Real Estate Information

Rob Levy's Portland Real Estate Blog

Rob Levy

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 287

Interest Rates DO Make a Difference

by Rob Levy

Recently one of my sons and his girlfreind purchased a home for $400,000 and he asked me "Dad, what happens if my house loses 10% of its value?".  My answer was "Well, you are a math major, so you know you just lost $40,000 but let me ask you this.... If you buy that same house at 10% less for $360,000 BUT the interest rates were at 6% vs. the 4% how much more would you be paying a month?"

Interestingly, a $350,000 loan at 4% is $1,671 a month BUT if that same house dropped 10% and the loan is now $310,000 (same $50k down off a now lower $360k purchase price) that payment is $1,859 or a whopping $188 a month more for a $40,000 cheaper home! So it shows the importance of lower interest rates.   

Yes, I know at 4% they are higher than where we bottomed out in the high 2% range back in the middle of the recession, but they are still historically very low, well lower than the long time average rate of 8.2% (yes I am old enough to remember them peaking at about 19%).  So if you are concerned about our rising prices and still looking to buy a home, clearly now is one of the best times in recent years to do so.  Contact us today and let us know how we can help.

July 2018 Portland Real Estate Update

by Rob Levy

The June 2018 numbers are out for housing in the Portland Metro area and as expected they are down a little from May.  Typically our sales drop in the summer a little bit, so its a GREAT time to buy a home as buyers are (a little) more in the drivers seat.  

Closed sales in the meantime were up over May, which is a reflection on our busy April and May with 2,946 closed sales vs. 2,803 in May.  However, this was the slowest June closings month since 2014.  New listings still arent filling the pot enough though, only 4,515 in June which is 3.2% fewer than May.  We need inventory for sellers to sell their homes which many are resistant to do as there isnt much to choose from for them to buy.  For the year so far though new listings are up 2.7% at 22,079 homes listed for sale in 2018 through end of June.

Average and median prices are still rising, ableit not at such a high clip which is healthy.  Comparing the first half of 2018 with the same period in 2017 our average price is up 6.2% to $453,400.  The median is also up 6.7% to $400,000 even.

The time on market as of the end of June is 2.1 months.  That's a bit higher than the 1.6, 1.8 and 1.9 months for the previous few months, but still well into a "sellers" market.  The balance point is always considered to be 5.5 months of inventory.

You can view the entire report (Courtesy RMLS) by clicking here.

16 States where incomes are booming

by Rob Levy

This is an interesting article given how it affects us....  Oregon is the 7th hottest market for incomes increasing as our employment continues to increase.  GIven our home prices are significantly lower than say Seattle, our big neighbor to the north and also that Seattle's incomes are higher, this may affect our housing market significantly.  We are already seeing people move their companies to Portland from the LA and Bay area markets due to their employees not being able to afford a house but many have gone in the past to Seattle, skipping Portland altogether.  Now we may see more of this migration.

You can view the full article here....  

Why Housing Supply Matters in Oregon

by Rob Levy

This article recently published by the Oregon office of Economic Alalysis talaks about the importance of housing supply in Oregon. In particular there is a good section on the affordability issue in Portland, in particular the last graph shows our issue...  no builders can afford to build in the lower 3rd of pricing, so its hard to buy a home as a rental.  There are many reasons for this...  For one when I started as a Realtor the City of Portland charged about $2,000 for a building permit and you could get it in a few days. Now, its just under $50,000 and it takes almost a year.  In addition to this the cost of lots has gone through the roof.  There are many reasons for this too; builders leaving the business in the recession, developers also leaving the business in the recession, a huge delay in getting new lots and subdivisions approved, and of course the large influx of residents to the Portland area.   You can view the entire article here... https://oregoneconomicanalysis.com/2017/12/14/why-housing-supply-matters/

This interesting story shows how much money you need to make in the top 50 real estate markets in the USA.  Its interesting to see in San Jose, CA where the average home price is $1,165,000 you need to make over $216,000 to buy the average priced home!  At the bottom end of the list is Orlando, Florida where the average home is only $247,900 and the salary required is $54,148.  This survey of course does not even consider smaller towns, as a long time well connected top Realtor I have dear Realtor friends all over the USA where homes average less than $100k, these are nice, liveable homes!  Check out the full story at https://www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/salary-home-buying-25-cities.html#most_expensive_25_metros

Portland, Oregon Real Estate Update 12/17

by Rob Levy

In November, 2017 the Portland metro area saw gains in the number of listings compared to November of last year.  There were 2,416 new listings, a 16.2% increase over last year BUT a 19% decrease compared to last month.  Pending sales also increased 4.6% compared to November 2016, but fell 12.3% compared to last month (October 2017).  Closed sales at 2,387 fell 1.9% short of the 2,434 closings recorded in November last year and also 6.9% short of the 2,565 closings in October 2017.  

Inventory is still tight....  1.9 months supply of homes with the total marketing time increasing to 51 days.  In fact, 2017 has been cooler this year as a whole with closed sales down 3% (29,098) and pending sales also down 6.2% (29,628).    Prices though continue to rise in the metro area, comparing November to November the average sales price rose 8.7% from $394,800 to $429,000.  The median sales price in the same period rose 9.5% from $347,000 to $379,900. You can download the entire 7 page PDF MLS report byCLICKING HERE.  Inside you will see charts and graphs all relating to specific areas of metro Portland.

Veterans Affairs Loans in Oregon

by Rob Levy

Most people are aware of the VA's veterans loan department, where active duty and retired veterans can use a federal guarantee to purchase a home for as little as $1 down.  But living in Oregon, the only state in the USA without a large full time active duty military base we dont see that many VA loans.  With veterans returning from overseas duty we are seeing more of them.  This is one of THE BEST loan programs available and given the constant rise over time of housing since the end of WW2 this is a tremendous opportunity for veterans young and old to obtain a home loan.  THIS SITE from the VA shows all the loan types availab

City of Portland REQUIRES an Energy Audit

by Rob Levy

Thats right, if you own a home in the CITY of Portland and want to sell it, starting in January 2018 you must get an energy audit performed prior to your home going on the market.  This applies to single family homes and attached homes too.  This means you must have this audit perfomed before you start marketing the property, which of course means while listing it.    The city projects this to cost $250 - $300 but of course as more inspectors come online, the cost may vary. 

The audit is designed to allow home buyers to compare the expected annual costs of energy and is also now up and running in a few other cities such as Austin, Texas and Berkeley California.   You can see an article about it here from The Portland Tribune, and also here a link to the City of Portland site. Note, if your home is listed before December 31st 2017 you are not required to have this performed.

Portland's 15 fastest price growing areas

by Rob Levy

The Portland Oregonian recently released a report showing the 15 neighborhoods in metropolitan Portland/Vancouver where the average prices are growing the fastest.  I'll bet you are guessing inner SE, or maybe NE Portland but you might be surprised!  in fact Woodburn prices are up over 22%, and Lake Oswego's lofty average price of over $500,000 is up over 18%.  CLICK HERE to see the full list of all 15 neighborhoods.

Portland's 15 fastest price growing areas

by Rob Levy

The Portland Oregonian recently released a report showing the 15 neighborhoods in metropolitan Portland/Vancouver where the average prices are growing the fastest.  I'll bet you are guessing inner SE, or maybe NE Portland but you might be surprised!  in fact Woodburn prices are up over 22%, and Lake Oswego's lofty average price of over $500,000 is up over 18%.  CLICK HERE to see the full list of all 15 neighborhoods.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 287