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Rob Levy's Portland Real Estate Blog

Rob Levy

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Myth: You Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home

by Rob Levy

Gone are the days of 20% down or no loan, but recent surveys reveal that many Americans are not aware that programs exist to put down less. Fannie Mae’s article, “What Consumers (Don’t) Know About Mortgage Qualification Criteria,” revealed that “only 5 to 16 percent of respondents know the correct ranges for key mortgage qualification criteria.” The survey results revealed that consumers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan; 76% of respondents either don’t know (40%) or are misinformed (36%) You Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home Myth 2: about the minimum down payment required. Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, but many programs actually let buyers put down as little as 3%. On the right are the results of a Digital Risk survey of Millennials who recently purchased homes.  Since Millennials make up the largest share of first-time buyers, it should come as no surprise that 97% of this generation financed their home purchase, compared to 86% of all buyers. What may come as a surprise to many who have not yet purchased, however, is that 16% of those who financed their home put 0% down! 61% of Millennials who purchased a home in 2016 put down 10% or less! According to data from the last 12 months of Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, the average down payment for a Millennial was 10%. Your dream home could be within your reach much sooner than you ever thought if you only need to save up 3-10% instead of the 20% that you may have thought you needed!

Millenials Guide to Home Ownership

by Rob Levy

If you know any millennials thinking about buying a home, or want to understand the process they are going through, then this 23 page PDF report is a must read.  This report is loaded with information and multiple useful infographics showing what has caused the millennial generation to wait so long to buy homes, what has changed now and also provides an easy path to discovering how you can obtain that American dream of home ownership. No forms to fill, no names or email asked for, and no obligation. Simply download the report here http://www.roblevy.com/millennials  Please let me know what you think, and PLEASE pass along to any millennials you know who may be looking f

What Colors Help Sell a Home?

by Rob Levy

The Zillow home color survey is back for 2017!

I'll bet you didnt know a bathroom painted in powder blue sells on average for $5,400 more than any other color. Or how about homes with a "greige" exterior sell for $3,496 than other colors.

Check out the survey here..  

Barclays Bank MAY Real Estate Survey

by Rob Levy

Hi, here is a link to the lastest Barclay's bank monthly real estate survey for the USA.  

This survey is created by Barclays bank asking selecteed top Realtors all over the country their thoughts on their local real estate market, I am one of the selected Realtors surveyed monthly commenting on the Portland, Oregon market.  Portland can be found at about page 30.

The results are at the link below, feel free to download and share.  Credit must be given to Mike Dahl with the Equity Research department at Barclays bank in New York City.

Barclays USA real estate survey MAY 2017

As always LOVE to know YOUR thoughts on the local market!  Thanks for reading.  ROB

Myth: You Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home

by Rob Levy

Gone are the days of 20% down or no loan, but recent surveys reveal that many Americans are not aware that programs exist to put down less. Fannie Mae’s article, “What Consumers (Don’t) Know About Mortgage Qualification Criteria,” revealed that “only 5 to 16 percent of respondents know the correct ranges for key mortgage qualification criteria.” The survey results revealed that consumers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan; 76% of respondents either don’t know (40%) or are misinformed (36%) You Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home Myth 2: about the minimum down payment required. Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, but many programs actually let buyers put down as little as 3%. On the right are the results of a Digital Risk survey of Millennials who recently purchased homes.  Since Millennials make up the largest share of first-time buyers, it should come as no surprise that 97% of this generation financed their home purchase, compared to 86% of all buyers. What may come as a surprise to many who have not yet purchased, however, is that 16% of those who financed their home put 0% down! 61% of Millennials who purchased a home in 2016 put down 10% or less! According to data from the last 12 months of Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, the average down payment for a Millennial was 10%. Your dream home could be within your reach much sooner than you ever thought if you only need to save up 3-10% instead of the 20% that you may have thought you needed!

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You Homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments: “Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math should not be overlooked.” reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). In a Forbes article, NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted that by the end of 2016, the net worth gap would widen even further to 45 times greater. The graph on the left demonstrates the results of the Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction.

May 2017 Portland Real Estate Update

by Rob Levy
rch Residential Highlights
The Portland metro area had
a sunny month for new listings
this March. At 3,604, new listings
outpaced March 2016 (3,409) by
5.7% and February 2017 (2,521) by
43.0%. This was the strongest March 
for new listings in the area since 
2010, when 4,987 were offered for
the month.
Pending sales (3,043) warmed
28.5% over last month in February
2017 (2,369) but fell 1.1% short of 
the 3,076 offers accepted during this month last year in March 2016.  Closed sales, at 2,494, similarly
outpaced February 2017 (1,669) by
49.4% but still ended 2.8% cooler
than in March 2016 when 2,565
closings were recorded for the
month.
Total market time decreased by
four days this March, ending at 58
days. Inventory decreased as well,
ending at 1.3 months. There were
3,313 active residential listings in
the Portland metro area this March.
Average and Median Sale Prices
Comparing the average price of
homes sold in the twelve months
ending March 31st of this year
($404,300) with the average price
of homes in the twelve months
ending March 2016 ($361,100)
shows an increase of 12.0%. In the
same comparison, the median has
increased 12.2% from $315,000 to
$353,500.

