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Rob Levy's Portland Real Estate Blog

Rob Levy


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55+ Housing Market Ticks Back Up to Record High

by Rob Levy

This is an interesting article as I'm living it!  Let me digress.... When I started selling real estate in Portland nearly 31 years ago, I mostly sold to my sphere, so other young families with kids.  Now fast forward those 31 years and most of those clients are either downsizing, or their parents are moving into independent/assisted living, or passing.  As a result a large part of my business is selling homes for seniors, and helping 55+ buyers find homes with a master on the main floor.  My wife Beverly and I did just this three years ago.  

Check out the article, remembering its from the National Association of Home Builders so talks about new homes.   Let me know your thoughts or if you know anyone looking to downsize.

How Rental Properties are Taxed

by Rob Levy

I saw a great article recently on The Motley Fool website about how rental properties are taxed.   My wife and I have invested in rental homes for many years, some we do out of our personal accounts and some out of our retirement accounts.  There are some huge tax advantages to doing either and I am always happy to discuss, but many people ask me "what can I write off on a rental".  This article covers this well.   The key is even if you think you arent making money on a rental, after taxes and depreciation you are (and thats not counting appreciation).

Many of my clients have built much personal wealth owning rentals, so check out this article about the tax advantages of such.

Portland Oregon Market Update / Nov 19

by Rob Levy

The latest stats came out from the Portland area MLS for the month ending October 31st, 2019 and here they are.  Pending and closed sales saw some gains in October when compared to 2018 with pending sales up 3.7%, but down 4.1% when compared to September of this year.  For closed sales (keeping in mind the average closing time is about 40ish days) rose 6.7% over last year AND rose 8.9% over September of this year with 2,377 closed sales registered for the Portland metro area (not including Washington State). 

As for new listings at 3,064 they decreased 1.2% from October of last year and decreased 11.7% compared to September.  This results in an inventory slight decline to 2.4 months supply for October.

Year to date, activity is still a bit cooler in 2019 when compared to last year. Pending sales are up 0.4%, new listings are down 1.4% and closed sales at 25,085 so far this year are down 1.8%.  When comparing 2019 with 2018 through October, the average sales price has increased 1.2% from $453,600 to a new high of $459,000.

You can view the entire seven page report courtesy RMLS by clicking here.

Our featured home this month is one of the best buys I have seen in a very long time. Its a huge home on 4.2 Acres overlooking the Sandy River and is recently updated.  This home is over 6,100 square feet on two levels, has three bedrooms, high cielings, an in-ground pool, a huge mostly finished basement and so much more.   You can view teh home here

20 Tips for Preparing Your Portland Home for Sale This Spring

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

Will House Prices Crash in the Next Recession?

by Rob Levy

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this Time

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this Time | MyKCM

Last week, the National Association for Business Economics released their February 2019 Economic Policy Survey. The survey revealed that a majority of the panel believe an economic slowdown is in the near future:

“While only 10% of panelists expect a recession in 2019, 42% say a recession will happen in 2020, and 25% expect one in 2021.”

Their findings coincide with three previous surveys calling for a slowdown sometime in the next two years:

  1. The Pulsenomics Survey of Market Analysts
  2. The Wall Street Journal Survey of Economists
  3. The Duke University Survey of American CFOs

That raises the question: Will the real estate market be impacted like it was during the last recession?

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. According to the dictionary definition, a recession is:

“A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”

During the last recession, prices fell dramatically because the housing collapse caused the recession. However, if we look at the previous four recessions, we can see that home values weren’t negatively impacted:

  • January 1980 to July 1980: Home values rose 4.5%
  • July 1981 to November 1982: Home values rose 1.9%
  • July 1990 to March 1991: Home values fell less than 1%
  • March 2001 to November 2001: Home values rose 4.8%

Most experts agree with Ralph McLaughlin, CoreLogic’s Deputy Chief Economist, who recently explained:

“There’s no reason to panic right now, even if we may be headed for a recession. We’re seeing a cooling of the housing market, but nothing that indicates a crash.”

The housing market is just “normalizing”. Inventory is starting to increase and home prices are finally stabilizing. This is a good thing for both buyers and sellers as we move forward.

