Portland home sales improved notably in December compared to a year ago. Closed sales rose 52.6 percent in December, compared with the same month in 2008, according to figures released Thursday by the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Pending sales climbed 40.9 percent and new listings rose 11.9 percent.
For the year, closed sales were comparable to 2008 and pending sales increased by 4 percent.
The year ended with a 7.7 month inventory of unsold homes, roughly half the 14.1 percent level posted in 2008. There were 1,506 closed sales in December, 16.1 percent fewer than November.
The year 2009 had 44,357 new listings, 19,921 pending sales, 18,955 closed sales and an average sales price of $289,900.
That compares with 2008’s 54,605 new listings, 19,150 pending sales, 19,132 closed sales and average sale price of $330,300.
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.
source: Regional Multiple Listing Service
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.
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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
source: The Columbian
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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.
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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.