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Janeese Jackson's Blog

By Janeese Jackson | Broker in Portland, OR

July 2013 Portland Metro Real Estate Update!!

"Summertime" - Norah Jones

Yummmmm….welcome to summertime in Oregon!  And, the livin’ is definitely easy!!  We had an unusually early start to our summer weather and we’re not complaining (most of the time).  So, perhaps, outdoor activities have superseded house-hunting as I’ve experienced a tiny bit of cooling in the market?  In my book, it may not be a bad thing as nothing good ever comes out of offering up your first born to get a house!!!  Closed sales decreased 6.4% this month compared to last month but still showed an increase of 11.9% over last June’s numbers!!  New listings also increased slightly from last month, which may account for the increase in inventory from our low of 2.5 months of inventory last month to 2.9 months of inventory in June.  Average total market time is 70 days. But, that takes into account all price ranges and all areas.  Some areas (priced correctly and staged properly) will have a market time of 24-hrs and time on the market can expand out from there due to a variety of factors. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would keep interest rates at near zero levels even after unemployment falls to 6.5%.  The Fed HAD said that once unemployment reach 6.5%, that would indicate the need for the first rate hike.  As is often the case, we just don’t know about interest rates.  As a side note, I do want to make everyone aware of the continuously resurfacing threat to our mortgage tax deduction. READ MORE HERE!!

BUYERS:  so, what does this mean for buyers?  Interest rates have been on the rise but it’s anybody’s guess what will happen next.  Historically speaking, they are still VERY low.  I guess I’m just not the gambling sort, so if I was close to being ready to buy…I’d ramp it up a bit and not take a chance on interest rates taking me out of the game or increasing what I’d have to pay to get the same home.

SELLERS:  so, what does this mean for sellers?  There is still a shortage of inventory, so you are in the “driver’s seat”.  However, as always, getting it priced right makes me bolt up in bed in the middle of the night.  I wish it was an exact science, but anyone that tells you it is, is fooling himself or herself and you!  I rely on comparable data and my gut, but can still be off by a bit one way or the other!!  When it comes to selling homes, "the devil is in the details"!

INVESTORS:  so what does this mean for investors?  It is still an excellent market for the small investor with excellent benefits (if you can find a place).  The rental market in the greater Portland metro area is tight, tight and tight!!  The Census Bureau numbers show Portland metro rental vacancy rate at 3.3%, tied with Grand Rapids, MI for the tightest rental market among the nation’s 75 largest metro areas.  And, MSN Real Estate listed Portland as one of the 10 Cities where rents will rise the most in 2013!  Thus, if you can get pre-approved for a mortgage, prevail in finding the right investment, win in a (possibly) multiple offer situation and close the escrow, you will have no problem finding a great renter and have plenty of choice!!

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