January Market Action

Admittedly, some realtors seem to be in a constant glass half-full outlook, while others sound like Eeyore on a bad day when asked about the market, I have strived to maintain some balance when looking at the numbers. It's hard to be pessimistic when looking at the metro area in January. There is an extremely low inventory compared to years past, 7 months compared to 11+. While this is not so great when working with a buyer, it does tend to level the playing field between buyers and sellers.

Starting with the bad news, we did see an overall price drop of 6.1% over the last 12 months, while the average home price remained virtually the same at $249,000 from year to year. It looks as if the market under $400,000 will continue  to be very competitive in Portland.

Compared to last January, closed sales are up 18% and pending sales by 22%- a significant jump. The days on market for the start of the year are down to 136 from 160. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues through February.

Looking at a few different Portland areas, N Portland has the lowest DOM (days on market) at 67, while Lake Oswego and West Portland tie at 176. There are a few factors that account for this, price and competition. West Portland had 913 listings on the market at an average price of $366,000 while N Portland had 296 listings and an average sales price of $196,000.

Strangely, it is both a good time to sell and buy. For buyers, it looks as if home prices are dragging along the bottom, and with interest rates at unheard of lows, purchasing hasn't been this affordable in many years. For sellers, the low inventory means lower market times and higher demand for homes that are marketed and priced well.

Read the entire January 2012 Market Action report.