Portland Real Estate Market Action Report Dec. 2011

Introduction: This post analyzes the RMLS Market Action Report for Metro Portland for December 2011. I use the first two pages because they contain uniform, meaningful information. Below the images are my comments. Click here to view the full MAR December 2011 or to view the Archives.

Narrative: The “December Residential Highlights” section addresses changes between December 2010 and December 2011. Closed sales are up 10.3%, pending sales are up 19.3%, and new listings were reduced by 11.7%. This year’s inventory is 5.3 months (last year was 7.9, last month was 6.2).

With closed sales, the year-to-year percentage change saw the Metro Portland market fall 6.2% on average sale price and 5.8% on median sale price. The month-to-month indicators show that the average price went up 0.5% and the median sales price went up 3.7% from last month.

The inventory absorption figure is 5.3 months, still much lower than January (11.3) and February (10.9) of this year. Last year, we were at 7.9 months. A portion of this year’s decrease is the reduction in new listings. We’re below the inventory levels from two years ago (7.7 months).

Interest rates again dipped below 4.000% for a 30-year fixed, conforming loan (loan amount under $417,000). Rates fluctuated, in the last month, but are a little lower than last month.

On the second page, some close-in areas are still off on a year-to-year basis. N (area 141), NE (142), and SE Portland (143) are off 3.6% (from 4.4% last month), 5.8% (from 5.2%), and 9.7% (from 9.5%) and market times are 90, 139, and 112 respectively. All three are below the regional average of 142 days.

You can see more activity here than other areas. For example, North Portland had 66 closed sales and 303 active listings (21.8% closed (19.6% last month)). NE was 162/594 (27.3% (20.2% last month)) and SE was 199/807 (24.7% (20.2% last month)).

Other Areas: The West Side (148) includes all NW and SW Portland. It is off 6.2% (4.1% last month) with a market time of 166 (131 last month). Lake Oswego/West Linn (147) is off 1.4% (3.3% last month) with market times of days 165 (179 last month). The West Side had 190 closings and 929 active listings (20.5% (14.6% last month)), while Lake O had 104/601 (17.3% (15.1% last month)).

Absorption: The absorption rates indicate that N (4.6 months), NE (3.7), and SE (5.1) are all below the Metro average of 5.3 months of inventory. NW/SW (4.9) is below average and Lake O/West Linn (5.8) is just above average.

The data continues to show that Portland Metro’s many areas are performing at different paces. Each of these areas can be broken down into sub-areas (e.g., neighborhoods, zip codes, school districts) that have different pricing, market times, and absorption rates.

Those are my “highlights” and analysis on this month’s report. If you would like a report from another area or if you have questions about this report, please call or e-mail. You can view more information on specific neighborhoods on my BIGHAT homepage or on posts to my neighborhood landing pages for Beaumont, Irvington, Grant Park, Hollywood, Alameda, and Laurelhurst. You can also search all homes for sale in Metro Portland on an Interactive Map.

About the Author | Jack Kearney

Jack Kearney is a principal real estate broker with M Realty. He is a former tax and real estate attorney, who would like to put all of his skills and knowledge to work for you.