Portland area home sales for the first 11 months of the year were running 4.1 percent behind the same period in 2008, according to figures released Tuesday by the Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The median price for a Portland home fell to $239,000 in November, down 9.8 percent from a year ago.
The Realtor group said 1,795 sales closed in November, 72.4 percent more than the same month in 2008. The flurry was sparked by a federal first-time home buyer tax credit, which was to expire at the start of December but has since been modified and extended.
Compared to October, however, closed sales decreased nearly 11 percent.
The inventory of homes fell to 7.1 months from 15 months a year ago, but a slight increase from the 6.5-month level of October. The inventory figure reflects how long it would take to sell homes at the current pace.
Prudential Northwest Properties got extensive exposure in Pamplin Media Group’s recent special publication Realtors Make Things Happen.
Bert’s motivational and philanthropic endeavors were featured (page 4), along with Rob Levy’s progressive use of technology (page 12), and the value of the current and accurate market data in our Property Investment Profile, Market Tracker and HomeFinder Pro consumer reports (page 14).
Clark County home sales continued to rise in November compared to a year ago, but foreclosures and short sales pushed prices down by 13 percent, according to a report today. The overall median price was $199,950 for the 529 new and preowned homes sold last month, falling below $200,000 for the first time in nearly five years in Clark County. February 2005 was the last time the median price was below $200,000, at $198,129.
This is an excellent time to take advantage of the low price points and mortgage rates!
Jermaine and Justin, the first residents of Transitional Youth's Home on the Range.
The non-profit organization founded by Prudential Northwest Properties president Bert Waugh Jr., was selected as one of The Oregonian’s Season of Sharing beneficiaries. Each year, the newspaper selects families, individuals and nonprofit agencies in need throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. Transitional Youth is fortunate to have been selected this year.
We’re thankful for the support and exposure this will bring to homeless youth in the greater Portland metro area. A sincere thank you to The Oregonian.
Mortgage application volume increased 8.5 percent last week, as more borrowers refinanced loans to lock in interest rates near record lows, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. Refinancing activity jumped 11.1 percent on an adjusted basis during the week ending Dec. 4, compared with the previous week. Purchase volume rose 4 percent. Customers looking to refinance existing mortgages accounted for 74.4 percent of total applications, up from 72.1 percent the previous week.
The first uptick in interest rates in six weeks might have also pushed borrowers to lock in rates now. The average rate for a traditional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.88 percent last week from 4.79 percent the week before.The average interest rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased slightly to 4.33 percent from 4.27
More American homebuyers will get tax relief thanks to changes made to the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. H&R Block advises the popular credit is now more accessible to existing homeowners and first-time homebuyers in three ways:
Through a tax credit worth up to $6,500 for existing homeowners in the market for a new home.
Through a new closing deadline of April 30, 2010- extended from Nov. 30, 2009- for the $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Also, a special provision gives taxpayers two extra months to close if they’ve entered into a contract by April 30, 2010.
By increased phase-out limits that start at $125,000 for singles and $225,000 for married filing jointly- up from $75,000 and $125,000 respectively. The new limits apply to homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009.
Under the new requirements, an estimated 2 million Americans are expected to claim the tax benefit. The IRS estimates 1.4 million people have already claimed earlier versions of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Continue reading…
McMinnville agents send gifts to soldiers in Iraq.
Ron Schock and the agents in the McMinnveille branch office adopted some soldiers who will be spending the holidays far away from home. This photo is from their “boxing party.” They had a party to pack the boxes of donations to go to a battalion in Iraq. “We sent 13 boxes filled with comfort and Christmas items to help these soldiers have a home connection through the holiday,” said Ron. “I was really filled with pride that the agents donated so much and on top of that donated for shipping overseas. We aren’t having a formal Christmas party this year. We all feel so blessed and don’t need gifts or trinkets so we had some lunch brought in, signed some cards, packed the boxes and then a few agents took them to be mailed.”
U.S. real estate received a big boost from Congress earlier this month when President Obama signed into law a five-month extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit and a new tax credit benefiting existing homebuyers.
The first-time credit, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was set to expire Nov. 30. Both credits will be available for qualified buyers through April 30. “Congress did the right thing by extending and expanding these tax credits,” said Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services President Earl Lee. “The first-time homebuyer credit played a significant role in the U.S. housing market’s recovery in 2009, and both will help the market in the new year.”
According to the National Association of REALTORS, nearly half of all home sales are now being made by first-time purchasers. In fact, 47 percent of all Americans who purchased homes this year had not owned one during the previous three years, said NAR, up from 36 percent in 2006. NAR forecasts that existing home sales will rise 2 percent this year to just over 5 million. NAR predicts a 13.6 percent gain in 2010 to 5.69 million homes sold.
The first-time homebuyer tax credit equates to as much as $8,000, or 10 percent of a principal residence’s purchase price and is available to those who have not owned a principal residence in the past three years. Existing homeowners who have lived in their current home for at least five consecutive years of the previous eight and who are purchasing a home to be their principal residence may be eligible for up to a $6,500 tax credit.
Rates on 30-year mortgages stayed below 5 percent again this week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.83 percent, down from 4.91 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year mortgages averaged 6.04 percent. This week the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.32 percent and rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.25 percent. According to Freddie Mac, the best rates usually are available only to borrowers with solid credit and a 20 percent down payment.
Long-term mortgages rates moved lower again this week, hitting the lowest level in five weeks.
Freddie Mac’s weekly report says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.91 percent in the week ending Nov. 12, down from 4.98 percent last week. Rates on 30-year mortgages have been below 5 percent for five of the last seven weeks.
A year ago, 30-year mortgages were averaging 6.14 percent.
A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36 percent this week, remaining below one-year adjustable rate mortgages, which now average 4.46 percent.
“Mortgage rates eased further over the week, helping to promote an affordable home-purchase market and stimulate refinance,” said Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) chief economist Frank Nothaft. “This comes at a time when house price declines are moderating and consumer demand for prime mortgages at commercial banks has picked up.”
The National Association of Realtors this week said third quarter housing prices were down an average of 11.2 percent from a year ago, but 20 percent of the top metropolitan ares saw positive annual growth.
Sales continue to rise, with third quarter existing home sales up 11 percent from a year ago.