March, and now April have been extremely hot in our local real estate market. Starting in January we had 12.6 months of inventory, and by April that had been whittled down to 7.3%. Compared with April 2009, closed sales jumped up by 49% and pending sales jumped by 60%. We are still taking into account the first time home buyer's credit which required buyers to have a contract by April 30th and to close on that home by June 30th, 2010. Looking at the May sales will be imperative in judging whether prices have dropped enough to have a substantial pool of buyers long term.
Case in point, one of the slowest markets in the last year has been Lake Oswego and West Lynn, with DOM (days on market) at well over 200. The year to date average sales price has been $461,000. Sales are up in that area over 84% from last year with DOM down to 147. Are these first time home buyers or have we reached a good intersection of more affordable prices combined with low interest rates? At this sales price, it certainly points to a more affordable market.
North Portland has the lowest prices in the close-in Portland area averaging $232,000 for this year with a very respectable 77 days of average market time. North Portland also has much fewer active listings, at 498 compared to over 1,000 in most areas which probably effects the demand.
Although we are connected as a whole, every area of town has it's own eco-system of sorts- an important factor when pricing a home.