We spent last week in Washington DC at the Prudential Real Estate Summut Conference. Most introductions start something like this. “Hi, I’m Charles from Portland.” “How’s the Portland Market?” The Case Shiller housing market data for July 2010 was released this morning a the Portland real estate market remains largely flat, dropping four tenths of a point. Flat is a good thing. Stability is the first step to recovery (jobs is probably the largest hurdle). The current level of 148.33 is the same as July 2005. We can only use that as a baseline as even within neighborhoods, different areas have fared better or worse than others and the Case Shiller Index is based on the seven county MSA; a good comparison against the national market but not on a hyper-local examination.
It’s clear that “Now is a great time to buy” for a lot of people. The the ability to buy a home at July 2005 prices with a mortgage two full interest points lower than July 2005 has to be appealing. Of course, not everyone can buy under tighter lending requirements and others may feel that general economic concerns trump reasons to buy.
There are lots of “underwater” owners who purchased in the last few years and we’ve been on numerous listing appointments recently where our recommendation has been to stay in the home or rent it out for the time being. We’d rather have a listing in the future that will produce the desired results than a listing now that won’t perform to the seller’s needs. Not everyone can hang on and we do have short sale listings as well and have had a couple foreclosed before a short sale could be approved. The sooner you address a short sale situation the better.
Some sellers that are selling and moving up in the market have come to realize that they are selling at a discount but also buying a more expensive home at a discount and almost certainly at a better rate.
The punch line? Real estate is individual. Use us and other trusted advisers to determine what may be the best course of action for your situation.