As you might imagine, I get asked that question A LOT.
The market is mixed, and has been for a few months. I think we must be bumping along the bottom, sort of like a plane trying to take off. Some factors in the market are giving us some "lift", where as others pull us down.
In comparing September 2011 to September 2010, things are looking up. Both closed and pending sales are up, 13.4% and 17.5 % respectively. Month to month, August 2011 to September 2011, both closed and pending sales are down, 12.1% and 14.9% respectively. This month to month decrease in sales activity is to be expected due to seasonal changes.
Prices though, are down both when we look from last year to this year, with the average price at $268,200 down from $284,000 in September 2010, and when we look to last month, with the average sales price at $268,200 down from $271,800 last month.
Inventory, how many houses we have to sell, is measured by how long it would take, at our current rate of sales, to sell the properties currently on the market. We're at 6.7 months now, and have bumped along between 6.0 and 7.2 months since March. This level of inventory is considered to be low.
Market time, the average of how long it is taking properties to sell, is at 131 days, exactly what it was last year. Hmm.
So how is the market? Well, that depends. If you are buying right now, it is pretty good. Prices and interest rates are down, but so is inventory, so finding what you want is the trick. If you are a seller, prices are actually fairly stable, market times not TOO long and the low interest rates do have a fair number of buyers in the market. If you are an investor, now is a great time to buy, see above about low prices and interest rates. If you are a renter...good luck. Rents are on the rise and landlords of desirable properties are being overwhelmed with applications.
Read the Portland area report here.