Portland is Late to Housing Party

Today’s planned post can wait. This is more time sensitive. I can’t get the graphs on MacroMarkets.com work so no visual but according to the just released Case-Shiller S&P Index results, Portland dropped 2% from between this Feb. and last Feb. There has been a monthly decline for each of the last six months.
There is more data available on Standard & Poor’s webpage.Portland Real Estate Blog

28 Comments on “Portland is Late to Housing Party

  1. Wow, C-S reporting 1st YOY decline about 3 months sooner than I predicted! Is it gonna get worse than even I predicted? Possibly so and part of the reason I think this is because those ‘stimulus’ checks are now gonna be used for food and gas and not big screen TV’s, etc as expected.

  2. Interestingly I’m seeing a sharp uptick on asking prices in the RMLS pull stats sites like housing tracker – not exactly expected from my perspective.

    Is the spring bounce arriving ?

    WAMU closed their entire wholesale lending arm as part of a deal to get some capital to keep them afloat with their mounting losses. Yet another sign of further credit contraction.

    Any initial takes on April numbers (I know it’s early) ?

  3. I put a two-bedroom bungalow on the market in St. Johns (slightly oversized lot) for 280K and had three offers the first day, one at list and two over list. And you’re telling me the market has slowed down?

  4. Sales are down 40%=market has slowed. But as Charles frequently points out, no matter what the market conditions, a properly priced house will sell.

    What was the RMLS number for you 2 BR house in St John’s? I am curious about it’s condition and location. What was the accepted offer? Any idea about the financing? FHA, IO, option ARM, 20% down?

  5. Are you saying it hasn’t slowed down?

    Read the Oregon Business Journal today.

  6. I wonder what daycare, etc are thinking right now.

    Anyone wanna elaborate on our strong fundamentals now?

  7. I put a detached 1970s ranch-style SFR on market in Rock Creek last week for $310,000. By end of day had four offers, all above list price. Cannot tell you any more info to maintain confidentiality.

    I admit. I made the whole thing up. I am working a full time job and this Realtor gig is more of a hobby so I can have some snack money when I go to the movies every two months.

  8. Tell you what, bearlee, you post your name and address here on this blog and I’ll give you the RMLS number of the house I sold. Deal?

  9. There’s no such animal as the “Oregon Business Journal.”

  10. OK, Oregon Business Magazine


    The housing downturn hits Oregon’s financial, construction and real estate industries. Jobs fall, defaults rise and everyone worries over how deep it will go.

  11. Tiffany, what kind of deal did you make with your listing agent? Did they agree to the discount you asked of Charles?

    Oh, and fine, don’t tell me anything about the house. Sales are down even in St John’s, shouldn’t be too hard to locate. Wait, it’s not there. You are making it up!


    Check out the May 2008 issue.

  12. PS. Remember what PT Barnum said.

  13. >I wonder what daycare etc are thinking

    Same as I was thinking earlier. PDX is #2 in retaining its realestate value after Charlotte, NC. Still better than most investments one could have made the same time last year.

    bearlee, just curious, why do you hang around here, when you dont have a house for sale and nor you are buying one anytime soon. Are you just patting yourself to feel good? Be our guest! If this makes you happy, we are all for it. Meanwhile, I am enjoying my home ownership experience. See its not a zero sum game after all.

  14. Uh, no bearlee, I am not making it up, and yes I did get a discount, though only to 5 percent. If/when the PDX market (i.e., the core, not the burbs — for all I care the burbs can sink) does begin to tank in any substantial way I can only hope that emerging from the ashes will be a more efficient and less costly way of selling a property. I just paid almost 14K commission on the 280K house for what . . . ??? Some flyers (uh, yes Charles, they were heavy stock and in color — oh boy!), a lock box and an RMLS listing. Oh, and my agent also marked an X next to the lines where I had to sign. Well worth 14K, huh? I estimate that the buying and listing agents made about a thousand dollars an hour.

  15. Agent labor on the 280K sale:

    – initial meeting w/ agent: 45 minutes
    – photos of house: 30 minutes
    – composing and printing flyer(s): 1 hour
    – uploading the info to RMLS: 10 minutes
    – delivering the lock box (15 minutes)
    – open house (hanging out chatting to brokers, eating doughnuts): 2 hours
    – “negotiating” bids (there were three offers — I chose the highest one, which also had the best financing):
    1 1/2 hours
    – Miscelleneous: 1 hour (this is a generous estimate)

    My bad: between them, they made two thousand dollars and hour.

