Foreclosures and Short Sales in Portland: Dropping Fast

foreclosures in portland

Home shoppers intent on snagging a deal on a short sale or foreclosed property in the Portland area had better act fast. Recent reports indicate that the number of new listings coming on the market is shrinking, while low inventory and rising home prices indicate that the supply of distressed properties won’t last forever.

Quick refresher: A short sale is a way for the home owner to avoid foreclosure by selling the home for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. An REO property is one that has already been foreclosed upon and is owned by a bank or lender.

Here are three reasons that it won’t pay to wait when it comes to nailing a deal on a home or property in the Portland area that is either a short sale or REO.

1. Shrinking inventory
According to a recent RMLS report, in the past three months, only 8% of new listings coming on the Portland real estate market were REOs or short sales. Compare that to just a little while ago in the first quarter of 2013, when REOs and short sales made up more than 13% of the total new listings in Portland.

2. Improving economy
This week, the Oregonian reported that the number of foreclosures in the Portland area has held steady, and only 2.39 percent of homes are in foreclosure, about the same percentage as last month.
According to the article, “A stronger employment picture has helped keep people from falling newly into foreclosure, while an improving housing market has put struggling homeowners in a better position to sell their home.”

3. Rising home prices
The improvement in the Portland housing market is evident in this month’s Market Action Report from the RMLS. The number of home sales was down slightly from last month, but still doing better than this time last year. The number of days on market continues to drop – now down to 70. Inventory also continues to be low. Rising average sales prices for a home in the Portland metro area are another reason to act quickly. According to the RMLS, last month it was $269,000, but this month it’s $272,000 – that’s 12% more than it was a year ago.

It’s true that buying a Portland short sale or REO can be complicated and that these properties may need a little bit more work than your average non-distressed property. Your Portland real estate agent will negotiate not just with the seller but also the bank or other lender, usually resulting in a longer than average closing time. On the other hand, many Portland home buyers find great deals on REOs and short sales and find it worth the extra effort and time. Just be sure to choose a Short Sale and Foreclosure Certified Agent such as myself to help you through the process – there’s no time to waste!

July 30, 2013

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
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