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.
Residential real estate sales tick up in several areas, inventory down
This month’s RMLS™ Market Action report showed a trend of increasing real estate sales & subsequently lower housing inventory in many areas of Oregon & Southwest Washington.
Closed sales rose in the following areas this month, compared to the same month in 2008:
|Curry County, Oregon
|Columbia Basin, Oregon
|Lane County, Oregon
|Clark County, Washington
|Portland Metro, Oregon
Third Quarter Sales Up:
September marked the end of the third quarter and compared to Q3 in 2008, Coos County, Curry County, Douglas County, Lane County, Portland and Clark County all saw sales outpace Q3 in 2008. Clark County led the pack at a clip of 18.7%.
Ten of eleven areas that we cover in the Market Action report saw housing inventory drop from August. This can be attributed to rising sales in several areas and as we head into the slower fall & winter seasons, fewer homes are being listed as well.
Both the Portland and Clark County areas saw inventory drop to 7.6 months. Lane County has the lowest inventory of the areas we cover at 6.8 months.
We released the latest Market Action reports to RMLS™ subscribers yesterday. Many areas of Oregon and Southwest Washington are showing improvement as far as sales and inventory go – here are a few highlights:
Portland Metro Active Listings: Note how the 2009 line is basically flat.
Inventory: Inventory is showing steady improvement in Portland (7.3 months), Clark County (7.3 months), and Lane County (6.2 months). In most circles, 6 months of supply is considered a balanced market. The drop in inventory comes thanks to strong closed sales, but also because the number of active listings is growing at a much slower pace than usual.
Closed sales: The Portland metro area was finally able to post a gain in same-month closed sales for the first time since April 2007. Closed sales were up 8.6% compared to last July. Clark County posted a gain for the second straight month – closed sales were up 23.5% there. Lane County also posted an 11% gain. Baker County, Curry County, Douglas County, and the Mid-Columbia region also saw growth.
Clark Co. Pending Sales: Oh, so close to reaching July 2007 levels.
Pending sales: Same-month pending sales in Clark County grew for the fourth month in a row at 30.3%. In fact, Clark County pending sales not only surpassed July 2008 levels, but they came close to hitting July 2007 levels. With the exception of the Mid-Columbia region and Union County, same-month pending sales grew in all of our primary service areas.
Downward trend continues
Comparing July 20, 2009 through August 2, 2009 the number of times RMLS™ subscribers opened Supra lockboxes decreased 15% in Washington and 5.4% in Oregon.
Click the chart for a larger view (Oregon, left; Washington, right)
View an archive of the Supra lockbox statistical reports on Flickr.
Short video shows why RMLS™ subscribers should keep their ActiveKEYs out of the heat this week
We’re going to have some serious heat in most of Oregon & Southwest Washington this week. As you try to stay cool in the hot weather, keep in mind this friendly ActiveKEY battery tip from Supra:
“Temperature extremes can affect battery performance. If the ActiveKEY is below 0° C (32° F) or above 40 ° C (104° F), it will not charge. During very cold or hot times of the year, bring your ActiveKEY in from your car at night and between showings.”
Also, watch this short video that poses the question – what happens when you leave an ActiveKEY, a frozen pizza and a frozen peanut butter cup in my 1997 Geo Metro that is parked in direct sunlight?
We filmed this a few weeks ago when it was up to about 94 degrees, so keep in mind that you might see more dramatic results in the next few days. Anyone have any other suggestions for things we should try to melt in my car?
PS: We really do recommend that you remove your key from your car if it’s going to be parked in the sun for a long time – especially for agents that go to our Portland office – because we currently have a limited supply of ActiveKEYs due to a parts shortage at Supra. If you do need to get a new ActiveKEY, please call ahead at 503-236-7657 to ensure that we have one available for you.