Market Action Report for May

The May Market Action Report (report here) shows that the housing recovery remains strong in the Portland metropolitan area posting the best sales numbers of any month since before the financial meltdown of the fall of 2008.

Last month we incorporated an article noting how Yamhill County’s recovery is playing out differently than Portland’s recovery (report here). The bottom line of that was that we are not Portland and we are lagging the Portland markets by at least one year. This month I want to focus our attention on the details of Yamhill County’s recovery. There is much good news here but some sobering data as well.

Yamhill County, May 2013 (home sales report here)

1.    Total sales: 109 representing sales volume of $25 million; average price $230,502 for May

a.    7 sales under $100,000

b.    0 sales over $750,000

c.     7 sales over $500,000

d.    Most active price range: $200k-$250k (20 sales)

2.    Time on the market before getting an accepted offer

a.    Almost half of the May sales went pending in less than a month

b.    50 out of 109 sales had been on the market for over 90 days

c.     Officially, our time on market is averaging 141 days as we sell off much long-standing inventory

3.    How many pending sales are working their way through a transaction as of June 25, 2013? (pending sales here

a.    242 properties in Yamhill County are pending

                                         i.    Year to date, a 23.8% improvement from 2012

                                        ii.    115 properties went pending in May

b.    39 new homes/under construction/proposed are pending

c.     Under $100k= 8 properties are pending

d.    $500k- $1.4 million= 17 properties are pending

4.    Inventory: At the current rate of sales, how long would it take to sell off the current inventory?

a.    There are 618 residential properties for sale

b.    May’s rate of sales is 109 sales per month

c.     Yamhill County has 5.7 months worth of inventory

                                         i.    Portland Metro currently has a 2.5 month supply of properties

                                        ii.    The last time Portland had almost 6 month supply was in spring of 2012

                                      iii.    We are over a year behind Portland

5.    Notable:

a.    The Lots & Land category has been almost completely dead for 6 years. Recovery is under way:

                                         i.    6 properties sold in May (still modest)

                                        ii.    28 properties have sold year to date (best performance in 6 years)

                                      iii.    22 properties are pending (this is a positive change and harbinger of things to come)

                                      iv.    New construction is strong in Portland and visible as you drive through the city

                                        v.    We are beginning to see signs of life in this area which is promising for our Lots & Land inventory

Summer unofficially arrived on Memorial Day weekend and then officially by the calendar this past week. School is out, the tourism season is underway, people are moving, and we have an encouraging housing market. Our sellers are hopeful and so are we.

Buyers, prices are correcting and climbing, interest rates spiked last week and are between 4% and 4.5% on a 30 year fixed loan (historically still amazing but up from 3.1% just last fall). Inventory is getting tighter. The train has left the station at the bottom of the market and you should carefully consider how far it goes before you get to buy low at great rates for the next chapter of your life.

Thank you again for your loyalty, your trust, your support and your referrals to us. We appreciate you and will continue to work diligently for you.


Spiking Activity in January

For the week ending 1/6/13, these charts show the spiking of activity which usually occurs in January as people make plans for the year.  The numbers in Oregon and Washington rose significantly this week.

Oregon LockBox Activity

Washington LockBox Activity

What is happening with the Real Estate Market?

After 5-6 months of positive Market Action Reports, a number of clients have been asking us why there haven’t been more showings on properties right now. We as real estate brokers keep our eye on many indicators to monitor market activity for you. The reports below show lockbox activity which gives us an idea of how many buyers are actively looking at properties. You can see as the lines indicate on both charts from October to November, that we have had a significant drop in viewings. You can also see the trends in the last year.

