Portland Metro Highlights
Portland Market Update - September 2016

Arnett's Sales Activities in the past 30 days. Working with clients to purchase or sell their homes
  • SW Westgate. PDX - Pending Investment Property representing Buyers

Portland Metro Real Estate Update - overall real estate activites are mixed for 2016. Prices continue to rise in the Portland metro area.
  • New Listings of 3,673 were 7.3% better than September 2015 and this September was the best in the region since 2008 for new listings.
  • Pending Sales at 2,857 fell 3.8% short of September 2015
  • Closed Sales at 2,823 were cooler at 6.2% as compared to September of 2015 (3,010).
  • Inventory for the Portland metro area increased to 2.0 months and total market time is at 35 days.

Average and Median Sales Price Changes
(% change of 12 month sale price compared with the previous 12 months)
  • Average sales price change 10.4% - $384,400 vs. $348,300
  • Median sales price change 12.0% - $336,000 vs. $300,000

For the Latest Portland Real Estate Market Highlights - check out the Market Action Report & Neighborhood Stats below.

In the event you or someone you know is thinking about selling or buying a home, give me a call at 503-319-5684 or email arnett@realtytrust.com to discuss current market activity and conditions.
A Look Ahead to the 2017 Housing Market

Interest Rates:
Many financial experts expect rates to rise by around .50% to 1.0% over the next year, most likely starting with a small hike in December 2016.

With 30-year mortgage rates currently at around 3.50%, this is not a huge setback. Although a significant increase would push some people out of the market and modify price range expectations for others, it's worth noting that in 2005 people were falling over themselves to buy and refinance at 5.50%. (And in October of 1981 home buyers were signing off on mortgages with rates of over 18% - a fact that seems almost unbelievable now.)

Political Changes:
Considering today's extreme political climate, it's a bit ironic that neither of the two presidential candidates is expected to have a huge effect on the housing market if elected. Neither has said they want to do away with the mortgage interest tax deduction, and because real estate is no longer a crisis topic it has been notably absent from political discussions. Many housing experts agree, however, that uncertainty regarding the upcoming election has pushed some buyers and sellers into "wait and see" mode.

Supply and Demand:
Housing inventory in many areas of the country is still unusually low, and while this is expected to moderate as builders catch up from their recession slowdown, it won't happen overnight. In the meantime, if the economy stays relatively healthy it will continue to support substantial buyer demand. Buying activity could intensify at least in the short term if people feel the need to make a move before interest rates go up significantly.

Tip: You'll often see real estate news articles mention trends in "sales prices" and in "sales volume" as though they were indicators of the same thing, when often they are not. The next time you hear that "sales are down", look at what prices and market times are doing. If market times are maintaining or dropping and prices are trending upwards, this is a sign that the number of home sales is limited by short supply, not by lack of demand.

Decor Tip: How to Place Art Over a Fireplace

When placing art over a fireplace, look for something that is around two-thirds the width of the mantel. (Interior decorators often recommend staying between 50% and 75% of the mantel width.) It is fine to use several smaller items arranged horizontally, as long as the total width falls within that range.

Tip: Another guideline is to keep the art the same width as the fireplace opening.

How high? The goal is to keep the decor visually anchored, which typically means hanging it no more than 10 to 12 inches above the mantel. Depending on the style of fireplace and art work, lower down or even directly on the mantel may look best.

Is Your Dryer Vent Overdue for Cleaning?

It's easy to forget about cleaning the dryer vent because it is an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of thing - but clogged dryer vents cause thousands of home fires every year, and home inspectors recommend cleaning them at least annually.

Warning Signs of a Clogged Dryer Vent:
- It takes longer than a 50-minute cycle to dry clothes.
- The top of the dryer is hot to the touch.
- You smell or see moisture inside or outside of your dryer.
- Lint is visible from your external dryer vent exit.
- There is little air flow coming out of the external vent.

If it has been over a year since the last cleaning (and especially if you notice any of the warning signs above), it would be a great idea to schedule one soon.

Note: This is different from the standard house duct cleaning offered by many heating contractors, which typically does not include the dryer vent.

DIY Option: The Gardus Linteater System is one of several highly rated do-it-yourself dryer vent cleaning kits available on Amazon. (Currently around $28.)

Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 5.0 percent year-to-year in July, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. They rose 6.2 percent year-to-year in August, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is around 3.5 percent.

The August Pending Home Sales Index dropped .2 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Note: Housing statistics based on closed sales typically reflect market conditions of two or three months ago. To find out what's going on right now in your local market, please contact me directly.

Contact Me for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call me at (503) 319-5684.
Links that Make Life Easier

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

40 Easy Fall Decorating Ideas
A photo gallery of creative fall decorating ideas from Country Living.

How Not to Make an Offer On a House
Some reasonable advice on what to avoid when negotiating a home purchase.

Focus Booster Pomodoro App
A web-based program that lets you time-track your productivity using the "25-minute work session" Pomodoro technique.

How Long to Keep Home and Tax Records
A helpful list of how long to keep home and tax records before it's safe to throw them away.

27 Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipes You'll Love This Fall
The title of the article says it all. :) Some of these look pretty amazing.

The Lighter Side

These three short video clips of a wild leopard being rescued from a well in India are amazing because of the resourcefulness shown on both sides: the rescuers, and the leopard, which somehow figured out it needed to jump from a precarious floating pile of sticks into an open crate dangled from above.

Screenshot courtesy of Wildlife SOS.

The good news is that the leopard recovered well and was released back into the wild (despite apparently remaining furious with everyone involved. :) Click here or on the image above to watch the video clips on The Dodo website.

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