According to the most current RMLS Market Watch Report for January 2016 the current Portland Metro area inventory is 1.6 months. This is a significant decrease from 2015 when the January inventory was 3.4. or the inventory of January 2014 which was 4.1.
But exactly what does this number mean for consumers in the housing market? Low inventory creates competition which drives up prices creating a seller’s market. Over the past several months we have seen media coverage reporting housing prices are on the rise and buyers are being outbid by the competition. The Hawthorne Neighborhood in Portland even made national news being named one of the top neighborhoods in the nation due to the demand for housing. Many agents have noted on social media and on real estate blogs that buyers are being outbid and homes are going for 10’s of thousands of dollars over asking price. More than once recently I have heard experienced realtors comment, “the current housing market is not for the faint of heart.”
Knowing that inventory is low, competition is fierce, and rental prices on the rise what is a home buyer to do? Now more than ever it is essential that you have a trusted real estate professional on your side. Unlike the Portland Metro housing market of years past, a person hoping to buy a home will not simply write an offer and negotiate through the transaction. It is likely they may need to submit numerous offers before beating out the competition.
Considering buying a home, don’t shy away from home buying, but come to the market prepared. First and foremost find a real estate professional you trust. Home buyers in this market need an advocate who will take the time to understand their needs. Buyers will need an effective communicator who is organized and on top of this fast paced market. Because of the lack of inventory and fast paced movement of sales it is important that buyers have come to market ready. Prior to home shopping have a pre-approval in hand from your lender, research your preferred location, research the schools, parks, or other elements of consideration prior to your move, and finally communicate these needs with real estate broker prior to heading out to search. Homes are selling in days rather than weeks. There is no time to waste!
Another interesting question in this hot seller’s market is why is the inventory continuing to stay low? If prices are high and demand is higher why aren’t more home owners placing their homes on the market? Simply put, where will these home sellers go? It is likely if their home has been cleaned and prepped for sale and it is priced right it will sell in a matter of days. Then what? The seller now becomes the buyer and has to brave this highly competitive market. This keeps home owners leery and hesitant.
Home owners who are considering selling, now is the time. You will benefit from the current market prices and lack of competition. Sellers currently have the upper hand in the market. Partner with your real estate professional when selling your home, let buyers know that the sale of your home is dependent upon you finding a replacement home, request a long closing period, or include a rent back option in your sales agreement. There are options out there to make a home sale less stressful in this market.
Inventory is the key. The Portland Metro Area housing market needs more homes for sale. If you have considered selling reach out to a real estate professional today for guidance. Braving the buying market? It will be okay. Do your homework, arm yourself with a great broker, and buckle up for ride. Home ownership is worth it in the end.
The team at Willner Properties is here to help. Please feel free to email or call us anytime.