November Real Estate Market: Low inventory, more pending
The numbers are out for the Portland real estate market this November. How did we do? The RMLS report shows the expected seasonal slowdown, with fewer new listings than in October, as well as a decline in pending and closed sales.
The good news is that these numbers are, for the most part, better than they were a year ago in November 2013. Particularly, closed sales were up 6.4% over last year, and pending sales were 14.4% higher! Inventory remains low, as it has all year, and there was no boost in new listings this November to help — in fact, new listings of Portland homes actually decreased 2.7% from last November.
Usually, we say low inventory in a real estate market is a good thing because buyers are hungry for homes and with more competition, prices can rise. In fact, this has been true — the average and median home price has gone up over the last year with the tight inventory. We can also look at the same figures between just October and November of 2014 and see that when inventory increased (from 2.8 in October to 3.2 in November) the median sales price went down (from 289,000 in October to 287,000 in November).
However, higher prices and fewer homes to choose from is obviously not a good thing for Portland home buyers. If you’re looking for a home in a given price range and there simply isn’t much to look at in the market, you might just put the search on hold until inventory rises again. On the other hand, if you’re selling a home in Portland and your home is priced to sell, this is a good time to be on the real estate market!
Let’s look at those pending sales numbers again. In November alone, 2,091 home sales in Portland were pending, meaning the offer had been accepted by the seller and the sale was in the closing process. For all of Portland, that’s a 14.4% improvement over last year, but there was much sharper improvement in certain suburbs. Gresham-Troutdale and Lake Oswego-West Linn saw pending sales increase by more than 30 percent over the previous year.
Next month we’ll take a closer look at the RMLS numbers for the entire year, and get a sense of what Portland home and neighborhoods are moving the quickest.
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