At a Glance: Portland Metro Residential Real Estate Stats – June, 2013

Chart02Closed sales: Decreased by 6.4% (2,511) from 2,682 in May.  But year-to-date, they increased 11.9% over June 2012 with 2,244 closed sales.  [Comment: There could be several reasons.  But we know one harsh reality: In May, 2013 the rate of interest jumped from 4.39% to 4.51%, the largest hike since July 2011.  See discussion here.  That could have disqualified some borrowers for mortgage loans.]

Pending sales: They decreased by 5.8% (2,804) from 2,978 in May.  But year-to-date, they increased 15.2% over June 2012 pending sales.  [Same comment as above.]

New listings: They decreased 2.1% from May, 2013; but increased 16.9% to 3,751 new listings over June 2012. [Comment:  Since short sales appear to be declining, this decrease may not be surprising. However, in a normal market, we would expect to see new construction take up that slack.  But builders are more cautious these days, as are their lenders.]  

Average total market time[1]: It continues to go down! In June it was 70 days. [Comment: This is a very good sign, so long as we don’t burn through inventory too fast. With new listings down a bit, however, that may be the ultimate result, i.e. transactions getting snapped up faster than replacement inventory can keep up.  Replacement inventory would likely come from new construction, bank REOs, and sellers believing it’s time to get back into the market.]   

Inventory[2]:  Went up slightly to 2.9 months, from 2.5 months in May. [Comment: This increase is in the right direction, but still does not bode well for the health of the market.  A healthy market is 6 to 8 months, which means that supply and demand are better balanced, so sellers and buyers can participate in arms-length negotiating.  As it is today, due to the extremely low inventory, it is a seller’s market, meaning that buyer demand exceeds the available supply.  That is why we are seeing multiple offers and bidding wars.]

January-June 2013 Summary: 14,835 accepted offers [aka “pendings”] for Jan-June 2013, compared to 12,647 for Jan-June 2012 – a 17.3% increase; 12,531 closed sales during the first half of 2013, up from 10,802 for the same period in 2012 –  16.0% increase. [Comment: Clearly, there is a lot of pent-up buyer demand, and sellers are beginning to see a return of equity – this means more transactions, both pending and closed.]

New Listings: Jan-June 2013 – 19,403;  17,835 for Jan-June 2012. This represents an 8.8% increase over the same period last year. [Same point as in the January-June 2013 Summary.]

Average Sale Prices:  Increased from $265,900 for the Jan-June 2012 period, to $302,700 for the first six months of this year; a 13.8% increase. [Comment: To put a fine point on this, overall, it means that between June 2012 and June 2013, home values increased in excess of 1.00% per month. If trends continue, sellers may want to list at prices slightly higher than the existing comps, which look back in time to the prices of already closed sales.  Looking at current list prices – rather than 60+ day old comps – is a more reliable predictor of the direction of the market.]

Median Sales Price: Increased from $225,500 for the Jan-June 2012 period, to $257,500 for the first six months of this year; a 14.2% increase.  [Same comment at for Average Sale Prices.]

1 According to the RMLS™ “’Total Market Time’ is the number of days from when a property is listed to when an offer is accepted on that same property.”

[2] According to the RMLS™  “’Inventory in Months is calculated by dividing the Active Listings at the end of the months in question by the number of closed sales for that months.  This includes proposed and under construction homes.’”