Bottom Line

If there is an economic slowdown in our near future, there is no need for fear to set in. As renowned financial analyst, Morgan Housel, recently tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

Oregon passes new STATE WIDE rent controls

by Rob Levy

It's done.... Oregon today became the first and ONLY state in the USA to pass STATE WIDE rent controls.  The new law which took effect immediately today when signed create significant restrictions on property owners.  The law while not quite as bad as it looks has some specific rules and many unintended consequences, one of which (speaking as a top Realtor for over 30 years) that I see coming is property owners selling their single family home rentals, and with our prices as high as they are the buyer most likely will purchase for their own use, not as a rental.  Therefore there will be fewer rentals, which will mean higher rents.   Property owners, be sure to check and see where your rents are in comparaison to market rents. If you get behind and then see increased expenses such as higher taxes, garbage rates, water/sewer etc, you may not be ever able to recouperate those fees unless you keep your rents now at near market rate.  You can check out the post link here which goes over all the rules in Oregon senate bill 608.

Portland's Hottest Neighborhoods in 2018

by Rob Levy

Here it is again, the Portland Business Journal's hottest neighborhoods for 2018.  This also includes the Vancouver, Washington area and it's local communities.  

There are some predictable results here, and some surprises.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

You can read the entire article online by CLICKING HERE.

Portland Real Estate Update Feb '19

by Rob Levy

The Portland area real estate market sure changed in January of this year!  New listings were more than double those in December, 2018 and up 22.6% over January of 2018.  As of January 31st there were 3,048 new listings.  Also Pending sales surged 27.9% ahead of December, with 2,311 offers accepted by sellers.  For Closed Sales, there were only 1,451 which was down 21.4% over December and 10.9% over January of last year. Inventory rose in January to 3.3 months with a total marketing time of 76 days. 

The average sales price in Portland Metro (tri county area and not Washington) is now $452,200 which represents an increase in price of 5.2%.  So the aveage homeowner gained almost $10,000 in eqiuty last year!  You can download the entire 7 page report (courtesy RMLS) by CLICKING HERE.

Our featured home of the month this month is a Grant Park area bungalow with a full finished attic and a full unfinished basement. The main level has gleaming hardwoods, a newere granite island kitchen and muhc more.  The walk score is 89 and bike score of 93 which represent its stellar location close in NE Portland.  You can see the home by CLICKING HERE

Caity, Munir and I look forward to helping you with your real estate needs, please call or email us with any referrals you may have.  We have been one of Portland's leading Real estate teams since 1988 now and would love to help.

Portland Real Estate Update January '19

by Rob Levy

Well, the final numbers are in for 2018 and the Portland area fared quite well, despite a year end slowdown that was much bigger than normal.  For the year ending December 31st, 2018, the average sales price of all Metro Portland area homes ended up 5.5% over 2017 with the average sales price being $452,400 (compared to $428,700 at the end of 2017).  By the same comparison, the median sales price rose 5.3% from $379,900 to $400,000 even.  This was as closed sales decreased by 5.9% to 29,771 closed home sales.

Obviously the local areas all fared differently, for instance Lake Oswego's average sales price is now $676,200 with Bethany (North of 26) coming in at $532,900.  SW Portland ended up at $612,700 and SE at $419,100 and NE at $469,300.

You can download the entire 7 page report (courtesy RMLS) byCLICKING HERE.

Our featured home of the month this month is a "wall home" in coveted Forest Hills, super close to 217 and 26 intersections, next to Cedar Hills.  This home is almost 3,000SF, has a master on the main floor, 4 bedrooms and an in-ground heated pool too!  You can see the home by CLICKING HERE

Portland Oregon Real Estate Update / November 2018

by Rob Levy

The Portland, Oregon real estate market's latest stats are in for October, 2018 courtesy RMLS.  The local market continues to cool somewhat with new listings down 14% over September, which was also down 14.4% over August.  Pending sales (homes with an agreed upon sales contract, but not yet closed) were up 0.5% over September, but September was also down some 10.5% over August.  Closed sales for October (which in most cases went pending in September) improved 7.4% over September when they were down a whopping 23.4% over August so thats some good news!  Inventory crept up to 53 days average selling time although we and othere top local Realtors are seeing a steady increase, especially over about $400,000 in home value.

Comparing 2018 with 2017 so far, the average sales price is up 5.6% from $429,900 to $453, 600.   To see the FULL 7 page reportCLICK HERE!

Our featured home of the month is a terrific single level home in the Garden Home area.  Built in 1992 this home features wood and laminate floors, lots of vaulted ceilings, open and bright kitchen, living room AND family room with fireplace and on a large corner lot minutes from downtown Portland and Beaverton.  Check it out by CLICKING HERE

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 300