But what does all this mean? Is the recent slowing of business due to the election? Or is it due to the “fiscal cliff” that we keep hearing about in the news? Or is it just the normal slowing due to the holiday season that is upon us? We cannot be totally sure, but we will continue to keep you posted and make you aware of both positive and negative indicators in the real estate market. None of the present indicators appear to have had an impact on the student housing market where demand for off campus housing remains consistent and predictable. Whatever the case may be, every real estate planner has to follow certain rules and regulations set by the government. It is apparent though that it could prove difficult to maneuver and keep track of all these changes manually. Probably a reliable property management software needs to be on the scene that can help these professionals manage everything in one place. It should also come with the potential to boost the market in the long run.

Also, if you are planning to buy a property or build a commercial property, keep in mind that before construction, you may need to get the phase 1 esa done on the site so that you can make improvements to the land that may be causing any kind of environmental hazards. Since some environmental rules and regulations change every few years, it may be best to hire a professional engineer to perform the assessment. You can also get the assistance of real estate finance professionals like Lincoln Frost to help you navigate through the site acquisition and refinancing needs.

Anyway, we are happy to say that most of the trends for Real Estate for the last 4 months of 2012 have been positive. We would not expect for the bumps and grinds in the road of real estate recovery to be gone yet. Many of you will still experience a slow sale for reasons we cannot completely explain, except that we are still in recovery. We will as your real estate experts, continue to keep you informed.

One thing we do know, There is a pattern in Real Estate where everything seems to ebb and flow and this may be what we are dealing with, the ebb and flow.

Market Action Report for October 2012

Friends and Clients,

For our Bella Casa brokerage meetings this week I reviewed the sales statistics which have been very encouraging throughout 2012 (and ought to motivate us greatly for 2013). One statistic was so mind-blowing that I made a contest out of it – only 2 of 25 Realtors® even got close to the right answer. There are currently 241 pending sales (accepted offers) in Yamhill County!!! I might have guessed as many as 75 for this time of year in light of the advances in 2012, and likely 45 any other time during the past five years. This is an amazingly encouraging number.

The election is over and within a couple of months we should see if that has any effect on the housing market. Remember, the housing market has been improving for over a year without any significant help from the politicians or the economy so far. The big question mark relates to the sustainability of this progress. For this October report (pre-election) one can see that the news got better than anything we had seen in all 2012.

October Market Action Report
October Home Sales Report
October Rural Sales Report

Summary for the Portland Metropolitan Area (including Yamhill County)

1. Closed Sales (solds):

  • 42.7% higher than October 2011
  • Up 11% from September
  • o   Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 20.4% increase
  • Highest closed sales for October since 2006

2. Pending Sales (accepted offer)

  • 15.9% higher than in October 2011
  • Up 5.8% from September
  • Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 17.6% increase.

3. New Listings (it is a good time to list your property for sale)

  • Down 1% from October 2011
  • Down 1.5% from September
  • Down 3.3% YTD compared with YTD 2011

4. Pricing: (reflects both increased prices and more higher end sales)

  • Average Sales Price: +3.7%;
  • Median Price: +5.2%

5. Inventory is down to 3.8 month supply

  • 4-6 months is considered a balanced market
  • The 5 year high was almost 20 months!

6. Market Time (days on market- DOM) is down 21% from last year; was 144 days now down to 102 days

The Affordability Index at the end of the report is a quarterly look at the last decade in light of current buying conditions. Clearly this summer offered the most affordable conditions in more than 10 years and likely back much further than that. Considering that since the Great Depression, housing prices have doubled every decade; this is a remarkable reversal of recent history and an opportunity to get into the real estate market.

Are Prices Rising Now?

Yes, in some places for some kinds of property. According to Santa Ana, California-based CoreLogic, Portland-area home prices increased on average 4.1% compared to a year ago. In our area, there are shortages of homes in certain price ranges (typically lower ranges) and for homes in certain communities (e.g. Newberg). If the trend continues, we will see more and more price ranges begin to inch up on pricing. This is certainly better than continuing to fall.

