The biggest headline on the Portland RMLS report is that inventory is down to 6.5 months- the lowest since August 2007. Normally this would mean we have reached a balance between buyers and sellers in our marketplace. Though we started off in January with a whopping 19 months of inventory, new listings have also steadily gone down- 20% less compared to last year. What does this mean?
Being "out in the field" my experience is this: the people that are selling are those that see an advantage in moving up in the marketplace, those with a change in lifestyle (moving, divorcing, financial stress), and those that are in jeopardy of losing or have lost their homes. I see some sellers- perhaps even those that should be selling to move up, are stressed out by the market and are deciding to wait. New construction is at a virtual standstill. Thus the lack of listings going onto the market.
Average DOM (days on market) in North Portland are 84. Average DOM is Lake Oswego is 201. Lake Oswego's average sale price is $200,000 more than in North Portland. The fact is that the lower price ranges for first time home buyers wanting close-in Portland- starting at around $200,000 and up, that's been the hot market driving sales. Behind the affordability and good interest rates has been the $8,500 first time home buyers tax credit. Sales this month were up an impressive 64% from the same month last year.
First time home buyers now have an extension of the credit, and current homeowners that have been in their home for five years also have access to a substantial tax credit.
If you're on the fence about selling, you can expect the same clear eyed assessment I give the Portland marketplace. I would be happy to help you assess what the best choices might be for you. Read the full Market Action Report.