New-Home Sales Jump 19% Annually

34155 NE Wilsonville Rd, Newberg, OR 97132
Presented by Jennifer Nash | Offered at $2,100,000 | MLS# 21492103

From Realtor Magazine

Sales of newly built, single-family homes in January moved 19% higher than a year ago, as home buyers sought more options under a lean number of existing homes for sale.

Newly built single-family home sales increased 4.3% last month over December 2020, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 923,000, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

“Historically low mortgage rates and solid demand spurred an increase in new home sales in January,” says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “However, rising affordability issues are looming this year, particularly increasing building material costs, including lumber, which is adding $24,000 to the price of a typical newly built home. Builders also cite rising regulatory issues as a potential concern.”

As existing-home inventory remains at all-time lows, more buyers are considering new home construction, says Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “Though rising building and development costs, combined with recent increases in mortgage interest rates, threaten to exacerbate existing affordability conditions,” he says. “Builders are exercising discipline to ensure home prices do not outpace buyer budgets.”

Inventories of new homes also remain tight at just a four-month supply at the current sales pace. New-home inventories are 6.3% lower than January 2020.

The median sales price for a new home was $346,400 in January, up 5.3% from a year earlier.

New-home sales rose by the highest amounts in the Midwest last month, up 12.6% annually. New-home sales also posted a 6.8% increase in the West and a 3% increase in the South. The only region of the U.S. to post a decline in new home sales in January was the Northeast, where new home sales fell 13.9% annually.

Full article on Realtor Magazine


Millennials Are Driving US Home Sales

628 NW Portland Avenue, Bend, OR 97701
Presented by Chris Scott | Offered at $1,249,000 | MLS# 220113262

From housingwire.com

Experts see even better days ahead as inventory returns in spring

For the second consecutive month, existing home sales rose, as January’s numbers were up 0.6% from December.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, home sales continue to ascend in the first month of the year, as buyers quickly snatched up virtually every new listing coming in the market.

To him, sales easily could have been 20% higher if there had been more inventory and more choices.

Low inventory remains an enormous problem for the industry, especially with mortgage rates hanging below 3%. But experts agree better days are ahead, with more homeowners expected to move during the warmer months.

Yun also said the continued COVID-19 vaccine rollout and financial stimulus from President Joseph Biden’s American Rescue Plan will only aid in more home sales – which will in turn prop up the economy even more.

Younger-aged homebuyers are expected to continue to pack the market this year, especially with the possible passage of Biden’s $15,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

First-time homebuyers were responsible for 33% of home sales in January, up from 31% in December 2020 and from 32% in January 2020.

Full article on housingwire.com


Dundee Hills Vineyard Changes Hands After More Than Two Decades

From winebusiness.com

Nicholas Family Vineyards will now be the new name of the estate, Bella Vida Vineyards, after being sold last January 21st for an undisclosed price.

Its new owner, Blair Nicholas, a resident of Olivenhain in San Diego County, settled on Bella Vida after touring multiple properties in the region. A retired attorney, living with his wife LJ, and four children, Blair is looking forward to experiencing the lifestyle and the community of the Dundee Hills.

The sale entailed a residence, which includes a tasting room on the first floor, a barn and farm equipment. However, Blair plans to design a new stand-alone tasting room and a wine cave. The family is also considering building a winery.

On the other hand, the seller, Steven Whiteside, bought the estate in 1996 and planted the vineyard in 1998. Until a few years ago, Whiteside split his time between Arizona, where he made pediatric orthotics and prosthetics, and the Willamette Valley.

Now 70, Whiteside, who loves his community, is now renting a property nearby. He looks forward to seeing the changes the Nicholas family plans to make to the Bella Vida property.

New owners of this vineyard estate were represented by Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty’s very own, Tina Jacobsen and Laura Piccard.

Full article on winebusiness.com


Why Owning a Home Is a Powerful Financial Decision

56634 Little River Court, Bend, OR 97707
Presented by Tuttle & Tuttle Group | Offered at $2,095,000 | MLS# 220108042

From Keeping Current Matters

In today’s housing market, there are clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, the chance to build your net worth, and appreciating home values, just to name a few. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to think about how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of greater financial security and savings

1. You Won’t Always Have a Monthly Housing Payment

Personal finance advisor Dave Ramsey explains, “Every payment brings you closer to owning the house. When you pay your rent, that money is spent. Gone. Bye. Not returning. But when you pay your mortgage, you work toward full ownership.”