Residential Rural Properties (view October sales):

While the good news is good for everyone, there are many clients who are not yet participating in the recovery. I am focusing on some target markets through the end of this year to help our clients understand the dynamics which continue to develop. 125 rural residential properties of all sizes (2+acres) sold in all price ranges this year so far. 32 are pending right now and another 215 are competing for a sale. At this rate of sale, only about half of the active listings will sell next year – but remember, there will be even more and new competition on the market in the New Year. Pricing, condition, and location are still crucial issues for a sale if you have a rural property.

We have seen improvement in the number of showings of rural properties this year but we still need to see more demand. Much of the demand comes from out of state buyers and as their markets improve, we will experience better sales for our rural properties. The next couple of months will be important for re-assessing salability for the coming spring and summer markets. Rural sales remain challenging for now. We are glad to provide specific information for you for the asking!


We are always grateful for your referrals to your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We can help buyers take advantage of excellent opportunities while they last. We are eager to market and promote properties for our sellers. We know that we offer exceptional professional services which increase the odds of a sale and a higher price. Historic buying opportunities should motivate sellers to list and buyers to pull the trigger on a purchase. Talk with us about why that is the case and how to make an excellent purchase safely.

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker

Best regards,


Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653

Beth Frischmuth Awarded 2012 REALTOR® of the Year!

Congratulations to Beth Frischmuth, principal broker with Bella Casa Real Estate Group, for being awarded 2012 Realtor® of the Year by the Yamhill County Association of REALTORS®!

Beth grew up in Texas, received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Portland and spent 20 years as a military wife, living around the world. After teaching for many years, Beth decided a career change was in order. Now Beth uses the skill of easy camaraderie she developed with her students to benefit her real estate clients.

A licensed Realtor® with Bella Casa Real Estate Group, Beth appreciates the relationships she establishes with her buyer and seller clients. She especially enjoys working with the friendly people of the Yamhill Valley, and is known for her kind and thorough method of “teaching” first time homebuyers throughout the proces of buying their first home.

Beth and husband Phil own Wild Haven Property Management which they founded in 2003. When she’s not working, Beth is actively involved in the elementary school SMART reading program, the YCAR Education Committee and the annual YCAR Charity Auction.

Beth receiving 2012 Realtor of the Year award, presented by Randy McCreith, 2011 Realtor® of the Year

The article below was published in the News Register, October 24, 2012.

Beth Frischmuth, principal broker at Bella Casa Real Estate, which has offices in McMinnville and Newberg, has been honored as the 2012 Realtor of the Year by the Yamhill County Association of Realtors. The award is based on involvement with the association and volunteer activities in the community.

Frischmuth, a wife, mother, grandmother and former teacher, has been licensed since 2000. She has worked for Cydnie Mason & Associates, Coldwell Banker and Oregon Realty.

When she joined YCAR, she became involved with the education committee and now serves as its co-chair. She supports the Yamhill Community Action Partnership’s Food Bank, volunteers with the Start Making A Reader Today program, is active in her church and supports the St. James School’s Wine and Food Classic.

She has also worked on the YCAR auction committee. She serves as secretary and board member for LeTip International. And she serves as secretary, treasurer and board member for the nonprofit homeowner’s association, the Fun River Improvement District.

“It’s a wonderful profession,” said Frischmuth, who was truly honored. “I really enjoy being able to work with first-time homebuyers.”

Frischmuth said her years of teaching middle school gave her patience plus gave her the ability to phrase things in various ways to make them more understandable.

“Every transaction is new and different,” she said. “It’s never boring,” she added.

She and her husband, Phil, moved to the area after he was hired at Evergreen International Aviation. She can be reached at 971-237-1800.

Good News from the Housing Market

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, August 06, 2012

Some Americans are still jittery over the housing market, but here are eight positive signs that should quell some of their fears. No matter where you are in the world, the process of buying a house is a big deal! It’s not as simple as just choosing the house you want and it’s yours. A lot of planning and research will have to go into it before anything can happen. You’ll probably have a lot of questions like how much equity can you release from your home or how much will I have to pay monthly to keep on top of my payments? Either way, it’s a big decision to make and one you may want to seek advice for. For example, Barrie Real Estate agents are happy to help. It’s a decision that should be made properly.

