The RMLS Portland Market Action Report July 2014 just hit, and numbers are mixed. New listings are up year-to-year with 3,954 new listings in July. That’s a 2% increase over the 3,877 new listings posted in July 2013. However, the news is more sobering when we compare new listings for July with new listings for June. Month-to-month, the market experienced a 3% drop from the 4,078 new listings posted in June. Closed sales for July dipped to 2,678, a 3.2% decrease over July 2013. Year-to-date closed home sales for 2014 lagged 2013 by -0.4%. And while new listings (24,291) are up 4.0% compared to the first seven months of 2013, pending sales (17,333) and closed sales (15,368) are down -0.4% and -0.6% for the same time period.
July in a Nutshell
The Portland real estate market is sending mixed signals. Buying activity slowed a bit in July, with closed sales slipping 3.2%. On the plus side, total market time continued to fall to 57 days, even while inventory rose 2%. Sellers continued to jump into the housing market hoping to take advantage of high demand. Both average and median sales prices increased compared to July 2013. So, demand is high, time on the market is short, sellers are asking more for their homes, and buyers aren’t yet seriously balking at the steadily increasing prices. All good news.
July 2014 compared to July 2013:
- New Listings: 2% (3,954 compared to 3,877)
- Pending Sales: 2.3% (2,802 compared to 2,738)
- Closed Sales: -3.2% (2,678 compared to 2,766)
- Average Sale Price: 5.6% ($344,700 compared to $326,500)
- Median Sale Price: 6.8% ($299,000 compared to $280,000)
- Total Market Time: -9.7% (57 days compared to 63 days)
Year-to-Date in a Nutshell
So far this year, 2014 is on a roll compared to the first seven months of 2013. On the PLUS side: Total market time is down 16.6%. Average home prices are up 7.9%, while median home prices are up 9.2%. New listings are up 4.0%. On the MINUS side: Pending sales are down 0.4%. Closed sales are down 0.6%. Will this upward trend continue? Will home prices continue to rise? Will new inventory levels slow that rise? Will buyer demand soften as median incomes and median home prices continue to diverge? These are still the million dollar questions. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Year-to-Date 2014 compared to Year-to-Date June 2013:
- New Listings: +4.0%
- Pending Sales: -0.4
- Closed Sales: -0.6
- Average Sale Price: +7.9
- Median Sale Price: +9.2
- Total Market Time: -16.6
Closed Sales Are Down & Up
July was a rocky month for closed sales in Portland Metro, with a decrease of 4.2% over July 2013 and an increase of 2.3% over June 2014.
Pending Sales Are Up & Down
July pending sales increased 2.3% compared to July 2013 but decreased 5.5% compared to June 2014.
New Listings Are Up & Down
July new listings increased 2.0% compared to July 2013 but decreased 3.0% compared to June 2014.
Home Prices Are Up & Up
July average home prices increased by 5.6% compared to July 2013 and increased 3.0% compared to June 2014. July median home prices increased by 6.8% compared to July 2013 and increased 3.1% compared to June 2014.
Inventory Is Up
Inventory increased just slightly in July to 2.9 months, compared to 2.8 months in June. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market, with fewer months of inventory indicating a seller’s market.
Total Market Time Is Down
Total market time continued its downward trend to 57 days in July, compared to 59 days in June and 67 days in May.
Active Listings Are Up
There are currently 7,727 active residential listings in the Portland Metro area, compared to 7,250 active listings in June.
Here’s a closer look at the July 2014 RMLS Portland Metro Market Action Report data:
Best Bets for Buyers & Sellers
Buyers: Homes are selling fast. This is no time for analysis paralysis. Know what you want and be prepared to leap when you find the home that meets your criteria. Tour the market, scour our Home Search pages (by neighborhood, style, address, map, price, listing number, new listing, or custom criteria), get preapproved for a loan, and prepare (along with your broker) to pounce when the home and the price are right.
Your best bet is to set up a Market Alert, itemizing your home search criteria. You’ll be notified as soon as a new listing with your criteria hits the market. If the home is priced competitively, it may get multiple offers. If you really want the home, make the best offer you can. Also, ask your broker about giving the seller a very short window in which to accept or reject your offer—say 2 hours. This puts the heat on. The seller can always counter with an extended time, if they wish.
Sellers: There is cause for optimism but not fool hardiness. The market is on a slow climb, not a fast race to the top. Closed sales were up slightly in July, but pending sales were down. Inventory levels continue to rise. Along with your listing broker, do the research and heed your competitive market analysis. Be realistic about your competition and price your home to sell fast. Homes than languish on the market for over 60 days are often overlooked altogether.
Whatever you do, don’t be tempted by the seriously unwise “test-the-waters” strategy. Your best chance to sell your home for top dollar is in the first two weeks it’s on the market. PERIOD. If you price too high, agents and buyers will move on to more realistic offerings. If you price just right, you may get multiple offers, even above your asking price.
Repair, clean, declutter, and stage your home, paying particular attention to curb appeal. Get professional photos and a virtual tour video. Hire a tech-savvy, marketing-savvy listing team that has an engaging, popular blog and associated social media accounts.
Give us a call today at 971-804-4618. We know the Portland real estate market, we’re top-notch listeners, negotiators, problem solvers, and marketing pros–and we’re here for YOU.
Tell Me More
- Oregon Live: Portland-Area Home Sales Slow in July Despite Strong Demand
- Calculated Risk: What’s Right with Housing?
- HouseHunt: Oregon Real Estate Market Conditions & Trends
- Movoto: State of the Market May 2014: Prices and Inventory Both Up
- OPB: Portland Real Estate Loses A Little Steam, But Prices Still Rising
- Oregon Live: Buying a House in Portland in 2014: What to Expect in Real Estate
- Oregon Live: Millennials Aging Into Major Players in Real Estate Market
- Portland Business Journal: House Hunting in Portland? You’re hosed. Pretty much.
- RedFin Research: Fast Pace of Home Sales Indicates Spring Has Finally Arrived in Some Markets
- The Washington Post: Real Estate Matters | Hot Seller’s Market Brings Solicitations to Homeowners
- Yahoo! Finance: What Interest Rates Will Cost You in 2014