RMLS Market Action June 2009

rmls-market-action-june-09Portland real estate inventory dropped to 8.2 months, the lowest level since August 2007 according to the RMLS Market Action report released today.  Many say six months of inventory is market equilibrium.  Anything higher indicates a buyer’s market and anything less is a seller’s market.  Is that an outdated model in a new economy?

Monthly average sales price was up from May but median price was down.    Average price is now just shy of $300,000 and median is $249,900.   The graph on the left is a rolling average of the last 12 months according to footnote 2.

North Portland days on market is 93 contrasting Lake Oswego/West Linn’s 230 days.  Days on market calculations have changed so there is no comparison to 2008.  Southeast Portland has the greatest number of homes sold this year: 1056.

As always the “buy now” question is individual and local.  Under the current rules (and no saying they won’t change) the first time buyer credit purchase has to close on or before November 30th.  We’ve had buyers lock under 5.0% on 30 year fixed mortgages lately but those rates are VERY dynamic and of course each individual has to qualify. There’s no saying rates won’t drop and prices won’t drop.

9 Comments on “RMLS Market Action June 2009

  1. There’s probably less than six months inventory if you exclude the poorly managed short sales that are rotting without a chance. We inquired about a short sale that had been listed since October (wondering first why the bank hadn’t foreclosed yet). Not a lot of info from the listing agent, but sounded like they were still waiting on the bank to approve offers that were just as old as the listing. I’d say that, as a buyer, that listing was really not available to me.

  2. Short sales remain “active” in the system until the bank accepts an offer (the seller can usually accept as many offers as they want but the bank selects which one will actually close). A bank usually won’t review a listing until it has an accepted offer from the seller- they don’t deal with a hypothetical, “if we got an offer for $x would you approve?” It could also be argued that short sales therefore skew days on market.

    Ryan Frank’s article in this morning’s Oregonian quotes economist Tim Duy: “There is likely an enormous amount of hidden inventory in the market.” He is referring to the fact that there has not been a seasonal uptick in listings because some potential sellers are sitting on the sidelines waiting for a stronger market. When that happens, they’ll list.

  3. We explain the short sale process (which is flawed) and let the client decide if it is something they want to pursue. Short sales are not a good fit for those with an urgent time frame or those that are going to be crushed if they don’t get a specific house.

    BTW Rockford, your very personal comment seems to be a strange representation for the entire Rockford Area [Illinois] Association of Realtors.

  4. Buyer’s vs seller’s market? Not sure if we can think in those terms for some time as I think it stinks to be either right now. With so many short sales and the, IMHO, hidden inventory of foreclosures that banks seem to be sitting on, it’s hard to get a good idea of what a house should be valued at. Why pursue a house priced at $350K when the ‘comps’ in the neighborhood are 25% lower but are short sales. Why I say ‘comps’ is that I understand that short sales and foreclosure are not considered true comps but feel free to correct me.

    Prices continue to drop and given the unemployment numbers, the number of vacant properties, the fact that many got burned in RE and that many no longer feel RE is a solid investment what would cause prices to go up? What would cause demand to go up?

  5. “The real estate market is cyclical, with slow winter months followed by spring thaw and a hot summer. During that cycle, the number of homes listed typically expands steadily from January to July.

    In 2008, listings grew from January to June by 28 percent. In 2007, it was 40 percent, and in 2006, 52 percent.

    This year, the rise is just 3 percent.”

  6. I’m curious about the expired listings data. There are some interesting numbers on Housing Tracker (.net). Portland area’s max number of listings was 23,354 in July of 2008 and now we are down to 17,807 as of last week. I know there is some one out there that likes to play with the data to extract some interesting info.

    Where are all the foreclosures going?

    Why I am suspicious of the numbers is that on my back route up to OHSU there are now 8 homes for sale just on the short stretch of SW Fairmount Blvd with some being just off of SW Fairmount. 6 of these have just very recently went on the market. Yeah, very small data sample but still interesting.

  7. There are nine active listings on SW Fairmount according to RMLS. One is a short sale. None are bank owned…

    In area 148 (defined as West Portland), 866 residential listings have sold since 1/1/2009. Of those, 73 were listed as third party approval (bank/relocation company/trust/etc) at the time of sale. Sixty were bank owned at the times of sale. We can’t compare this to 2008 as “Bank Owned” is a new category to RMLS this year (so that number may be completely accurate depending on the date the field was added and the speed that agents started to use it).

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