Well, it’s the same old story… “Will somebody take my money?” Inventory continues to drag along the bottom, while buyers fight to take advantage of low interest rates and put an end to what for many has been months of fruitless searching. In one case, I have been working for a client for more than two years with no luck yet. I spoke with a peer in the industry just yesterday, and she said she has encouraged her clients to “stop looking at the new inventory and start scouring the old stuff for one that slipped through the cracks.” Desperate times… I still believe in fighting for the good inventory whenever it hits the market!
An interesting side story is the impact low inventory is having on the building industry. Nearly half of the transactions Redfin Portland has represented this year have been new construction. There has always been an infill home popping up here and there, but big builders like Renaissance (with their Vintage Series) and Everett Homes (spin-off from one of the owners of Arbor) are now buying up lots all over the city. I spoke with Randy Sebastian (Renaissance Homes) who said they have wait lists in some areas. Folks are biding time until a lot becomes available in their area.
Here’s a more in-depth look at what’s happing around the market:
Inventory hits (another) low:
While some markets around the country saw the inventory slide stop (or at least slow), that’s not happening here in Portland. It’s hitting all types of homes: Single-family homes for sale were down 5.2% since January and 36.6% since February last year. Condos: Down 2.3% month over month and 38.5% year over year. Townhouses have taken the biggest beating of them all: There were 16.4% fewer townhouses on the market than in January and 47.4% fewer than February 2011.
The number of homes sold was also on an upswing, up 16.1% for the month and 19.5% since February 2011.
Where are the Homes in Portland?
The inventory shortage is all over Portland, but it’s hitting some areas harder than others. Below are all the areas and neighborhoods in Portland with 50 or more homes for sale on the last day of February. The year-over-year change is strong evidence of the shortage. Lots of double-digit declines there, but month-0ver-month is more of a mixed bag.
Prices up for the second straight month:
Median sale price for single-family homes in Portland have been a rollercoaster for the last year, but they were positive again in February, up 1.8% for the month and 8.9% for the year. Condos were not so lucky. Median price was up 4.4% for the month, but still down a big 35.8% for the year.