  16. So Tiffany, why didn’t you do a FSBO?

  17. Hey Charles, are Tiffany and daycare from the same IP? Curious.

    Why do I hang around? To stay informed about the current market because I will purchase some day soon. Why do you hang around if you are already that happy of a home owner??!

  18. “PDX is #2 in retaining its realestate value after Charlotte, NC. Still better than most investments one could have made the same time last year.”

    Retaining? Wanna chose a different word?

    We have been dropping for 6 months and C-S has posted the first YOY decline occurring in February.

    How much will Portland decline?

    Do you think we are just late to the party?

    Best investments?!?!…my crappy CD earned 5.5% beat housing!

  19. Hey Tiffany, you didn’t pay your realtor, the buyer did. The buyer provided the profit you made on your house by virtue of being a homeowner in an appreciating market. Did you write a check to your realtor out of your personal account containing money that you earned from working your job? Or was the commission deducted from the appreciation (passive income) that was made liquid by the money provided by the buyer of your home?

    By the way, your agent got paid about 1.5% of the total commission (assuming he works for a brokerage and didn’t represent the buyer). That’s gross – it doesn’t include his expenses, overhead and taxes.

    Since you’re so smart, why didn’t you sell your house yourself?

  20. Blogged – Are you Charles? Same IP? I bet you are. I like how you rationalize the scam that agents participate in. Quite ingenious. You sound like a bitter barista.

  21. “Same as I was thinking earlier. PDX is #2 in retaining its realestate value after Charlotte, NC. Still better than most investments one could have made the same time last year.”

    Retaining is an inaccurate choice of words. A 2% loss is not “retaining”’; it’s LOSING. You may correctly point out that PDX housing has lost the smallest percentage compared to other markets, but it’s not retaining value.

    And let’s not forget the flip side of leverage: For a $500K house, 2% depreciation is a $10K loss. But if you only have $50K of equity in the house, then your loss is really $10K/$50K = 10%, not 2%.

    I could have made plenty of investments in the same time last year that would have done better than losing 2%, and certainly many more investments that would have done better than losing 10%.

  22. It’s the median price for godsake, not the average price, Leo. And if anyone got in last year looking to flip they deserve to lose their shirts.

  23. Tiffany=RE 101 from Clint’s blog?!?!

  24. “It’s the median price for godsake, not the average price, Leo.”

    Actually, it’s neither. The Case-Shiller Index tracks price changes for individual repeat sales. For every individual house that was sold in February, it looked up the previous sales price of that exact house (not the price of “comparables”) and then calculated the difference. It then calculates the median of those price changes. That calculation is quite different from a median price calculation.

    One of the common charges leveled against median/average price indicators is that they fail to account for changes in the types of housing that are being sold. For instance, both the median and the average price of housing would decrease if for some reason people became more likely to buy smaller or lower-quality houses. Yet in that scenario, it would still be possible for larger or high-quality houses to appreciate significantly, despite the fact that the median and average price both decreased. This is the source of the common objection that just because the median and average price is down 2%, it doesn’t mean that a typical $500K house suddenly lost $10K.

    But for the Case-Shiller Index, that is exactly what it means, because it tracks price changes of repeat sales of the same house. This is why it is generally acknowledged to be the most accurate measure of housing prices that is available. (For more details on its methodology, see http://www2.standardandpoors.com/spf/pdf/index/SP_CS_Home_Price_Indices_Factsheet.pdf )

    Your original statement was that a 2% loss was still “better than most investments one could have made the same time last year” and then you started quibbling about median vs. average prices. Well, I would maintain that even the median of my investments was better than a 2% loss last year, and certainly better than the 10% loss of my $500k house example. For godsake, even money in the bank earned 5% over the past year.

  25. could anyone comment on interests rate outcome for the next six months ? would you think interest rate drastically changes after November election ?

  26. Hi Nick – Interest rates for a fixed 30-year note will end the year at 6.5 percent, on average. In 2009, we can expect rates to edge closer to 7.00.

  27. “we can expect rates to edge closer to 7.0”

    If central banks and SWFs stop buying dollar denominated agencies we could see double digit interest rates.

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