Friday, January 25, 2008

"Local Housing Market Stable"

Some of Lane County's houing sales figures for last year look pretty nasty- pending sales down 14.8% , closed deals down 11.7%, homes sitting on the market an average of 91 days- but other countywide members compiled by the Regional Multiple Listing Service in Portland offset some of the doom and gloom.

Total housing sales volume for the apst four years, for example, remainls fairly steady, at $1.1 billion last year, $1.2 billion each in 1006 and 2005 and $0.94 billion in 2004. Overall, home sales prices in Lane County have eased rather than plummeted, with the median price increasing by 4.6% last year to $235,000, although lagging far behind the 15.1 percent rise in the 2006 and the astronomical 20.7% in the hotsuper 2005 housing market.

So while things aren't not as good as they were, they're not as bad as they might have been.

"Lane County's real estate market has held up well compared with many areas, but like many other parts of the country, we have suffered some setbacks, some price erosion, in some areas," said Randal Whipple (of Prudential Real Estate Professionals in Eugene). "We didnt have the 75% to 100% run-up in prices that some places like Florida, California, and Nevada had, so our adjustments haven't been as severe".

A look at neighborhood sales statistics compiled by the multiple listing service shows that southwest Eugene led the county in new home listings follewed by the Betherl-Danebo section of Eugene and the south Lane County area, including Cottage Grove, Creswell and Dorena.

All the numbers aside the housing market continues to be good for people who aren't looking for a steal on either the buying or selling side, Randal Whipple said.

"There's a much broader selection of homes no for buyers, the interset rates are v ery favorable, and sellers are becoming much more realistic about prices."

The thoughts above were gleaned from "Local housing market stable" by Randi Bjornstad of The Register Guard.

Monday, January 21, 2008


“Dead reckoning” is an old navigation method to find one’s present bearings by projecting from a known past position. What is our dead reckoning in the real estate industry at the end of 2007? Nationally, sales were down this year from last year by more than 10 percent, and existing home prices are expected to slip by 1.3 percent by the end of 2007 with a median price of $219,000. For new homes, the median price is expected to drop 2.1 percent to $241,400 this year.
How is Oregon fairing? Oregon thus far has escaped much of the turmoil from the sub-prime loan crisis, compared to other states. In addition, more people are employed in Oregon than ever before, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics. Wages and productivity are trending up in the state and unemployment is trending down. Oregon startups raised more venture capital in 2007 than the state attracted in any of the prior five full years. Strong job and population growth fuel demand for houses and Oregon is one of the fastest growing states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Thoughts above were gleaned from "Navigating a Changing Market" by Sherron Lumley of Oregon Realtor Magazine Winter 2007


The critical question to be addressed in coming months is whether or not the U.S. economy will dip into recession. We suggest about a 30% chance of recession over the next year, with a stronger expectation that a “growth recession” or sluggish growth is more likely.
The nation’s unemployment rate averaged 4.6% over the past 20 months, below the averages of the ‘70s, the ‘80s, and the ‘90s. Economic weakness could see the rate approach 5.0% in coming months. The longer-term issue of tighter labor availability – especially for skilled workers – will challenge businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Most forecasts still see consumer inflation this year near 2.5%-2.8%, with slightly lower inflation pressures in 2008. The Consumer Price Index rose 2.5% last year, 3.4% in 2005, and 3.3% in 2004. Powerful competition in nearly all industries helps keep inflation low.
Surging home prices on both coasts and in the Southwest during 2002 to 2006 gave way to a buyers’ market during the past year. The simple reason? The average U.S. home value rose 50.76% between June 30, 2002 and June 30, 2007. Florida?...up 95.3%. Arizona?...up 90.78%. California?...up 90.15%/ Nevada?...up 89.47% (source:OFHEO). Homeowners and “investors” simply become too greedy, requiring the current painful downward adjustment in many markets. We expect greater home price strength in the nation’s interior as relative values (compared to the coasts) are attractive.

The thoughts above were gleaned from "U.S. Economic Outlook" of Liberty Views

Oregon Economic Outlook

Oregon's economy has continued to slow in recent months tied to soft US construction activity, weakness in manufacturing and the local impact of domestic and global credit anxiety. The Oregon economy added 14,000 net new jobs during the past 12 month period, a 0.8% growth pace. Manufacturing weakness continues, with a net loss of 6,900 jobs, primarily in wood products. The construction sector added 1,100 net new jobs, while natural resources and mining lost 800 jobs. The Oregon service providing sector has fared better, with the net addition of 20,600 (up to 1.5%).
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight ranked the average Oregon existing home seventh in the nation in the 12-month period ending in June 30th 2007. The average US home value rose 50.76% during the five year period ending on June 30th 2007. In the past year the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton home value rose about 8.06% during the past year with a 68.83% gain over 5 years. On the other hand the Eugene-Springfield home value rose 9.15% and a 70.72% five year rise.
The "cost of living" estimate of for Portland was 101% of the U.S. average, with Eugene at 93%

The thoughts above were gleaned from "Oregon Economic Outlook" of Liberty Views