  1. Housing prices are on the rise across the country.
  2. Foreclosures have slowed. Analysts suggest that as the supply of distressed homes slows, buyers will be forced into higher-price properties too.
  3. Inventories of for-sale homes on the market are decreasing. In fact, inventories of for-sale homes have dropped 24 percent from a year ago.
  4. Mortgage rates are at ultra record level lows, for those who can qualify
  5. Housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June. Also, existing-home sales were up 4.5 percent higher in June compared to one year ago.
  6. Home building stocks are on the rise.
  7. For investors who are buying homes, rents are soaring, allowing them to cash in on their investments. Rental prices are at a 10-year high as median units rent for $710 a month.
  8. Home affordability is at record highs for the median income family, due to falling home values and super low mortgage rates. In fact, a recent study found that it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in basically ever major city in the U.S. For those who buy, you can save the cost of renting by owning the home for five years or less. Those looking to get themselves on the property market may want to consider doing so in emerging areas that currently have many homes up for sale such as Stillwater in Apex, NC. To learn more about what is available in this neighborhood, take a look at what you can find on this website –

But while the signs point to a housing market on the mend, some Americans still remain hesitant. Many Americans are still underwater on their mortgage, owing more on their home than it is currently worth. Also, the economy continues to weigh on the recovery, particularly a dampening employment outlook, which analysts see as tied to housing. Some remain hopeful that the real estate economy will pick up again, if you yourself are fortunate enough to have enough capital behind you to make a move, making the move to the beautiful Beaufort may be of interest to you and you may want to consider taking a look at homes for sale Beaufort SC.

Still, The Wall Street Journal concludes in a recent article that if you take into account all the positive signs lately in the housing market, “housing presents an attractive long-term investment that should hold steady or even have upside surprise in the short term.”

Source: “Finally, It Is Time to Buy a House,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 1, 2012)

What to Expect From Our Housing Recovery of 2012


Summary: In the summer of 2012, the Portland metropolitan areas are experiencing a significant housing recovery. Ten months of improving sales numbers in tandem with much happy anecdotal confirmation, is a wave of relief for many weary sellers and an exciting green light for buyers wanting to make a great investment and catch the bottom of this historic market.

  • The most significant improvement in the marketplace is the willingness and ability of buyers to purchase now. This 5 year log-jam of homes for sale with only a few buyers paralyzed the marketplace. Many sellers also wanted to become buyers, but they had to sell first. Now many sellers are also becoming buyers and the logs are flowing down river again.
  • Portland and the close-in suburbs are experiencing the best of the recovery. It is a balanced market between sellers and buyers, perhaps on the verge of being a sellers’ market. The recovery is methodically radiating out to the rural counties.
  • The low price ranges began to recover first but the upper price ranges are coming back strong.
  • Low inventory at a time when buyers are willing to purchase is causing strong demand and multiple offers in a competitive environment.
  • Several affordability indexes show we have the best buying opportunities since WWII.

What We Might Expect:

  • The recovery will likely be uneven and unpredictable. This will be frustrating to sellers who do not yet feel experience it as a better market. Buyers who have to go up against multiple offers, above asking price, will also feel frustrated.
  • Pricing is still king and buyers are still conservative and want to ‘buy right’. We do not yet see any price appreciation; right now we are grateful for price stability (stop the bleeding!).
  • Caution: There are still a lot of distressed sellers who aggressively price their homes or ‘dump’ them in a panic. There are still a large number of short-sales available. Mortgage defaults are still high. This should reign in any upside market excesses.

There is still a large shadow inventory of foreclosed homes (bank-owned, REO) which will hit the markets over the next couple of years keeping downward pressure on pricing.

There are many sellers who want or need to sell but who gave up on the market. These sellers, when they have confidence that things will sell, may also flood the markets and push the inventory higher. This should also keep the markets balanced.