As a homeowner, you can eventually eliminate the monthly payment you make on your house. That’s a huge win and a big factor in how homeownership can drive stability and savings in your life. As soon as you buy a home, your monthly housing costs begin to work for you as forced savings in the form of equity. When you build equity and grow your net worth, you can continue to reinvest those savings into your future, maybe even by buying that next dream home. The possibilities are truly endless.

2. Homeownership Is a Tax Break

One thing people who have never owned a home don’t always think about are the tax advantages of homeownership. The same article states, “You have tax advantages. Many of the costs of owning a home—like property taxes—are tax deductible. And if you’re paying off a mortgage, you’ll get to count your mortgage interest as a deduction when you file your tax return.”

Whether you’re living in your first home or your fifth, it’s a huge financial advantage to have some tax relief tied to the interest you pay each year. It’s one thing you definitely don’t get when you’re renting. Be sure to work with a tax professional to get the best possible benefits on your annual return.

3. Monthly Housing Costs Are Predictable

A third benefit is the fact that monthly costs start to become more predictable with homeownership, something that doesn’t happen if you’re renting. Ramsey also notes, “Rent rates will go up. Even if you found a killer deal in a hot area, inflation, competition, and rising property values will cause your rent to go up year after year.”

With a mortgage, you can keep your monthly housing costs relatively steady and predictable. Your monthly costs are most likely based on a fixed-rate mortgage, which allows you to budget your finances over a longer period of time. Rental prices have been skyrocketing since 2012, and with today’s low mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get more for your money when purchasing a home. If you want to lock-in your monthly payment at a low rate and have a solid understanding of what you’re going to spend in your mortgage payment each month, buying a home may be your best bet.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


U.S. Home Buyers Drove Contract Signings to December Record

4632 SW 18th Pl, Portland, OR 97239
Presented by Dori Olmsted | Offered at $1,069,000 | MLS# 20230131

From Mansion Global

Activity remained unseasonably high, though listing shortages threaten to take steam out of the housing market

The U.S. market continued an unseasonal rally in December, with pending sales hitting an all-time high for the month, according to an index released Friday.

Home buyers signed 21% more contracts in December than a year prior, as surging demand for homes kept dealmaking at unusually high levels given the time of year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index.

Frenzied housing activity continued to show slight signs of deceleration, though it’s likely due to a severe lack of homes on the market, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR.

Signed contracts decreased by an ever-so-slight 0.3% in December compared to November, the fourth time in a row that dealmaking fell on a month-to-month basis. Pending sales peaked in August, though housing activity has remained at historically high levels since.

“Pending home sales contracts have dipped during recent months, but I would attribute that to having too few homes for sale,” Mr. Yun said in a news release on Friday. “There is a high demand for housing and a great number of would-be buyers, and therefore sales should rise with more new listings.”

Regionally, the South had the strongest December, with contracts up 27% over December 2019. The Northeast was next, with dealmaking up 22% year-over-year, followed by the West, up 19% annually, and the Midwest, up 14%, according to NAR’s figures.

On a local level, Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas; Denver; Los Angeles and Boston have recorded the most significant recovery in their markets since the lockdowns of last spring, according to a separate index from realtor.com.

Home prices in these and many other cities have soared as a result of competition over too few homes in the wake of the pandemic, which has spurred many to seek out new living arrangements while working and schooling from home. Inventory shortages could improve this spring, however, as sellers list their homes during the peak buying season, economists have speculated.