The Portland metro area saw some mixed real estate activity this April, while the year to date still remains cooler compared to 2016.  New listings, at 3,759, fared 4.3% better than last month in March 2017 (3,604), but fell 7.9% short of the 4,082 new listings offered last year in April 2016.  Similarly, pending sales (3,088) were 10.0% cooler than in April 2016 (3,432) but showed a modest 1.5% gain over last month in March 2017 (3,043).  Closed sales, at 2,219, fell 11.0% short compared to last month’s 2,494 closings and 15% short compared to the 2,611 closings recorded last year in April 2016.  Inventory crawled upward in April, ending at 1.7 months. Total market time decreased by four days, ending at 42 days. There were 3,753 active residential listings in the Portland metro area in April.  

Comparing the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending April 30th of this year ($406,500) with the average price of homes in the twelve months ending April 2016 ($365,200) shows an increase of 11.3%. In the same comparison, the median has increased 11.6% from $318,500 to $355,500.


Our home of the month is a condo off Macadam just south of the south waterfront in the coveted RiverPoint condo community.  This fabulous home is two bedrooms plus a den, and overlooks the river, downtown and Mt Hood, and its on the ground floor with a two car garage!  Check it out here at http://www.roblevy.com/Property/6116-SW-RIVERPOINT-LN-Portland-17683285

This article in the Oregonian last week talks about even though the Portland area has grown, we have recently been leapfrogged by both San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Florida in population.  The Portland metro area's population now is over 2.4 million, up 1.7% from last year.  You can read the article here, which has information on other area cities and within the arcticle there is a fascinating link to the US Census bureau statistics which rate fastest growing areas all around the USA.  Its interesting reading!

A Real Estate Boom, Powered by POT!

by Rob Levy

This article in the New York Times recently talks mostly about the boom in Denver (a city with similar price increases and inventory woes as Portland)  But I can tell you as a Realtor for almost 30 years now in Portland while we have always been known as "pot friendly" and I have always had 3-5 people a year asking me about grow operations this last 12 months or so its coming up all the time!  Oregon has some specific laws on what you can do personally (grow up to four plants) but we have had several real estate sales recently for buyers in the cannabis industry.  You can see the article here...

April Update

by Rob Levy

March Residential Highlights The Portland metro area hada sunny month for new listings this March. At 3,604, new listings outpaced March 2016 (3,409) by 5.7% and February 2017 (2,521) by 43.0%. This was the strongest March for new listings in the area since 2010, when 4,987 were offered for the month.  Pending sales (3,043) warmed 28.5% over last month in February 2017 (2,369) but fell 1.1% short of the 3,076 offers accepted during this month last year in March 2016.  Closed sales, at 2,494, similarly outpaced February 2017 (1,669) by 49.4% but still ended 2.8% cooler than in March 2016 when 2,565 closings were recorded for the month. Total market time decreased by four days this March, ending at 58 days.

Inventory decreased as well, ending at 1.3 months. There were 3,313 active residential listings in the Portland metro area this March.  Average and Median Sale Prices Comparing the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending March 31st of this year ($404,300) with the average price of homes in the twelve months ending March 2016 ($361,100) shows an increase of 12.0%.  In the same comparison, the median has increased 12.2% from $315,000 to $353,500.

This months chart shows the inventory of available homes in the Portland Metro area dating back to January of 2015. A "balanced" market as defined by HUD and the National Assn Realtors is 5.5-6 months of inventory, and as you can see we are far short of that with only 1.3 months of supply right now.  If you have been considering selling your home, now might be the time to do so.

This months featured home is an amazing estate on the Willamette river in West Linn.  This 4,436 square foot custom built home sits overlooking the river with a huge great room with Brazilian cherry floors, and an incredible gourmet kitchen with a massive island and American cherry cabinets and much more.   There is a formal dining room plus a small master and office on the main floor.  Upper level has the spacious master suite, plus two additional bedrooms and a bonus room too. All bedrooms have their own balconies. This home also sits above a five plus car garage, with a pull through door leading to a boat ramp the river, and has a dock too!  Check it out at http://www.roblevy.com/Property/4993-MAPLETON-DR-West-Linn-17380137

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 277