  • The volume of sales, while the best in 5 years, is still below normal if we compare to a more normal market, for example the years of 2000-2004. We have a ways to go!
  • Will something worse befall us? We were belted with the sub-prime mess in 2007, the financial sector meltdown in 2008, the constriction and crash of the business community in 2009, the out of control unemployment crisis since then, and we continue to wrestle with a sluggish economy which is the past few months has fallen back, not improved.
  • Remember that real estate sales are still to some degree seasonal. We expect the numbers in the monthly reports to be at their peak in June or July and then to drop according to their normal cycle. Remember also that when we get to September, we will then begin to compare this year with the improving period which we track to September of 2011.

What Should I Do?


Be forewarned that if the trend continues, we are seeing the rapid melting of the ‘buyers’ market’. Do not be surprised at competitive forces vying for the best deals right now. Do not be surprised if the sellers do not negotiate price concessions as freely as in the past couple of years, or are as generous with repairs. The sellers may soon begin to feel their oats!

Everyone wants to buy at the bottom of the market and we, for the first time, have justification for believing the bottom is now. How long will it last???

  • Supply and demand are beginning to work against buyers right now.
  • Interest rates are tied to the long-term bond markets and when the economy is bad, investors flee to bonds and the demand causes the rates to drop; hence the historically low interest rates for mortgages. When the economy is good, investors fly to stocks and other investments and the rates of bonds must rise to attract investors back to buy bonds. Low interest rates will change when the economy gets back on strong footings.


  • This is not the time to get cocky or to exact revenge on those savage buyers we have been dealing with. Stick to the fundamentals of selling. It is still about competitive pricing, and the attractive condition of the property.
  • At the top of the market, there were hoards of people who thought they could ask for anything they wanted and ignore any buyer demands. They could have sold then if they were more temperate and prudent. These people lost everything when the market crashed. Do not squander the best hopes of selling now. The reality is that we do not know for sure that next year will be better; it could be worse. The goal is a fair market price for the current housing market.
  • Be encouraged! We have the best odds of helping you move on this year than we have had in 5 years!

We are glad to provide this information and dialogue with you about your specific situation. We also are glad to be working hard, but finally making some money. We also have a long way to go to get back to normal but are glad to be journeying with you.

Best regards,

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653

Buy. Sell. Be Happy.

Perseverance Paying off in the Housing Market

Market Update Courtesy of Glen Bremer, Sterling Bank

QUOTE OF THE WEEK… “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.” –John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… Everyone working in the housing market certainly has shown perseverance and it seems to be paying off. While the overall economy slows, there are signs of the start of a housing recovery. Bloomberg reports all major home price indexes registered modest national increases. Almost 10% more existing homes were sold in May than a year earlier. The inventory of existing homes has dropped close to a normal level of six months, key to sustaining spring home price gains. Housing starts were up 26% in May over the prior year and the inventory of new homes is back at 2005 levels. If you are interested in finding out how you can take advantage of the change in the housing market, you may want to search for how to sell your house or speak to a real estate agent near you. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that you are looking for the correct and best housing market to invest in property or buy a new home. One market that seems to be thriving in the current climate is the Denver housing market, which has many property options that can help people to get the best deal on a property.

A new survey of forecasters by the Wall Street Journal found “44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.” Housing is still far from healthy, but these indications of an upturn are welcome amidst the distressing lack of jobs. Economist Chip Case of Case-Shiller said, “A little tail wind is a lot better than a headwind.” Fannie Mae’s latest survey found 73% of Americans think now is a good time to buy a home and 35% expect prices to go up in the next 12 months.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… If you aren’t happy with how things are going, the only way to fix the situation is to do something differently. Think of an action to take — then take it!

Glen Bremer
5005 Meadows Road, Suite #400
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Office: 503-726-3866
Cell: 503-502-5373
Fax: 503-639-0754