Thereâ€™s an oft-quoted saying: â€œThere are lies, there are d*** lies and then there are statistics.â€ (For some background on that quote, check out this link: http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/lies.htm
The 9% decline figure is elusive to me. However, whatever the figure and source, home prices in the Portland area, according to the highly regarded S&P/Case-Schiller Report, showed a 4.7% decline April-to-April: http://www2.standardandpoors.com/spf/pdf/index/CSHomePrice_R
But, hereâ€™s the rub: that report covers a 7-county metropolitan statistical area. Using those statistics alone to make a real estate decision would be like planning a winter hike on Mt Hood based on the 7-county average temperature for that day.
Tom Inglesby quoted some good RMLS figures in a previous post that show a stronger market than the Case/Schiller report. He also made some good points on the strength of the close-in market and the cost effect of rising interest rates.
However, your question is more about market timing and the future. And predicting the short-term future in real estate is as difficult as predicting Portlandâ€™s weather.
Short answer: itâ€™s always the right time to buy the right house. Butâ€¦whatâ€™s the right house?
In my opinion, if you want to increase downside protection, buy quality of location. This means buying a home in an area where inventory levels are low and values have held up. Within those areas, look for homes in a price range where inventory levels are also low. Some areas of close-in Eastside Portland match these criteria pretty well.
A good agentâ€™s help is invaluable, especially in this market. They know the strong pocket markets in the area. And they should be able to provide you with market date similar to this: http://www.trendgraphix.com:80/ORE/charts/721272137214721572
(If youâ€™re into market statistics, check out this page on my website: http://edburnham.mywindermere.com/index.cfm?fuseAction=conte
Most important, your agentâ€™s familiarity with the area will help you sort the wheat from the chaff in the listings. They will also provide you the data on comparable homes and the market knowledge you need to determine a good offering price.
Finally, the best general advice I ever got: Take the long-term view. Donâ€™t try to time the market. If the deal seems too good to be true, it is.
Get a good mortgage lender, a good agent and get started!
Happy home hunting!
Ed Burnham, Real Estate Broker
Windermere/Cronin & Caplin Realty Group, Inc
825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 120
Portland, OR 97232
Visit my website: http://www.edburnhamhomes.com