Clients and Friends,
Prices continue to climb even while we wrestle to understand the changing market conditions. Overall, in the Portland Metro Area (including Yamhill County), average and median prices are high and climbing- each at 10.7% comparing the last 12 months with the 12 months previous to that period. Prices have been rising since 2012 in Portland and its close surrounding communities. In Oregon’s Wine Country they have been rising significantly since 2015.
2016 was a year of leveling-out for sales volume and sales statistics everywhere. 2017 has been strange, to say the least. We have discussed the dire impact of the long and wet (and cold) winter. With May’s report we see dramatic improvement in all categories compared to last month! By utilizing techniques similar to Sampling in research, it has been observed that the statistics match our anecdotal experiences and support our conclusion that May really marks the beginning of the real estate year for 2017! Because of this, the ‘Year-to-date’ statistics are dismal and our performance compared to May in 2016 has been bad to mixed until this month.
We have no reason to expect anything but a strong and healthy marketplace for the rest of the year. With a late blooming season, perhaps we can hope for a longer prime selling season- perhaps right up to Autumn instead of petering-out by the end of July??? Recently the interest rates even dropped to the second-lowest rates in the past 10 years. This more than any other issue affects buyers’ buying power. Can we really sustain the recovery intensity and prices rising into the stratosphere? Long ago I proposed that Portland is following the trend I have witnessed growing up in Southern California and watching the prices escalate in Los Angeles and San Diego. San Francisco and the Silicon Valley are legendary in their price appreciation. Seattle already had its quantum leap; it is natural to see the Portland metroplex following suit. Yes, I think prices can keep going up’ it has happened before in our own west coast neighborhood. Portland is not only the most affordable metro area on the left coast but it is in high demand by people moving out of other states.
Our core area of expertise is the greater Yamhill County area. Sales have slowed dramatically except for the lower price ranges in our towns. All our numbers are lower than last year except for price appreciation. It is challenging to buy for under $300k in Newberg. Currently there are only 13 active sales under that price point and most of them are condos, attached homes, townhouses, mfg homes and detached homes but on tiny lots. In McMinnville you can do better; there are 11 homes available and all of them detached. Only 2 are under $200k; 4 are under $275k and the rest are between $275k and $300k! We are way above the top of the market in 2007 in these areas and price ranges.
My biggest concern is for our rural properties. This has been the last segment to recover. These sales are dramatically down with very few sales in massive areas of Yamhill and Polk Counties. It is clearly still a buyer’s market in wine country (except for vineyard land). Recently, I have done a number of reviews of large acreage properties and after a brief flurry of sales (pent-up demand from a dead winter), we have almost no buyers in the marketplace right now. Closed and pending sales over 10 acres are in the doldrums.
We are in the best time of the year to sell your property. Buyers have the most choice now- there are good reasons to make the move sooner rather than later. If any of our excellent brokers can assist you; we would love to hear from you or your family and friends. Call us direct; text us, or email us and we will help you understand the marketplace even better and how your purchase or sale can be maximized for your benefit and goals.
We are winding down the second quarter already… enjoy the late blooming summer!
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker, 503-310-9147
Bella Casa Real Estate Group