Thursday, April 12, 2012

How's the Market?

RMLS just released their stats for March 2012, and I like what I see.  We continue to see an increase in both pending and closed sales in relation both to the previous month and the same month a year ago.  Prices are bumping along with nominal increases or decreases depending on exactly where one is looking.

For the Portland metro area, there were 12.8% more accepted offers in March of 2012 than in March 2011, and 7.7% more than February 2012.  And in closed sales, there were 4.9% more than March 2011 and 34.2% more than in February 2012.  Our listing inventory, the number of houses on the market, is LOW. It would take only five months to sell the active listings at our current rate of sale.  This is the lowest inventory since June 2007.

As for pricing, it is useful to look at the most recent quarter, compared with the same quarter of 2011.  The average sales price declined less than one half percent to $251,700, and the median price decreased 1.4%  compared to the first quarter of 2011, to a median price of $212,000.  Commiserate with declining inventory, our average market time has fallen from 165 days in the first quarter of 2011 to 135 days in the first quarter of 2012.

In our office, we have seen a HUGE increase in business.  One of our agents has had three new listings all get pending sales in their first three days on the market.  Holy Cow!  This kind of speed and pressure aren't always my favorite.  I like an active market, but buyers often feel pressed to make quick buying decisions or risk losing out.  If you're curious what your home might be worth, get in touch as I'd be more than glad to update your market analysis.

The Portland area RMLS market report.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Have you seen Car2go?

I'm seeing those cute little smart cars all over town...on the eastside, that is.  Car2go has made quite an entrance considering they just started here YESTERDAY!  While this looks like competition for zipcar, the business model is a bit different.  Car2go is a membership organization that charges based on usage and fees. pick up and leave cars where you like, within the service area (inner eastside and a bit of the westside).  No need to leave it in a designated spot or return it to where you found it.  Car2go's website says you simply leave it in a legal parking spot.

There is a $35 registration fee, and the basic cost is 35 cents a mile, with a maximum of $65.99 per day.  This fee includes gas, parking, gps, maintenance and cleaning.  The nice thing is no designated return times, you just get in and drive off.  This sounds great, until I've been planning on using car2go and can't find a car.  Not to worry, their mapping function shows where cars are currently located.   There is also a "stopover" function to prevent someone else from getting in and driving off if you are still using the car.

I think this is kind of cool, though I wonder how many different versions of car sharing Portland can support.  And I find it interesting that we now have at least two care sharing options and no major bike sharing options.  hmm.