Portland Real Estate Market Action Report – Feb. 2012

Introduction: This post analyzes the RMLS Market Action Report for Metro Portland for February 2012. 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 February 2012 or to view the Archives.

Narrative: The “February Residential Highlights” section addresses changes between February 2011 and February 2012. Closed sales are up 17.5%, pending sales are up 32.5%, and new listings were reduced by 13.6%. This year’s inventory is 6.5 months (last year was 10.9, last month was 7.0). This is the lowest point in February since 2007.

With closed sales, the year-to-year percentage change saw the Metro Portland market rise 4.3% on average sale price and fall 1.3% on median sale price. The month-to-month indicators show that the average price rose 2.4% and the median sales price went up 1.7% from last month.

The inventory absorption figure is 7.0 months, still much lower than January (11.3) and February (10.9) of 2011. Last year, inventory was 10.9 months. A portion of this year’s decrease is due to the reduction in new listings and the boost in closed sales. We’re nearly 1/2 the inventory levels from two years ago (12.9 months).

Interest rates fluctuated between 3.875% and 4.000% for a 30-year fixed, conforming loan (loan amount under $417,000). Rates are up just a shade in the 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 1.8% (from 3.1% last month), 5.7% (from 6.2%), and 7.8% (from 8.4%) and market times are 93, 104, and 114 respectively. All three are below the regional average of 137 days.

You can see more activity here than other areas. For example, North Portland had 59 closed sales and 275 active listings (21.5% closed (13.5% last month)). NE was 145/538 (27.0% (23.7% last month)) and SE was 163/783 (20.8% (21.1% last month)).

Other Areas: The West Side (148) includes all NW and SW Portland. It is off 4.4% (5.5% last month) with a market time of 209 (166 last month). Lake Oswego/West Linn (147) is DING DING DING – UP 0.4% (down 1.3% last month) with market times of days 152 (176 last month). The West Side had 133 closings and 884 active listings (15.0% (13.9% last month)), while Lake O had 62/572 (10.8% (12.7% last month)).

Absorption: The absorption rates indicate that N (4.7 months), NE (3.7), and SE (4.8) are all well below the Metro average of 6.5 months of inventory. NW/SW (6.6) is slightly above the average and Lake O/West Linn (9.2) is 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.