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!
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Rob Levy's Portland Real Estate Blog
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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...
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
Average and Median Sale Prices: Comparing 2016 to 2015 through December, the average sale price rose 11.4% from $354,500 to $395,000. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 12.7% from $308,000 to $347,000.
The Portland metro area ended the year with cooler activity on the whole. Closed sales (2,621) ended 3.3% under the 2,710 closings posted last year in December 2015 despite a 7.7% increase compared to the 2,434 closings recorded last month in November 2016. New listings, at 1,421, fell 7.6% short of the 1,538 new listings offered last year in December 2015 and 31.7% under the 2,080 new listings offered last month in November 2016. Pending sales (1,757) decreased 9.2% from December 2015, when 1,936 offers were accepted; and 22.5% from November 2016, when 2,266 offers were accepted. Inventory decreased slightly in December, landing at 1.3 months. During the same time, total market time increased by four days, ending at 49 days. There were 3,511 active residential listings in the region in December.
Year to Date Summary: Activity was cooler in 2016 than in 2015. Comparing all of 2016 to 2015, new listings (41,121) increased 0.7. Closed sales (32,798) decreased 1.5% and pending sales (33,234) decreased 3.9%.
Our home of the month is a complete redo on a close in SE Portland home. This place is stunning! 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, new floors, paint in and out, complete new kitchen with granite counters, new cabinets, backsplash, lighting. All new bathrooms, a fully finished basement and an upper level. Check it out at http://www.roblevy.com/property/3228-SE-24th-Ave-Portland-Oregon
This article from the Portland Business Journal talks about our hottest neigbhorhood, and in particular how 11 Portland metro neighborhood's average sales prices now are over $500,000 which is up from only five last year. Interestingly, of the 25 most expensive neighborhoods in the area, 14 of those fall into the city limits of Portland. And talk about expensive homes getting more expensive, 97034 a zip code in Lake Oswego rose 28.4% over the first quarter of 2015 to $833,454. You can see the entire article here.
It's no secret that home improvements, no matter how big or how small, cost money. So, it is only prudent to consider if the renovation will be financially worth the time and money it will require. So, instead of a full-blown remodel, consider a simple facelift on what's already there.
Some other bank-account friendly home improvement alternatives that still boost your home's overall value and appeal include, but are not limited to, the following:
Polish the shell
The exterior of your home is what will make the all-important first impression on potential buyers and anyone else approaching your home. Make sure to stay on top of seasonal maintenance, replace or repair siding and windows, and keep your yard free of clutter, such as toys, bikes and refuse.
It's easy being green
Energy efficiency is easily achieved and can reduce your monthly utility bills. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models, and consider adding low-flow faucets and toilets.
Stick to your current layout
If you know from the planning stages of the process that you're going to utilize the current blueprint of your home, you can minimize your costs. Typically, the most expensive part of a renovation project is major undertakings, such as removing existing doors, ceilings or walls and replacing them with new ones in the newly made areas of the house.
Furniture: re-imagine before replacement
Replacing furniture can cost several thousand dollars, and the fact is you probably don't need that new loveseat (for example). Maybe it just needs a new cover. So, prior to selling your furniture, take the time and effort to determine if reupholstering would have an equally pleasing result.
Look for new item discounts
If you've determined you need new granite countertops but are naturally concerned about the expense, just ask the manufacturer for the cheapest pattern. Also, ask about stone pieces that may have small imperfections.
In a seller's market - less inventory available than interested buyers, like most areas of the country are experiencing now - potential home buyers should be ready to make an informed, realistic offer that will stand above the others. There is more to it than simply offering the highest dollar amount. The following suggestions are just a few things to consider on your next house hunting adventure.
Money is often not the sole incentive for a seller to accept your offer. If a seller sees that you are willing to bend compromise on things like the closing date or willingness to overlook relatively minor repairs following the home inspection, he or she will remember you when it comes time to decide on an offer. Other things you can do to show you're serious include offering a sizeable amount of up-front earnest money or have the cash on hand to make a large down payment.
Be ready to buy immediately
Get yourself pre-approved for a home loan before you start actively looking for homes. Bring your preapproval letter with you when you go to open houses or showings. In today's mostly uncertain real estate market, it can take a long time to get approval on a home loan. If you are already approved when you make an offer on a home - even one on which there are multiple offers - yours will immediately jump to the head of the line.
Expect counter offers
If you have a well-informed, thorough knowledge of your financial means when you make an offer on a home, you will know what your limits are when it comes to deciding what concessions you can afford to make if the seller bounces a counter offer back at you. You will be able to quickly determine to what degree you are willing to meet the seller's counter offer terms, such as a higher monthly payment or flexibility when negotiating the myriad contingencies on the closing contract.
Your real estate agent is your best resource when it comes to negotiating with a seller. Before making an offer, talk with a real estate agent. Get the inside scoop on your local market so that you are fully armed and ready to win a bidding war.
Curb appeal is more than just what your home looks like from the curb. It incorporates everything from the landscaping and the exterior color scheme, to the driveway, sidewalks and entryways. Here are four springtime projects that can make your home sparkle like dew in the early morning sunshine.
Impressive landscaping can be as easy as mowing your lawn on a regular basis, watering it, and keeping it clear of sticks, twigs and other organic material. You can also put an attractive face on your home by pruning your shrubbery, planting flowers and keeping it as clutter-free as possible.
Over time, paint chips and peels; and siding starts to warp, mold and rot. It's inevitable; however, it can be dealt with easily and, in most cases, inexpensively, with just a small amount of preventative maintenance.
Sandpaper and some elbow grease are typically all that's needed to smooth over peeling paint and paint chips. Once this is accomplished, apply primer and paint for a brand spanking-new exterior.
Roofs and Gutters
Unless they leak, sag, break or fall down, roofs and gutters are easy to overlook or even ignore entirely. Do this at your own peril, homeowner! Truly awesome curb appeal is attained through meticulous attention to just these types of details.
Water is lazy; it will always take the path of least resistance. Instead of trying to flow through a rock, it will simply go around it. Gravity forces water to exploit imperfections in your home, such as cracks, holes and gaps, which can lead it to invade your living quarters.
It might be worth your time (and money) to have a roofing expert take a look and give you some directions repairs and improvements you can make yourself.
A fence does more than just protect your lawn from the neighbor's dog's leavings. It impacts your home's curb appeal as much as your landscaping or exterior color scheme.
Unless you plan to replace or remove your entire fence, doing some simple stuff, like adding a fresh coat of paint or blasting it clean with a pressure washer, can yield significant results in a relatively short period of time.
Finally, take a moment and look at your home from the curb. That's right, actually go outside and try to see it with the critical eye of a potential homebuyer. Brave the questioning stares from your neighbors and take your time; examine everything. This should open your eyes to at least some of the obvious places to start your spring home improvements. A little time, effort and, let's be honest, money can save you some of each of these headache-inducing issues in the long run.