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


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


Migration to booming ‘Zoom towns’ in Pacific Northwest sends home prices into overdrive

19204 Gateway Loop, Bend, OR 97702
Presented by The Ladd Group | Offered at $870,500 | MLS# 202003108

From nwnewsnetwork.org

“Zoom towns”, a new term that you can add to your lexicon. These are scenic places experiencing a surge of house hunters. Booming demand comes from workers freed by the pandemic to work from home long term. One place where the pandemic has charged greatly, an already hot real estate market, is Bend, Oregon.

“I think ‘Zoom town’ very accurately captures the experience that we’re having right now,” said Brian Ladd, a Principal Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Bend.

“For anyone that had interest in moving to a town like ours, that plan was greatly accelerated because of COVID,” Brian Ladd said in an interview over Zoom. “When they were able to work remotely, or they were forced to work remotely, all of a sudden it became an option.”

Brian Ladd’s observations are shared by brokers in some outdoorsy, vacation destinations around the Pacific Northwest. Zoom towns could include Sunriver and parts of the Oregon Coast besides Bend.

The housing market nationwide has shown remarkable strength in 2020, driven by low-interest rates and desire among buyers to acquire more elbow room. What distinguishes the Zoom towns is strong in-migration this year from larger locales. At these destinations, home sales since late spring have gone on a tear, resulting in very low inventory and rapidly rising housing prices.

In Bend and surrounding Deschutes County, the average residential home price in October was up 17% year over year. The median sales price in October in Bend was $560,000. Brian Ladd said the average number of days on the market for desirable homes to go pending is around five days, which means many homes get multiple offers.

“What it felt like is it really unleashed a whole wave of people who had had the dream of moving and living in a beautiful place like this, and it seemingly all happened at once,” said Brian Ladd.

Full article on nwnewsnetwork.org


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Baseline Limit Will Increase to $548,250

654 View Rd, Florence, OR 97439
Presented by Jack Winter | Offered at $1,550,000 | MLS# 20-1885

From nahbnow.com

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on November 24, 2020 that the maximum baseline conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2021 will increase to $548,250 from $510,400.

The loan limit will rise 7.42% in 2021 because FHFA has determined that the average U.S. home value increased by that amount between the third quarters of 2019 and 2020.

Higher loan limits will be in effect in higher-cost areas as well. The new ceiling loan limit in high-cost markets will be $822,375. The previous ceiling was $765,600.

What does this mean for homebuyers?

The increase keeps homebuyers in step with a more expensive housing market by allowing them to borrow more to the limit of what is called a “Conforming Loan”. With conforming loans, buyers can purchase homes with lower down payments and more competitive rates.

Full article on nahbnow.com


October existing-home sales see ‘spectacular’ 26.6% annual gain even with short supply and surging prices

8585 SE 242nd Ave Damascus, OR 97089
Presented by Veronica Park | Offered at $4,800,000 | MLS# 19657180

From cnbc.com

According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes in October soared to 4.3% compared with September, as well as a 26.6% annual increase to an adjusted rate of 6.85 million units.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, called this “a spectacular gain”. To him, the surge in sales in recent months had offset the spring market losses. And with the news of having a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and with mortgage rates projected to hover around 3% in 2021, he expects the market’s growth to continue into 2021. Yun forecasts existing home sales to rise by 10% to 6M in 2021.

Based on the report, there were 1.42 million existing homes on the market at the end of October, a 19.8% drop compared with October 2019. At the current sales pace, the data represents a 2.5-month supply, the lowest on record.

NAR also said that the median price of an existing home sold in October was $313,000, up 15.5% annually. That is the highest median price on record and reflects the far stronger sales on the higher end of the market.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, mentioned that while the rising coronavirus cases could dampen sales, mortgage rates could tick up in the months ahead and test the strength of this seemingly unstoppable housing market.

On another note, investors continue to be strong in the market. The severe shortage of existing homes for sale has been incredibly beneficial for the nation’s homebuilders, who have seen very strong demand. Mortgage applications to purchase newly-built homes were up nearly 33% annually in October, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Full article on cnbc.com


2019 Yearly Market Reports

Our 2019 Yearly Market Reports for Central Oregon, Portland Metro, Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge, Southwest Washington, and Southern Oregon are here.

Our Market Reports offer an overview of trends, insight and existing market conditions in key communities throughout Oregon and SW Washington. The reports cover the history of key areas, communities, and sectors such as residential, residential with land, townhomes and condos, farm & ranch.

You can see all of our reports below or by visiting CascadeSothebysRealty.com/Market-Reports.

Central Oregon

Columbia River Gorge

Oregon Coast

Portland Metro

Southwest Washington

Southern Oregon