Portland Real Estate Statistics R Fun

It's like delving into baseball statistics... without the baseball.

 Why aren't there house trading cards like there are baseball trading cards? Could you imagine that in Portland? Everyone vying for the elusive Watzek House but always getting another Pittock Mansion card instead. I'm patenting this idea right now.

Why aren't there house trading cards like there are baseball trading cards? Could you imagine that in Portland? Everyone vying for the elusive Watzek House but always getting another Pittock Mansion card instead. I'm patenting this idea right now.

It's April! Baseball season is upon us! The weather is finally improving! (Slowly. Agonizingly slowly.) This all means that it's time to talk about real estate market statistics! We've got 3 full months of data for 2017 to look at. 

I'm a full-time Portland area real estate agent and (at least) part-time geek. I know there are some geeks like me out there that love looking at stats. Batter up!

We're still struggling with inventory.

 Inventory in Months is calculated by dividing the Active Residential Listings at the end of the month in question by the number of closed sales for that month. This includes proposed and under construction homes. Source: RMLS

Inventory in Months is calculated by dividing the Active Residential Listings at the end of the month in question by the number of closed sales for that month. This includes proposed and under construction homes.
Source: RMLS

This is always a fun statistic to point to when people overhear about homes that received 10-15+ offers. 6 months of inventory is considered a balanced market. As you can see in this chart, we haven't been anywhere near that for awhile. March data isn't in yet but all indications point to the situation not improving.

What it means
This is definitely a sellers market. Except when it isn't. There are hot spots around Portland where just about anything flies off the shelf. But, there are many other places where a home might stay on the market for a more "normal" amount of time. 

Because of these types of statistics, there are instances when sellers decide to overprice their homes. There is a threshold that buyers are willing to tolerate before they'll sit back and wait. The best strategy is to work with your realtor to price your home as accurately as possible.

 

The Good News: Prices are up.

(These figures are for the Portland metro area. Please bear in mind that RMLS has a loose definition of "metro". I did remove the Mt. Hood area, Columbia County, and Yamhill County from the below stats.)

The median home price for the Portland metro area for homes sold between January 1st, 2017 - April 3rd, 2017 is $371,000. This is a 12.4% increase from a year ago ($330,000).

The average home price for the same period is $429,033. This is a 12.7% increase from a year ago ($380,715).

 I can honestly say that this is the first time statistics has made me hungry.

I can honestly say that this is the first time statistics has made me hungry.

What it means
With inventory low, it's not a surprise that prices are continuing to rise. The big questions are:

  1. For those on the fence about selling, is it time to grab your slice of the pie? 
  2. For those thinking about buying, is now still a good time to purchase a property? Will prices continue to go up making it a good idea to compete with other buyers? Or is this a peak?

Predicting the future completely accurately is impossible. However, this is where diving deeper into micro-trends can help. If you are considering buying or selling, contact me. I would take a look at the sales history and available inventory in your specific area of interest and give you the information you need to make a good decision.

But, ultimately, the answers to the above questions depend on a combination of factors that include: market statistics, the needs of you and your family, life events, the economy, and your long term financial plan.

Homes sell fast, except when they don't.

The median number of days that a home stays on the market for the Portland metro area is 12. The average is 41.

What it means
Most homes are selling fast. But there are those pockets I mentioned earlier that take longer, homes that are overpriced, and homes with less desirable characteristics that skew the average.

 These ducks have some real coordination to swim down this stream like this in formation.

These ducks have some real coordination to swim down this stream like this in formation.

For buyers, this means that before even looking at homes, you need to have all your ducks in a perfect row. Work very closely with your realtor and lender to be as prepared as possible to put an offer in. There are a lot of factors that go into whether or not a seller will accept your offer, and it's not all about price. Talk to your realtor about what you can do to make your offer as appealing as possible to a seller.

For sellers, your ducks should get in line, too. Let your realtor walk through the home before doing any work. She can take a critical eye to the home to determine what (if any) projects would be worth completing to maximize your net proceeds from the sale. She should provide a "punch-list" of those items. She can also help you find qualified, vetted contractors to complete work you don't want to take on. 

Another thing to consider is what will happen after your home is sold. Are you planning to buy another home? Will you need to rent-back the property? Discuss what strategy will make the most sense for your situation. 

I hope these stats were helpful. Let me know if you want me to run any numbers for your area!