwaukie have seen their best price increases since 2006.  Gresham and Troutdale continue to be the most affordable with a median priced home of $227,000.  Milwaukie home prices have risen almost 13% this past year with a median price of almost $284,000.

Interest Rates are about 4.25%.

Please call me when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  I’ll work hard for you!

Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate
503-784-7626



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Portland Home Values

Portland’s real estate market continues to see seasonal gains.  New listings are up almost 16% over last month and just over 9% above the same month last year.  This is like a day of rain following a long drought.  Homes sales have also increased almost 16% from last month!  It is a great time to sell your house.

Click here and read my summary below for an update on Portland Home Values.

In Summary:

The most compelling news is a 37% rise in the average sales price of a Portland home since the market hit its lowest point in 2011-12.  The median price of a home rose 34% from the low-point as well.  A median value represents a mid-point with an equal number of houses priced above and below this number.  This is great news for long-term homeowners and testimony of the rewards to those who purchased 2-3 years ago.  An averaged priced home of about $245,000 in 2011 would be worth about $335,000 today! 


Condominium sales are on the rise as well.  The median price of a Portland condominium is about 20% higher than it was two years ago, and about 44% of the active condominium listings were sold last month. 

How are homes selling in your neighborhood?

Close-in neighborhoods in North, Northeast, and Southeast Portland continue to be hot zones with houses selling quickly and often with multiple offers.  The inventory of homes for sale is about one-month, while the Portland Metro Area is 2.8 months.

Southwest and Northwest Portland, Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro are also selling quickly.  Beaverton and Aloha prices have risen almost 14% in the past year.

Area’s more rural East and Southeast of Portland like Gresham, Troutdale, Oregon City, and Milwaukie have seen their best price increases this past year since 2006.  Gresham and Troutdale continue to be the most affordable with a median priced home of $224,000.  Milwaukie home prices have risen almost 13% this past year with a median price of $280,000 – higher than Portland.    

Interest Rates are about 4.25% – 4.5%.

Please call me when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  I’ll work hard for you!

Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate
503-784-7626



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to Get Your Offer Accepted in a Tough Seller's Market!

What a turn of events we’ve had in the past two years with the inventory of homes for sale extremely low and home buyers returning to the market with determination.  Homes in popular locations are selling in just a few days and often with multiple offers.  This uneven supply and demand has left many home buyers stuck in a perpetual search. 

So, what do you do?

For starters, recognize it’s a seller’s market and that you’re probably not going to get the deal of the century.  This doesn’t mean you’ll need to “over-pay” for your home, but you will need to pay a fair market price and get a few things in order ahead of time more than ever.
 
Remember, if a house is priced correctly and popular with other buyers, the Seller will likely feel confident and scuff off anything short of what they want (and in the back of their mind they’re hoping for even more). 

Here are a few tips to get your offer accepted:

Get Pre-Approved with a Known and Respected Lender.  Don’t pick an unknown lender or an online source.  The listing agent will likely discredit your offer to the Seller.  Get yourself “Underwriter Approved” to put your offer above others.  This extra step will compete well with cash offers and demonstrate you’re organized, proactive, and ready to close escrow.  Have your lender call the listing agent immediately after you make an offer to assure them you are a solid buyer and answer any questions they have.

Get Some Experienced Help.  Find an experienced full-time Real Estate Broker who will work hard for you.  It can take a real dedication and effort to get your offer accepted.  The last seller’s market ended in 2007 – so you will likely do better with a Broker who has at least 7 years experience.

Gain Some Knowledge.  Get REALLY familiar with the area you want to buy and what homes are selling for (not the asking prices).  Take your time and have some fun.  The knowledge you acquire = an advantage above others.  Build your confidence so when you find “your” home, you can make a quick decision and write a smart offer.  Remember, there is no exact formula to pricing a home.  With the help of your Broker, establish a reasonable “price-range.”  If the house has multiple offers, put your best foot forward at the top of your range.  Your Broker should advise you of what a safe price range should be so you don’t “over-pay.”

Think like the Seller.  Find out why the house is for sale.  Knowing what’s motivating the Seller will help you write an offer they’ll want to accept.  An experienced Broker will know how to extract this from the listing agent.

Write a Clean Offer.  Focus on the big picture.  Don’t lose the deal by clouding the offer with things like home warranties or other annoying little fees for the Seller to pay.  These were acceptable a couple years ago, but there are plenty of buyers now that are making offers without these things.
Include a Relatively Large Earnest Money Deposit.  Show the Seller you are serious.  You’ll have many opportunities to get the deposit back if you don’t buy the house.  Talk with your Broker about the risks.  If you are competing for the house, your earnest money deposit should be at least $5,000 ($10,000 will likely to beat the competition).

