RMLS Market Action for August 2012 was released yesterday and almost all metrics are better than they were last month and last year. Inventory dropped back to 3.9 months. The same as June which is the lowest level in years. Inventory is a good measure of urgency and competition. Fewer houses means buyers are competing for fewer houses. Inventory can also be a measure of frustration as multiple offers become more common and finding that perfect house for difficult. In a healthy market five to seven months would be ideal.
I’ll break out some sales by price range soon. We’ll see that properties under $300,000 are moving much faster than those over $300,000. That’s typical but it also means that expectations should be adjusted based on the situation. This month’s 117 average days on market is much lower than last August 2011’s 146 but broken down into price ranges the numbers will look very different.
Prices are on the rise:
Prices are stabilizing and showing improvement. The average sales price year-to-date of $271,100 is 2.7% higher than the average price in the same period last year, while the 2012 year-to-date median of $230,000 is 4.5% higher than the median last year.
The snapshot image of the market looks good but we still have to be cautiously optimistic looking forward. Interest rates remain low and prices are on the rise but we have an election coming up, global economic and political issues making headlines and we’re moving into a traditionally slower time of the year for real estate. Winter real estate participants tend to be more serious as a whole than their summer brethren since looking at homes in the dark, wet and cold isn’t particularly pleasant but markets don’t stop, they adjust. A good end to the year will be if the Portland real estate market can remain flat through the rest of the year without giving anything back like it did last year.[Graphic from RMLS]