Tom Waits – “You Can Never Hold Back Spring”
Portlanders get a bit “giddy” with this surge of faux Springtime weather. The seasoned Oregonian knows it’s merely a “teaser” but it’s much appreciated nonetheless!! And, we have reason to be giddy about our continued local real estate recovery, as we are “off” to a good start in 2013!! Even though closings were down from December 2012, the 1344 closed sales in January 2013 are the most for the month of January since 2007 (and January can typically be a slow month as buyers, sellers and agents tend to be distracted during the holiday season). Active inventory continues at historic lows and unsold inventory is very low at 4.7 months (the time it would take at our current pace to absorb existing homes for sale). Inventory was at 7 months in January 2012, with a low of 3.6 months in December 2012…to give you some perspective!
BUYERS: What does this mean for buyers? I believe we will one day look back at this juncture in real estate and instead of “How I Met Your Mother”, the show will be titled “How I Made Money in Real Estate”!! And, with your grandchildren gathered round your knees, you can explain how you took advantage of historic low interest rates and low, low pricing in the Portland Metro real estate market. And, the rest will be history. More FHA financing changes are coming soon, so don’t delay if that’s your chosen mortgage vehicle!
SELLERS: What does this mean for sellers? Prices are rising slowly over time. It may seem painfully slow but that’s because we did learn something from our recent real estate bubble and we refuse to auction off our first-born to buy a home! Again, you’d think that the current supply and demand might play a bigger role but buyers are informed, conservative and careful. In the last 12 months, the average price of the Portland Metro home shows an increase of 5.4%.
INVESTORS: What does this mean for investors? Again, the lack of small-plex inventory is excruciating! So, it takes patience and perseverance to prevail. But, all I can say is it’s worth it. The US Census Bureau reports that the Portland area had the 10th lowest apartment vacancy in the nation as of the end of the 3rd quarter of 2012. The Fall 2012 MMHA apartment Report shows a 3.6% vacancy rate in the metro area.