Include a Fast Close.  Be willing to close as fast as you can.  Don’t cut yourself short on home inspections, but do have your loan application “Underwriter Approved.”  This should speed things up.  Write your offer to Close in 4 weeks (7-10 days if you’re paying with all cash).

Hand-Deliver the Offer.  The art of hand-delivering an offer has largely been lost.  Have your Broker shock the listing agent by making a face-to-face visit when presenting your offer.  This little effort is amazingly powerful.  The Seller is not only picking a buyer to work with but also a buyer’s agent.  The more professional you and your Broker come off the greater the chance for success.  Your Broker can take the time to tell a story about you, dispel any concerns the listing agent and sellers might have, leave them feeling confident you’re interested in the house, and ensure everyone that things will go smoothly.

Follow Up.  Your agent and your lender have done a great job of presenting your offer, and you're feeling good about your chances.  Make sure your Broker calls to follow up politely on the status of your offer.  I prefer calls over email because it shows more dedication.  This is when your lender should call the listing agent as mentioned earlier.

Take a Back-Up Position if Offered.  If your offer isn't accepted, and the Seller asks you to be in a back-up position, take it.  There is no risk to you as you can unilaterally cancel at any time, and keep looking in the meantime.  There are many reasons a home sale doesn't work out that are unrelated to the condition of the house.  I have helped many buyers get the home they wanted with just a little extra effort.

Offer Accepted.  Congratulations.  It didn't happen witout a considerable effort. Thank your Broker, your Lender, and Yourself for a job well done.  Entrust your Broker to get the busy work done, and leave the important decisions to you.  Call or email me for a flowchart outlining the major steps to buying a home.   Have some fun!

Please call me when it's time to buy or sell a home.  I'll work hard for you.
Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate

Find Portland Homes by Neighborhood…it’s Fun!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Portland Home Values

Portland’s real estate market continues to see upward momentum with a 37% increase in pending home sales this past month.  This rapid increase is not unusual for the time of year and a good indicator of the year to come. 

Click here and read my summary below for an update on Portland Home Values.

Portland Home Values

The new year appears to be kicking-off where 2013 ended.  Home sales have been on the rise through the first quarter, and the inventory of homes for sale remains low at just 3.1 months.  This inventory is slightly lower than last year, and substantially below the past 8 years. Continued demand combined with very few homes for sale should maintain an upward pressure on home prices.  The average cost of a home in the Portland Metro Area is currently $322,700, up 11.2% from the first quarter of 2013.

The graph below displays the average and median sale prices of Portland Area Homes between 2005 and today.  During this period, the average price of a home rose 32% from a market bottom in 2011.


How are things selling in your neighborhood?

Portland’s close-in neighborhoods in N, NE and SE continue to sell quickly.  Home prices in SE Portland have risen an average of 17.7% in the past twelve months.  North Portland was a close runner-up at 15.2%.  NE Portland rose 11.7% this past year, and has sustained their home values better than any Portland area over the past 8 years.

SW Portland including Beaverton, Aloha and Hillsboro are also selling quickly.  These cities had a larger share of distressed bank-owned and short-sale properties selling at lower prices.  Home prices in Beaverton and Aloha rose almost 16% over the past year.

Area’s outside of Portland including Gresham, Troutdale, Oregon City and Milwaukie have seen prices increases of 13%-16%.

Residential Distressed Properties (foreclosures and short-sales) - The number of foreclosures and short-sales in the Portland Metro Area has steadily dropped over the past two years and represented 11% of homes sold in the first quarter of 2014.  The percentage of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage is significantly lower in Portland than the rest of the nation.  Approximately 17% of homeowners nationally are holding a mortgage significantly bigger than the market value of their property.  According to RealtyTrac, Portland’s market is much healthier with only 9% of homeowners underwater.

Mortgage interest rates are averaging about 4.5%.

The days are getting longer and brighter.  Hope you’re outside enjoying the sun today!

Please call me when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  I’ll work hard for you.

Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate



Friday, March 14, 2014

Portland's Real Estate Market Remains Active

Portland’s real estate market has remained active this winter.  February saw an increase in home sales of almost 7% from last year.  In fact, it was the best February in Portland since 2007!

Click here and my summary below for an update on Portland Home Values.  

Portland Home Values

The new year appears to be kicking-off where 2013 ended.  Home sales have been on the rise in both January and February from last year, and the inventory of homes for sale remains low at just 3.9 months.  This continued demand combined with very few homes for sale should maintain an upward pressure on home prices.  Reports I read project a 3% to 5% rise in Portland Home Values over the next year.

This graph displays the average and median sale prices of Portland Area Homes between 2005 and today.  Between this period, home prices have steadily increased from a market bottom in 2011.  The average price of a Portland Home is currently $325,500 – up almost 13% in the past twelve months.  



How are things selling in your neighborhood?

