Portland Metro Highlights
August Market Update

  • Portland real estate activity has been higher in 2015 than in 2014 across the board.
  • Closed sales of 22,026 are up 21.8%
  • Pending sales of 24,784 ae up 24.4%
  • New listings of 30,314 are up 8.5% for the year so far
  • August inventory increased slightly to 1.9 months and total time on market decreased to 41 days.
  • Prices continue to rise - August average sales price rose 6.2% from $332,600 to $353,200 and median sales price rose 7.0% from $285,000 to $305,000
I want to THANK the following clients who referred me to their family, friends and colleagues plus clients who I supported with the purchase or sale of their homes. Their TRUST and CONFIDENCE is very much appreciated.

  • Koch & Rogers - referral
  • Stitt - referral
  • Spierling & Cole - referral
  • Larosa - referral
  • Beckett - Buyers - NW 9th Ave - Portland
  • Jenson - Buyers - SW Mason Ln - Beaverton
  • Schoening - Buyers - SW Maverick Ter. - Beaverton
  • Bayless - Buyers and Seller - SW 170th Ave - Beaverton
  • Tipton - Buyer - SE 70th Ave - Portland
  • Prather - Seller and Buyers - NW 13th Cir Canby & Sallal Rd - Woodburn
  • Harris & Whitney - Seller and Buyers - SW Foothill Dr - Portland & SW 70th Place - Tigard
  • Marcus - Seller and Buyers - NE 13th Cir - Canby & NW Territorial Rd .- Canby
  • Moore & Livengood - Buyers SE Camella Ct - Hillsboro
  • Rummel - Seller - NE Caden Ave - Hillsboro
  • Casas & Valenzuela - Buyers - SE Duke Dr. - Hillsboro
(Note: For further details check out the RMLS Market Action Report).

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.
Interest Rates, China and More:
Fall Housing Market Predictions

China's stock market stumble: Likely to affect U.S. home sales.

Currently around 4 percent of U.S. home sales go to international buyers, but this accounts for a whopping 8 percent of the total U.S. home sale dollar volume because international buyers tend to purchase more expensive homes. Their average purchase price is $499,600, nearly twice the average U.S. home price of $255,600, according to a report by NAR, the National Association of Realtors®.

Buyers from China top the list, with an average home purchase price of $831,800. U.S. home sales to Chinese buyers made up 27.5 percent of the international buyer dollar volume in the 12-month period ending in March 2015, according to the NAR report. (That works out to $28.6 billion.) International buyers pay cash 55 percent of the time.

Those kinds of numbers mean that a shake-up in the international buyer market is likely to affect the rate of appreciation of U.S. home prices, especially in the high-end sector. When it comes to sales volume, it's possible that a gap might be at least partially filled by traditional home buyers using financing who up until now have been struggling to compete against a high number of cash buyers.

Interest rates: Will probably go up soon.

Many economists expect interest rates to rise soon, either after the September 17 Federal Reserve Board meeting or later in 2015. Rates have been hovering at around 4 percent for the past few years.

While any interest rate hike pushes some buyers out of the market and lowers the purchase price range for others, we can still expect to remain in extremely low interest rate territory compared to historical trends. (The long-term average is around 8.4 percent, and in 1981 mortgage rates peaked at over 18 percent!)

Autumn home sales: Expect a seasonal perk.

There's often an uptick in home buyer demand in the fall, after people have settled down from the distraction of summer activities and the hustle of getting kids into school. This year pending sales remained strong throughout the summer, despite low inventory levels.

Year-to-year pending sales in July were up 12.1 percent in the Northeast, 5.7 percent in the Midwest, 6.5 percent in the South, and 7.5 percent in the West, according to NAR.

Home values: Price appreciation will probably slow down (and it should).

Media sources often act as though the sky is falling whenever there's a drop-off in home price appreciation, but we actually need this to happen in order for the housing market to remain on solid ground and away from bubble territory.

CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft expects U.S. home prices to increase by 4.5 percent over the coming year, compared to CoreLogic's 6.9 percent reported increase over the past year.

Did you know? The lowest priced home tier has made the strongest rebound since the recession, with prices now 6.1 percent higher than their pre-recession peak, according to CoreLogic.

The Bottom Line

On the 'up' side for home sales:

- Experts are quick to point out that instability in stock markets can make real estate seem like a safer investment, especially to foreign buyers who tend to prefer hard assets.

- China appears ready to launch a program later this year that would make it much easier for many Chinese nationals to invest in U.S. real estate. (It's called the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor program.)

On the 'down' side for home sales:

- The Chinese stock market wiped out trillions of dollars worth of investor wealth over the past few months and rattled economies worldwide. This means that regardless of how attractive a real estate purchase in the U.S. may appear, for many international buyers the funds to accomplish it are no longer there.

Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 4.5 percent year-to-year in June, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report . They rose 6.9 percent year-to-year in July, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has remained close to 4 percent.

The July Pending Home Sales Index rose 7.4 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:

Photo Measures Lite
An iPhone and Android app that lets you snap a photo of a room, write in your own measurements and notes, and share the result by email. Easy to use and eliminates the need to carry around a notepad when measuring rooms. (The Lite version is free.)

The Definitive Guide to Common Business Deductions
A useful guide to help sort out which business expenses qualify as deductions and what categories they belong to.

Urban Oasis 'Before and After' Pictures
HGTV's photo gallery showing a cute urban cottage transformed by a remodel. (The kitchen transition is pretty impressive.)

Beginner's Guide for Wordpress
WPBeginner.com is full of good tutorials and how-to articles for anyone working on a self-hosted Wordpress blog or website.

A website and smartphone app that helps connect prospective pet owners with adoptable animals near them.

The Lighter Side

Everyone wins when a 4-year-old boy wanders into the middle of an all-star rugby match in Australia and ends up 'dodging' tackles to score a goal - with a little help. :)

Click here or on the image to watch the video.

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