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Melina Tomson's Blog

By Melina Tomson | Broker in Salem, OR
  • Salem Real Estate Market Report

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Salem  |  July 16, 2011 7:13 PM  |  1,842 views  |  No comments

    As you know if you read my post from last month, Salem was named one of the worst real estate markets in the country based on NAR real estate data.  You can read how I feel about their data in that post.  I won't rehash it here.  What I do want to talk about is the 2nd quarter data.  The monthly reports always have some swing in them since the data group is so small.  The more data we have the better quality the analysis I can do on those numbers in terms of trends.  Salem is trending towards some sort of stabilization here.

    Average real estate prices in Salem OregonAs you all know home prices have dropped oodles this year.  Yes, oodles is a statistically appropriate real estate term much like "needs a little TLC" means bulldoze the house.  Quarter over quarter from 2010, the median home price shifted downward 12.6% from 2010.  As I said in my rant post about the NAR before, this is entirely expected.  You can't prop up housing prices with the tax credit without consequences.    The market has dropped 26% since the peak, and we are essentially at 2004 home prices.  So what that means is if you bought your home in 2007 and put $30,000 of remodeling into it, you won't get it back.  Not even close.

    Homes sold in Salem OregonSo while that sounds like really horrible news, the good news is that inventory is currently at 10.7 months.  So if nothing else was put on the market, everything would be sold in 10.7 months.  Compare that with much of last year's 15 month inventory and that is a definite improvement.  21% of homes that sold in the second quarter were foreclosures.   Ugly, but I'll take it compared to some parts of California and Arizona.

    So the number of homes sold in the second quarter was down compared to last year, but it's that whole tax credit thing messing with the data again.  The 3rd quarter should show a big improvement from last year since all those summer buyers were shoved into the first two quarters.  Home sales are down 7% year to date from 2010, which is pretty good considering we don't have a $7500 incentive this year.   The other positive aspect to the market we are seeing is fewer homes being listed for sale.  The regular seller knows it is a tough market and the number of homes listed over last year dropped.  This has really helped our inventory start to come down.   This is a good thing, and I encourage sellers that are wanting a certain price in order to sell to stay off the market.  While we are seeing some initial signs of stabilization, this is by no means a "let's see if we get what we want" kind of market.

    This post was originally posted on Get Real Estate blog

  • First Quarter of real estate in Salem Oregon

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Salem  |  April 26, 2011 6:24 PM  |  1,815 views  |  No comments
    The first  quarter ended in the world of real estate.  I can tell you that personally I saw an increase in buyer activity on my listings and other agents reported the same thing.  The proof is always in the data though. 

    Salem had the best first quarter in three years in terms of home sales.  Supply met demand as home prices dropped this quarter and buyers responded. 

    You can read the March Salem market report

    The first quarter foreclosure report for Salem  and Keizer Oregon's market report for more details about what the local market is doing right now.
  • Salem real estate market conditions February 2011

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Salem  |  March 18, 2011 8:50 AM  |  1,845 views  |  No comments
    I could throw out some real estate cliches to start off my post, but I don't want to send your eyes rolling to the back of your head.  Really, it was the best February in the past three years for home sales in Salem Oregon.  I promise I won't spew out every other ad campaign created by the NAR meant to induce you into home ownership though.  I'll just give you the facts, and of course my opinions on them.
    Salem homes sold

    Most local agents will tell you that things have picked up early this year.  I am no exception.  It doesn't mean that the market has returned to a normal, healthy reasonable place, but it does mean that we are starting to see some signs of the market righting itself.  I don't see buyers being priced out anytime soon.  We have many years ahead to work our ways out of things, but we have some good signs that we might be at the bottom sometime later this year.  We do appear to be in the low, but not at the low.  A 13.5 month inventory of homes is still really high, so sellers need to be prepared for a long sale time on the market.

    You can read the rest of this article on The Get Real Estate Blog.

  • Salem real estate market was up in January

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Salem  |  February 14, 2011 9:47 PM  |  720 views  |  1 comment

    The sun was out.  There was glare in your eyes. Disorientation ensued.

    Pigs flew.   There is an ice dam on the river Styx.  There were locusts.

    I know I enjoyed our nice sunny weather that we had in some of January here in Salem. I'm thinking that some home buyers got out of their homes and decided it was time to take a look at some homes.  The seemingly impossible happened here in Salem Oregon this past month.

    Off to a nice start.

    Average and median home prices for Salem Oregon-Jan 2011I finally get to say that something went up instead of down. That's kind of cool!  The average and median home price was up this January 2011 compared to last January.    It wasn't a huge jump, just a mere 2%, but isn't nice to see some slowing down of home price declines.

    While, I still think the market will decline overall by year's end, a slowing of the decline and a flat line plateau would be a welcome sight to the Salem real estate market.

    Home sales in Salem Oregon for January 2011

    Home sales were up year over year as well.  This is consistent with my personal experience, as well as many agents that I talk with regularly that the real estate market has picked up really early this year.

    Interest rates took a small jump over the holidays and I think some buyers are worried about a large increase and are testing the waters early for real estate this year.

    Whether home buyers are feeling a bit more optimistic with the large price drops that have happened; interest rates jumping up just a tad; or the unemployment rate dropping in Salem, it's all good because the market didn't drop in January.

    I'll take it.  Now...anyone know how to catch a flying pig?

    This was originally posted on The Get Real Estate Blog.

    This data was crunched from information provided by the WVMLS and is based on single family, non acreage homes.