Portland’s close-in neighborhoods in N, NE and SE continue to be hot zones with houses selling quickly.  Home prices in SE Portland have risen an average of 18.4% in the past twelve months.  North Portland was a close runner-up at almost 16%.  NE Portland rose 12.2% this past year, but have sustained their home values better than any Portland area over the past 8 years.

Area’s in SW Portland including Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro are also selling quickly.  These area’s had a larger share of distressed bank-owned and short-sale properties selling at lower prices.  Home prices in Beaverton and Aloha rose almost 18% over the past year. 

Area’s outside of Portland including Gresham, Troutdale, Oregon City and Milwaukie have seen price increases of 13% - 15%.

Mortgage interest rates are averaging about 4.5%.

Hope your winter was warm.  It’s daylight savings time now, so hopefully you’re outside enjoying the longer days!

Please call me when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  I’ll work hard for you.

Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate
503-784-7626

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Portland Home Values - Happy New Year


It may seem late to say “Happy New Year”, but it’s timely in reference to Portland’s Real Estate Market.  It is generally the month of March when the weather begins to clear that starts-off a new real estate year.  Homes often sell nicely this time of year with less competition and an active group of determined buyers who've waited through the holidays for something they want.

Click Here and read below for an update on Portland home values.

Portland Home Values    

The new year appears to be kicking-off where 2013 ended.  There was a slight rise in pending home sales through January and the inventory of homes for sale remains low at just 4.1 months.  This demand combined with very few homes for sale should maintain an upward pressure on home prices.  Market reports that I follow seem to agree that a rise in home prices will continue in 2014 between 3% to 5%, with five important things to watch:
  • The Inventory of homes for sale – Prices have risen largely because of the shortage of homes for sale.  Economists are suggesting that inventories hit bottom last year and some markets are returning back to normal levels.
  • When will home builder’s start building again?  New construction isn't expected to be at normal levels for many years as the cost to build is still higher than relative home values and credit is still tight for smaller contractors.
  • Home Mortgages – Getting a home loan has eased up, but is by no means a given.  The housing recovery is hinged on threats of rising interest rates even though they are still well below historic levels.
  • What will property investors do next?  A handful of institutional investors have purchased tens of thousands of homes that are being rented out.  These investors played a key role in stabilizing prices.  What will happen after the initial rush to invest subsides, and what will they do with all of that inventory?
  • Will the rise in home prices tip the scales on home affordability?  Rising home prices are a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, rising prices are giving many homeowners equity in their homes again.  This increase also makes housing less affordable.  This will be a problem when home prices are no longer attractive to property investors and/or if interest rate rise in a meaningful way.

The average price of a Portland home is currently $317,000 – up almost 13% in the past twelve months.

Mortgage interest rates are about 4.25% - 4.5% and projected to be closer to 5% by the year end.

Hope your winter is going well.  Stay warm!

Please call me when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  I’ll work hard for you.

Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Portland's Home Values - What's Ahead


Happy Holidays!

Burr…  It’s cold outside.

Home sales in the Portland Area have cooled slightly for the winter, but for the year have rebounded with a 16% rise in the number of homes sold, reduced market times to sell by more than 25%, and a 13.5% increase in the average sales price of a home.  These are high marks, and Portland is ranking very well among turnaround cities.  Nationally, home prices have risen about 10% this year. 

What’s Ahead

Through the past year, a sense of urgency drove home buyers taking advantage of still-affordable home prices and historically low mortgage rates.  These home buyers were faced with a limited supply of homes for sale, and were often forced into bidding with investors and other buyers who paid with cash.  “Cash” buyers represented almost a third of home sales in 2013!  Sellers were rewarded with quick sales, often above their asking prices.  Market reports that I follow seem to agree that home prices will rise in 2014, but at a slower, more steady pace between 3% to 5%.  An interesting find reported by Kiplinger Business Forecasts says the percentage of consumers who intend to buy a home in the next six months is the highest since the year 2000.  Adding to this push is a pent-up demand among younger adults paying premium rents.  Can you believe studio and one-bedroom apartments located in the various hipster Portland neighborhoods run between $1,250 - $1,500 a month (some even higher)?

How are homes selling in your neighborhood?  Well, over the past year Portland’s leading area was inner-SE with an impressive 16.2% increase in the average price of a home.  A close runner up was North Portland with a 15% increase, followed by the inner-NE neighborhoods at 13.2%.  Area’s on the Westside including Beaverton and Aloha that had a larger share of distressed bank-owned and short-sale properties beat Portland’s best with a 17.8% average price increase.

Mortgage interest rates are about 4.5% and projected to be closer to 5% in 2014.

Hope your holidays are wonderful.  Stay warm, but get outside and have some fun!

Please call me when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  I’ll work hard for you.

Darin Provost, Broker
Vintage Real Estate
503-784-7626