Portland Real Estate Market News: Busy, Snowy February 2014

portland real estate market

RLMS Market Action report for the Portland Metro Area, released this week, focused on February’ highlighted the number of closed sales in February, a whopping 1,467. According to the report, this was the best February in the Portland real estate market for closed sales since 2007.

What does that mean? The average time on the Portland real estate market right now is 100 days, so it’s safe to say that it was a good winter for Portland home sales. Deals that were made in January, December, even November, closed last month and 1,467 happy home buyers and sellers went their separate ways.

Following these leading numbers was the news that new transactions didn’t happen as prodigiously in February as they did the months before. There were fewer accepted offers and new listings for Portland homes in February as compared to the previous month and a year prior. Inventory remained low at 3.9, compared to 4.5 a year ago and 6.5 the year before that.

Are these reasons to worry about the health of the Portland real estate market? Not at all. Here’s another number: 8. That’s how many inches of snow we received from February 6th – 9th in the Portland area! While everyone focused on digging themselves out, Portland real estate activity dropped. It’s true: The RMLS noted a 36% drop in the number of times real estate agents accessed lockboxes on Portland homes that week!

No doubt, spring weather will bring buyers, sellers and Realtors out again to give the market a boost. More inventory certainly wouldn’t hurt, though, according to the Oregonian.
With 5,752 homes on the market at the end of February, inventory is at 3.9 months, meaning that if no new homes came on the real estate market, Portland would be sold out of its inventory of homes in just under four months. The Oregonian put the ideal inventory level at 6 months. Anything less, and high demand for homes drives up prices.

That’s good news for sellers. In February, the median sale price in the Portland real estate market was $279,000, 15.3 percent more than a year ago and up 5.3 percent from January. Underwater homeowners may be able to take advantage of the higher prices to avoid foreclosure and get their home on the market.

Meanwhile, many buyers are waiting for more homes to enter the market and bring prices back down. That’s likely to happen as the Portland area thaws and homes are listed for the summer sales season.

Meanwhile, congratulations to the 1,467 home buyers who closed a sale in Portland this month! Portland home sellers, get your home on the market soon to retain the maximum value. Not sure where to start? Contact your Portland real estate agent for friendly advice.

March 15, 2014

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

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