Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reversing the Decline

Real property sellers have held off for years; wanting to see a real estate value shift back to a market that supports them. The current market conditions show that shift is now.

I always tell sellers it is not the value of your home as much as the market setting a value. So, a home in a “Buyer’s Market” will usually sell for less than one sold in a “Seller’s Market”.

A Buyer’s Market means there are lots of properties available; more than 6 months of inventory. (At the height of the recession there were years of inventory available on the market.) A Seller’s Market means there is little inventory and less than 6 months of homes to sell. (Recently I have seen weeks of inventory versus months in some areas and price points.)

Right now we are in a “Balanced Market”, though this can change at any time. Basically, the level of inventory and absorption rate (how quickly you can expect the inventory to be sold) is what determines the type of market. Anytime you have about 5-7 months of inventory you could use the “Balance” descriptor. However, my take is we are almost always in a “Transitional Market” either moving through a balanced into a seller or buyer market. (Another good reason to use a professional real estate broker.)

As the levels in inventory increase/decrease seasonally and regionally we either increase in value or decrease in value. That said, what you may be able to sell for today is much improved from the previous 7+ years. Year over year improvements nationally are around 12%+ meaning the “appreciation” of the previous 12 months has exceeded the more typical 3-4% appreciation of a “normal market”.

In almost all areas rents are moving up and the shortage is as tight as recent memory. Mortgage interest rates may remain low for the short term, but new rules and more strict guidelines (some taking effect April 1st) will make the availability of loans perhaps costly and/or difficult as well. Therefore inventors, first-time home buyers, move up buyers and sellers should expect a reasonable return and a good investment return either in single family homes or multi-family.

As of 1/21/2014:
Lyons, Oregon = 9.3 months of inventory
Mill City, Oregon = 10.8 months of inventory
Stayton, Oregon = 4.7 months of inventory

Sublimity, Oregon = 2 months of inventory 

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