Buying or Selling a House with a Green Street Facility

The Pacific Northwest gets a lot of rain, and stormwater runoff can be challenging to manage. Many cities in the region are starting to build green street facilities in residential areas to reduce the risk of flooding and provide other benefits.

The City of Portland recently released a guide for REALTORS® and homeowners called “Buying or Selling a House with a Green Street Facility.” The guide outlines basic information about these facilities, including how to report a need for maintenance.

Additionally, the caretakers of these facilities remind REALTORS® and homeowners of the following:

• Place “for sale” signs in yards rather than green street facilties or between curbs and sidewalks.
• Inform clients that green streets are publicly owned stormwater management facilities.
• If a green street facility near a property on the market needs maintenance, contact the City of Portland.

Facilities like these exist outside of Portland as well—REALTORS® in other areas may equally benefit from reviewing these materials.

Florence, Oregon – Forests, Lakes and Rivers, Oh My!

Florence, Oregon – Forests, Lakes and Rivers, Oh My!

Florence sits at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on the central Oregon coast midway between Newport and Coos Bay.  The area offers an amazing array of outdoor recreation opportunities. There are sparkling lakes, a river, evergreen forests, the Pacific Ocean and sand dunes. Just north of town 40 miles of wind-sculpted dunes are part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This region offers everything from dune buggy tours, kayaking the river or ocean, riding horses on the beach, bird watching to hiking.

Old town Florence is located immediately east of Highway 101 and the historic Siuslaw River Bridge. Here visitors can find various shops including art galleries, restaurants, antiques, gifts, ice cream and other specialty foods.

RMLS™ is proud to have subscribers in Florence, Oregon and Lane County. Subscribers can contact Andrea Milbrett our Subscriber Relations Representative in the Florence RMLS™ office at 541-902-2560.

Insider’s tip:  Andrea recommends Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant in Florence directly north of the main intersection on Highway 101.

Photos courtesy of the Florence Chamber of Commerce.

RMLS Market Action – December 2009 Recap

RMLS Market Action – December 2009 Recap

Real estate activity in Oregon and SW Washington up in most RMLS areas

In the December 2009 RMLS™ Market Action report, sales activity was up in most areas that we cover, compared to December 2008. Though this is a positive sign, it should be taken with a grain of salt, because last December brought record lows for pending and closed sales in many areas.

Portland saw a 52.6% increase in closed sales this month and a 40.9% increase in pending listings, while Clark County closed sales were up 48.1%, and pending sales rose 33.8%. Baker County, Coos County, Curry County, Lane County, the Mid-Columbia region and Union County also saw both closed and pending sales increase over last December.

Sales volume down for the year in most areas

Given lower sales totals and lower prices, this should come as no surprise, but total sales volume for the year fell in most areas in 2009. Portland dropped from $6.3 billion in 2008 to $5.5 billion this year. Lane County was down from $740 million in 2008 to $669 million in 2009.

Notable, however, is an increase in sales volume in Curry County – up to $66 million this year from $59 million in 2008. And Clark County matched its total sales volume of $1.2 billion in 2008.

Year-end stats, Clark County shines

Clark County seems to be ahead of the pack when it comes to sales activity.  For the year, pending sales were up 19.5% and closed sales up 13.8% compared to 2008.  That’s far ahead of most areas; for example, in Portland, pending sales were up 4%, and closed sales were down 0.9%. Only Curry County outpaced Clark County in percentage of sales increase for 2009, with pending sales up 31.3% and closed sales up 23.7%.

However, the increase in sales has come at a price – Clark County saw the largest decrease (-12.6%) in median sale price for the 11 areas we cover.

94.6% of Homes Sold for Below $500k in Portland in November

94.6% of Homes Sold for Below $500k in Portland in November

RMLS Portland home sales by price range, November 2009

The original deadline for the homebuyer tax credit was November 30 and it appears that this may have had an effect on home sales in November. Homes that sold for $250,000 or below (likely the price range for many first-time buyers) made up 55.3% of all sales in Portland this November, which is up 10.3% compared to November 2008.

Below is a breakdown of sales by price range:

November 2009 RMLS Market Action Recap

November 2009 RMLS Market Action Recap

Sales up, but in comparison to a dismal month last November

The big highlight this month for many areas is a large jump in closed sales compared to last November. Curry County posted a 141.7% increase and Portland and Clark County set records for percentage increases in same-month sales at 72.4% and 70.5%, respectively.

While these stats are obviously a good sign for market activity, continue to keep in mind that last year we were at the height of the economic crisis and we hit some of the lowest points in sales totals in recent years. So, yes, sales are way up compared to last year, but remember that we’re comparing it to unusually low sales totals.

Has the winter slowdown arrived?
Closed sales had been on the rise in many key areas month-to-month through October, but it appears that the winter slowdown has arrived. Compared to this October, pending and closed sales were down in most areas, including Columbia Basin, Douglas County, Lane County, the Mid-Columbia region,  Portland and Clark County.

Inventory up
Inventory ticked up in every area except Curry County and Union County, however, most areas are well below last year’s inventory levels thanks to fewer listings entering the market and higher sales totals. For example, Portland’s inventory stands at 7.1 months – 53% less than last November’s 15 months of inventory.

FHA Loans Make Up 28% of Sales in Portland Metro Area

FHA Loans Make Up 28% of Sales in Portland Metro Area

Will new restrictions slow the increase in FHA popularity?

We all know that FHA Loans have increased in the past few years with the changing market, but how much? I recently ran some numbers on financial terms, a required field in RMLSweb, that may shed some light. These numbers are for the Portland metro area (Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties).

As you can see, sold listings with the financial terms “FHA” have increased in the RMLS Portland market area from just 1.2% in 2007 to 28.1% of sales through October 2009. These numbers are closely in line with national levels; a recent report stated that FHA loans are up to 30% this year from 3% in 2006.

Do you think we’ll continue to see FHA loans grow in popularity, or will it change if plans to make some FHA loans require a down payment higher than 3.5% go through? Realtors, let us know what you’re seeing out in the field – leave a comment below.