Full article on Mansion Global


2020’s Existing-home Sales Attain 14-Year Peak

65823 Bearing Drive, Bend, OR 97701
Presented by Pam Mayo-Phillips and Brook Havens | Offered at $2,995,000 | MLS# 220105134

From Realtor Magazine

According to the National Association of Realtors® report last Friday, existing-home sales in 2020 surged to the highest level in 14 years, landing 22% higher than a year ago. Existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—posted big gains year over year and rose by 0.7% in December 2020 compared to November 2020’s already unseasonably high rates.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, said “This momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market. Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”

Existing-home sales in December 2020 reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million. Still, home buyers are finding a limited number of homes for sale. Inventory levels are at record lows. That has placed continued pressure on home prices, which continue to post double-digit yearly gains.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in December 2020 was $309,800, up nearly 13% compared to December 2019, NAR reports. Every major region of the U.S. saw home prices rise last month.

Full article on Realtor Magazine


Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House

45900 Tibbetts Rd, Neskowin, OR 97149
Presented by Camilla Arlit | Offered at $2,500,000 | MLS# 20-1410

From Keeping Current Matters

The housing market is now positioned for an even stronger year as it has incredibly recovered in 2020. Record-low mortgage interest rates are a driving factor in this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at historic all-time lows.

Based on the recent Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. However, this is not the same case on the supply side. Seller traffic is simply not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state:

As the maps show, buyer traffic is high, but seller traffic is low. With so few homes for sale right now, record-low inventory is creating a mismatch between supply and demand.

NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.28 million, down 22% from one year ago (1.64 million). Additionally, inventory is at an all-time low with 2.3 months supply available at the current sales pace. In a normal market, that number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, they must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home since bidding wars are more common when so few houses are available for sale.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market, though. With such high buyer demand and such a low supply, now is the perfect time to sell a house on optimal terms.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


People Moved to Oregon, Especially Bend, in 2020 Despite the Pandemic

187 NW Scenic Heights Drive, Bend, OR 97703
Presented by Julie Moe & Jared Chase Group | Offered at $1,595,000 | MLS# 220102359

From katu.com

Bend, Oregon is now being famously called “Zoom Town” – thanks to a spike of homebuyers in 2020.

Zoom Town, a reference to the video conferencing platform Zoom, described cities with a spike of workers who moved as they discovered that their jobs could be done remotely during the pandemic.

In addition to this, Oregon remains a popular moving destination. Most people have been buying homes in Bend with the intention of living and working there rather than buying a vacation home.

It is also been said that it is financially much more feasible to get a nice family home in and around Portland, as opposed to the Bay Area.

Full article on katu.com


More Generations Are Living under One Roof This Year

2070 NW 113th Ave, Portland, OR 97229
Presented by Jim McCartan and Kayla McCormick | Offered at $1,295,000 | MLS# 20555414

From Keeping Current Matters

2020 changed the way we use our time to where we work, how we socialize and gather together, and our needs at home. This also meant making decisions as to how we can best support and reach out to our extended families.

Some families, with maybe older children who moved back home. While some families, with relatives living in senior facilities, wanted them to move into their home.

These changes led more homebuyers to invest in multi-generational homes to accommodate more long-term plans.  According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from NAR, a multi-generational home has adult siblings, adult children over the age of 18, parents, and/or grandparents in the household.

Based on a recent study from NAR, there’s been an increase in purchasing trends for homes since the health crisis began. There are many reasons for this uptick in preference toward multi-generational homes. The top reasons show that buyers wanted to safely take care of and spend more time with aging parents.

Contact a real estate professional if you are in a similar situation to learn more about your local options and maybe even have your whole family under one roof by early next year.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Overall Home Sales Rise Nearly 26% From 2019

485 NW Spring St, White Salmon, WA 98672
Presented by England Property Group | Offered at $1,495,000 | MLS# 20673312

From Realtor Magazine

The National Association of REALTORS® reported last Tuesday that existing-home sales in November climbed 25.8% compared to last year.

Existing-home sales include completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, slightly decreased by 2.5% in November compared to October’s unseasonably high levels. The slight decrease last month ended a five-month streak of month-over-month gains. Still, all four major regions across the country posted significant year-over-year growth.

Buying frenzy continued to press on housing markets in November. NAR reported that home prices are rapidly climbing up due to the high demand, posting double-digit increases compared to a year ago.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that circumstances are far from being back to the pre-pandemic normal. However, the latest stimulus package and with the vaccine distribution underway, and a very strong demand for homeownership still prevalent, robust growth is forthcoming for 2021.

Full article on Realtor Magazine