RMLS Market Action for the Portland Metro real estate market just went to to press. Inventory, the ratio between the number of active listings and the number of closed listings, continues to hover around three months. Previously, pundits have said that six months of housing inventory is the neutral point between buyer and sellers but I think that number has dropped to between 4.5-5 months. Either way, 3.1 months is considered a seller’s market.
In the last few months we’ve seen some price gains: “The average sales price so far this year is $309,200, up 14.1% from the same period in 2012, when the average was $271,100. In the same comparison, the median price increased 15.2% from $230,000 last year to $265,000 thus far in 2013.” Those numbers are great in some respects: the number of underwater homeowners decreases as the market increases; owners have more options as their equity increase and they undertake more home improvement projects which in turn builds the economy. BUT we’ve proven in the past that markets can’t sustain continual rapid increases. It’s ironic that I’m saying that I hope the market slows down but I do. If the market can settle into 5%-7% annual increase it should be sustainable.