Thursday, November 14, 2013

Portland Housing Market Update

The October market stats are out from RMLS, with no particular surprises.  What I see as seasonal slowing  is evident in lower pending sales; down 4.2% from September 2013, and down 2.4% when compared with October 2012.   Closed sales did increase a bit;  1.4% from  September 2013, and 4.1% over October 2012.

Our market time got a tad longer in October; 76 days vs. 72days for September 2013.  In the fall, we see houses that didn't sell in the busy time sitting on the market, pushing the days on market higher.

The median home price for the first nine months of this year up 14.0 over the same period in 2012 to $265,000..

And inventory; measured by how long, at the current rate of sales, it will take to sell all the houses on the market, has decreased slightly from 3.7 months in September  2013 to 3.4 months in October 2013.   Remember, a balanced market; neither seller's nor buyer's market, is thought to be about 5 to 6 months of inventory.

I do believe  the government shut down in October slowed our market a bit.  The processing of some loans was hampered, and certainly folks who were furloughed weren't buying.

Call or email me if you have questions about your own real estate situation.  503-312-8038.

Read the full report for the Portland area.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Realtor protections of gender identity and sexual orientation

Yay!  As reported by Realtor Magazine, the National Association of Realtors' board of directors voted Monday to change our Realtor code of ethics to prohibit Realtor discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  This prohibition applies in situations involving consumers and potential employees.

Two years ago, a similar change added protections regarding sexual orientation to the National Association of Realtors' code of ethics.  Make note,  the Federal Fair Housing Act has yet to add these protections.

And nice that NAR's incoming, 2014 president, Steve Brown, is our organization's first openly gay president.  

Wait. I bet you didn't even know we have a code of ethics!  You can see the whole thing here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Compact florescents or LED light bulbs?

My husband works in energy efficiency programs for a local power company.  He mentioned the other day that some municipalities are seeing their per household electricity usage drop quicker than projected by energy efficiency experts.  Their numbers are fairly clean, so the addition of solar power so does not account for the discrepancy.

The power companies build in an expectation of how quickly households will move to more efficient products and methods; for example how quickly we'll move from compact florescent light bulbs to LED's  (or in previous years how quickly folks would adopt compact florescent bulbs over old fashioned incandescent light bulbs).

In some municipalities, households have moved more quickly, even by a number of years, to LED bulbs; many doing so for the whole dwelling, not just as bulbs need replacing.

We have moved to a few LED's and they are better suited to lights on dimmers.  Back in the day, we converted our whole house from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents.  This allowed us to accurately gauge the impact on our power bill.  We noticed a 25% reduction in our electricity usage (this was well before we got solar power).  But...our electricity usage is pretty low as it is. We have gas heat, hot water, cooking and clothes drying. Electricity powers our lights, fans, washing machine and electronics.

Have you started moving to LED bulbs ?  The whole house, or "as you go"?  A lot of people don't like the clod harsh light of some compact florescent bulbs.  Are you finding LED's preferable?

Oh, a few years ago, we did pick up LED lights for our Christmas tree. We liked the quality of the light, and the efficiency as they'd be left on for hours at a time.