Portland’s May 2015 Housing Stats

Chart02The RMLS™ stats for May, 2105 are in.  If you’re a seller it’s great news.  If you’re a buyer, it means you’ll need equal doses of patience, skill, and luck, to find exactly what you want. Here’s a recap:

  • The numbers show, among other things, that the inventory of available homes is down to 1.7 months. Just what does that mean?  Here’s how they explain it:

“Inventory in Months is calculated by dividing the Active Residential Listings at the end of the month in question by the number of closed sales for that month. This includes proposed and under construction homes.”

A “healthy market” is generally considered around six months’ of inventory. At those numbers, there is more balance (read: “sanity”) in the marketplace. That way, if a buyer wanted to purchase a home, but the seller was holding out for an unrealistic price, that buyer could go down the street and find a comparable home for a better price.

But when inventory gets too low, the market can become whacky, as it is today.  Since there are more buyers than available homes for sale, sellers are demanding higher prices simply because they can.  Remarkably, the feeding frenzy has gotten so out of control that buyers are engaging in bidding wars well above the listing price. It’s like Midnight Madness at Walmart.

  • Closed sales for May were 2,942, which was an 18.5% increase over May 2014 (2,483). According to RMLS’s™ just-issued Market Action letter, “This was the strongest May for closings in Portland since 2006, when there were 3,054 closings posted for the month.”
  • The pending sales numbers (i.e. accepted offers), a leading indicator going into the summer months, was 3,546, an 18.6% improvement over May 2014 (2,989). May’s 2015 pending sales were also the strongest for May since 2006 (3,651).
  • And what effect has all this had on home prices? The 2015 year-to- date average price increased 4.6% to $342,300; the median price year-to-date increased 5.9% to $295,000.

Here are more articles on the Portland housing market, compliments of HyperLynx: