Portland Metro/Tigard Real Estate News

In this forum we will offer discussions on a wide variety of subjects, but focus on Portland Metro and real estate. Hopefully our insights and experiences will inform, educate, challenge and entertain our readers week after week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How We Will Know The Market Is Moving Back Up

Some say a recession is coming, depending on who you ask, it is already upon us. Some day the economy will improve again and it will be time to act accordingly, but how will we know when that is? Here are some key indicators from the housing market.

New Jobs vs. New Housing. In the past there was about one new home owner for every two new job openings. If your market has builders scaling back, like we do, but new jobs are still being created then at some point the builders will have to pick it back up to meet the new demand. That is a good sign that we are on our way back.

Fewer Builder Concessions. Times like these it is easy to get all kinds of free stuff and offers from home builders just trying to get rid of their abundance of inventory. Concessions like free mortgage payments and toasters are taken off the table once the economy picks up because people are going to buy anyway.

Months' Supply. A normal housing inventory in months is usually around six. This means that it takes about 6 months to sell all the houses that are currently on the market. At the end of '07 the nation was at 10 months and some areas of the country were much higher than that. When the inventory in your area starts coming down to more normal levels, good things are on the horizon.

Visitors Per Listing. It's Spring time and showings for home listings are naturally on the rise, but for this time of year it can still be considered pretty low on number of views. If showings, and length of showings, increase a noticeable amount we could be making a turn for the better. More showings means people are actually considering buying a new home, which usually indicates a general confidence in the economy.

Rising Apartment Rents. It is a great time to own an apartment building right now, or so I've been told. No one is buying and they seem to be able to charge anything they want for rent. Eventually it will go on too long or they will raise the rent too high and renters will start checking out some of those home listings.

Realtor Magazine - April 2008 - Page 21 - 5 Signs of a Housing Market Pickup


Friday, March 14, 2008

February Market Report

February Residential Highlights

Activity in the Portland metro area picked up over the last month, but remained slow when compared to February of 2007. The level of inventory also fell 2.4 months from its record high in January (12.8 months) despite an increase in the number of active listings. The decrease can be attributed to increased sales volume in February compared to January. The 14,407 active residential listings at the end of February would last approximately 10.4 months at February’s rate of sales. Compared with January 2008, closed sales were up 27.6% (1,384 v. 1,085) and pending sales rose 9.9% (1,837 v. 1,671). On the other hand, compared with February 2007, the number of new listings grew 4%, while closed sales declined 27.1% and pending sales fell 35.2% (see table below).


When comparing market activity for January-February 2008 to the same time in 2007, statistics show that the number of new listings was up 10.4%. On the other hand, closed sales decreased 29.5%. Pending sales also fell 34.7%.


When comparing prices for the 12 months ending with February 2008 with the prices for the 12 months ending in February 2007, the average sale price appreciated 5.8% ($344,700 v. $325,800). Using the same formula, the median sale price in the Portland metro area has appreciated 5.5% ($290,000 v. $275,000).


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Real Estate and Technology

Lead Capture Technology: First the Internet Now Cell Phones

The Internet and now mobile…Will the real estate industry adopt mobile marketing applications in the same sluggish way that internet eventually became the norm? It has only been 10 years since www.realtor.com became the starting place for anyone looking to buy, sell, rent, and list properties; in those years the same people began carrying a cell phone with them eighty-plus percent of the time. Now with text messaging growing faster than any other form of communication in the world, the opportunity to capitalize has presented itself.

XAP Realty, a Los Angeles based real estate marketing company has created a lead capture solution to utilize the fact that cell phones are now carried by all buyers. The concept is extremely simple, www.xaprealty.com provides real estate agents, individual sellers, and property management companies with interactive yard and rider signs. The signs allow prospects to request the listing information of a particular property by sending a text message. The prospect is immediately sent the listing details including: address, price, beds, baths, acreage, MLS#, agent’s contact information, and more. Simultaneously, the agent or property manager is sent an email that includes the prospects phone number and the listing that he/she is interested in viewing. The service acts like an on-site assistant, reporting full property details and taking down new lead information 24 hours a day 7 days per week.

XAP Realty benefits realtors by capturing more leads using the non-invasive communication medium of text messaging. XAP Realty saves realtors time and money by providing prospects with the relevant information they need, and reducing materials. Last of all XAP Realty simplifies the process by providing prospects with an effective means of saving the listing information they require, thus making the job easier the realtor.

The question of whether realtors will stay on the cutting edge of technology remains unknown, however, with regards to cell phones XAP Realty interactive signs are already being used in a city near you.