  • Keizer Oregon real estate market conditions

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Keizer  |  January 21, 2011 2:38 PM  |  546 views  |  No comments
    The talk around the real estate water cooler is pretty basic..."so what year are you at?"  Some cities are at 2001-2002 pricing, thankfully Keizer Oregon is not.  Real estate in Keizer took a header off the diving board in 2009 landing in a nice belly flop in 2010.2010 EOY Average Sales Price keizer

    The chart is pretty clear that the median and average home prices were almost identical to 2009 numbers.  The average home price dropped just 2.2% and the median shifted downward a mere 2.7%.   My guess was a 5% drop like Salem and I was wrong.  I guessed too high BUT I did qualify my guess last year with the fact that my crystal ball broke and I hadn't had any coffee yet before making that prediction.

    2010 EOY Listings sold Keizer

    Home sales in Keizer Oregon

    So what year is real estate at in Keizer?  Pretty close to 2005 levels.  So if you bought in 2005, you're about break even right now, statistically speaking.  The number of homes sold tells the story though.  Even though Keizer might be at 2005 pricing levels, sales aren't even close.  The number of homes sold continues to drop, and went down 4.9% from 2009.

    That's ugly.

    You can see that sales are about half of what they should be.  I think home sales will probably be about the same in 2011 or a bit higher.

    Foreclosures Keizer Oregon

    Foreclosures in Keizer Oregon

    With unemployment still high, and foreclosures still increasing in Keizer, the market will still have downward pressure on it for 2011.  Foreclosure notice filings were up 9.7% in Keizer in 2010 over 2009.

    You don't need my keen sense of analysis to tell you that isn't good, right?

    My predictions for next year...more of the same.  5% decline in home prices, and flat lined home sales.  This prediction is given with the following disclaimers:

    • I reserve the right to change my mind about my prediction at any time because I am a woman.  So sue me.
    • I make no guarantees about what you will see in these graphs if you went mushroom hunting in the Oregon forests and didn't run your mushrooms by the Forest Service.  Your bad.

    If you want to get on the list of foreclosures for Keizer Oregon, or if you want to buy something that doesn't involve a 12 page bank addendum, shoot me an email and I'm glad to help.

    The data used in this blog was generated from information provided by the WVMLS and Fidelity National Title Co.

  • Foreclosures in Salem Oregon 2010 in Review

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Salem  |  January 11, 2011 10:59 AM  |  451 views  |  No comments

    Foreclosures going up.  Foreclosures going down. What to believe?

    My advice?  Don't read the national media stuff regarding foreclosures.  What matters is what is happening here locally in Salem Oregon.  So, what's happening?

    Salem Oregon foreclosures

    Salem Oregon Foreclosures

    In 2010, the amount of notice of defaults filed with the county clerk's office dropped by 8.7% over 2009.  While, they are still running about 4 times normal, ANY kind of decline is a good thing in this particular market sector.

    The 4th quarter foreclosures dropped to 313 which is down from 4th quarter 09 by 38.5%.  There was a two week moratorium on filings by Fannie and Freddie for the holidays, but that wouldn't have a huge impact on these numbers.

    So, despite what you might have read regarding foreclosures, at least in Salem Oregon our numbers in 2010 were better than 2009.    It will still take several years ahead of us to work through all of this inventory, but at least we can say we are heading in the right direction.

    This was originally posted on the Get Real Estate Blog.

  • The Salem Oregon 2010 year in review

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Salem  |  January 9, 2011 8:37 PM  |  488 views  |  No comments
    Salem Oregon average home prices

    Home prices in Salem Oregon

    In January 2009,  I posted my predictions for real estate in Salem in 2010.  My guess?  Home prices would drop 5% in 2010.  The reality?  The average home price dropped 6.6% and the median shifted downward 6.1%.   Pffft.  I'm blaming the makers of Wheaties for not serving me breakfast in bed at a Holiday Inn Express.  Had that occurred, I would have come up with that extra 1%, and I could amaze you all my great predictive powers.  Alas, I merely had some green tea in Salem Oregon and we see where that landed me.

    Off by 1%.

    Homes sold and listed in Salem Oregon

    Inventory in Salem Oregon

    Inventory is an extremely important statistic in real estate because it is one of the closest measures we have in real estate to understanding supply and demand.  When we look at the number of homes listed in 2010 vs. the number that actually sold you can see the disparity between the two. Ideally the lines would run close together indicating a more healthy supply and demand curve.  In 2010, 40% of what was listed sold.  That is pretty grim.

    What does all this mean going forward?

    More blah.

    Here is my opinion. I am sure you will find some Salem real estate agent to give you a Pollyanna view of our market.  I've already established that she and I aren't really on speaking terms.   The market is still declining.  Not huge declines, but our unemployment remains in double digits in Salem with little to indicate that it isn't going to be hanging there for a while.  Our foreclosures, while they had been dropping, are still 4 times more than normal.  Our real estate market is still bowled over by excessive inventory.  All three of these factors are just going to continue to cause downward pressure on home prices over 2011.  If interest rates creep up, that will add more downward pressure.

    So, I'm predicting another 5% drop in home prices with a potential for up to 10% if interest rates creep up.  Realistically, I think 5-7% is more likely.  We've had this slow adjustment here in the Salem area, and I fully expect it to continue through 2011.

    This data was crunched from information derived from the WVMLS.  Data is for single family, non-farms, ranches, large acreage properties.

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