On T.V. there is a never ending supply of news stories about the horror that is the real estate market. Except that the P.S. of all these stories seems to be the areas and cities that seem to be weathering the storm. Portland is one of these cities. In fact, the slow down here has just brought us back down to what would considered a "normal" year.
To give you an idea of the ups and downs, in January of 2000 there was 10 months of inventory (number of months it would take to sell all homes currently listed) available in Portland. 2005 saw 2.2 months of inventory while October 2006 was 4.6. Back to present day, October of this year was back up to 8.4 months of inventory, quite the roller coaster.
Ken Gertz of Gertz Construction said he's always measured the housing market by whether his service providers are calling asking for work. When the framers, electricians and concrete specialists are begging for a gig, things are slow. That just is not the case right now.
There are many factors keeping us afloat. Our urban growth boundary limits our sprawl into adjacent rural areas. That helps prevent housing gluts like they have in Boise and Las Vegas. It also helps keep value in the homes that are already within the urban and suburban areas. This keeps the supply and demand from getting lopsided. There is also a continuing stream of people moving here from out of state, interest rates are remaining low and job growth remains strong.
All those builders who bought up land like crazy thinking they were getting in on the housing craze are now stuck. In todays market the key is to make your listing interesting, compelling and strategic. Builders now need to focus on what is selling houses right now. I personally think the move from quality versus quantity is a good one.
The main point is that housing in Portland is still a good investment.
The Oregonian - Southwest Weekly - Thursday, December 6, 2007 - Cover storyPLEASE CHECK OUT OUR NEW PODCAST ON THE HOMEPAGE OF OUR WEBSITE www.TonyandLibby.com