This Week in Real Estate: March 30, 2015

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Good Morning!

As the first quarter of 2015 comes to an end, it is safe to contend that Q1 2015 compared to the same time period the prior year is much more favorable leading into the peak selling season of Q2 and Q3. This Week in Real Estate covers a wide spectrum of topics from consumer confidence to new construction sales to the ever pending interest rate increase. Below are a few of the highlights from the last, full week in March that influence our business:

* February new-home sales highest in seven years. Builders signed contracts on more homes in February 2015 than any time since early 2008 according to the Census Bureau and HUD. February seasonally-adjusted annual new home sales topped out at 539,000, up 7.8 percent from a healthy 500,000 in January. Full story…
http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/03/new-home-sales-surge/​

* Mortgage applications rise 9.5 percent from one week earlier. Stoked by the lowest interest rates in several weeks the volume of applications for mortgages to both purchase and refinance homes increased by the largest percentages than at any time since early January. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 9.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. The Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier to its highest level since January 2015. Full story…
https://www.mba.org/2015-press-releases/mortgage-applications-increase-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey-x89405

* 5 quotes from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s speech at the San Francisco Fed on Friday. Janet Yellen offered a cautious message on the prospect of interest rate increases in a speech this week, saying the central bank expects to begin raising rates this year and then proceed gradually after that. Here are five key quotes from her prepared remarks. Full story… http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2015/03/27/5-quotes-from-janet-yellens-speech-to-the-san-francisco-fed/

* U.S. consumer sentiment at 93.0 in March vs. 92.0 estimate. Consumer optimism reached a 10-year peak of 95.5 in the first quarter of 2015, its highest level since 2004. “While there is a widespread expectation that interest rates will begin to rise later in the year, few consumers anticipated that the size of the increases will dampen their credit sensitive purchase plans.” Full story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102540745?__source=mnd|news|&par=mnd

* Rising rents are finally forcing Millennials to buy houses. Expect the open-house crowds to skew a little younger during this year’s spring homebuying season. Millennials made up 32 percent of the U.S. housing market in 2014, up from 28 percent two years earlier, and have pulled ahead of the older Generation X as the largest segment of buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. About 5.2 million renters say they expect to purchase a house in 2015, up from 4.2 million a year earlier. The U.S. rental vacancy rate hit a 21-year low at the end of last year, according to the Census Bureau, giving landlords leverage to charge more. Full story…
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-25/millennials-start-shift-to-homeownership-as-rents-soar

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


Portland Metro Weekend Events Planner: March 27-29, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MARCH 27-MARCH 29, 2015

 

GREEN LIVING SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 28-29 Discover ways to live healthy and lower your impact on the environment. Portland Expo Center

PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET

SAT MAR 28-29 (through December) The nation’s largest weekly open-air arts and crafts market. Stroll down row upon row of unique creations made by the people who sell them. Old Town

SHEN YUN

FRI-SUN MAR 27-29 Colorful and elaborately staged Chinese folk dancing with live orchestra. Keller Auditorium

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

FRI-SUN MAR 27-29 (ends July 11) This exhibit interprets Portland’s rivers and their influence on the city through paintings, prints and multimedia works. Pittock Mansion

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN MAR 27-29 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN MAR 27-29 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN MAR 27-29 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

SAT MAR 28 (through Nov. 1) The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be shown on a screen as actors perform along with the movie, and audience participation is encouraged! Also, feel free to dress up! Kiggins Theatre

VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

FRI-SUN MAR 28-29 (through Nov. 1) You’ll discover fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden. Over 250 Vendors! Esther St. & 8th

ALPACAPALOOZA & SPRING HUNTER JUMPER HORSE SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 28-29  Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Home
• Get Hard


This Week in Real Estate: March 23, 2015

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This Week in Real Estate is highlighted by the news that more than a million homeowners regained their equity in 2014 and the foreclosure activity is at its lowest level since the summer of 2006. What does that mean for those renting? Below are a few of the highlights from the third week in March that influence our business:

* U.S. foreclosure activity at lowest level since July 2006. RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February this week, which shows foreclosure filings down 9 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2006. “Given that August 2006 was the peak of the housing bubble, this eight-and-a-half year low in foreclosure activity is a significant milestone and a sign that nationwide foreclosure activity is on track to return to historic norms this year – and is possibly even headed below historic norms given the skinny-jeans-tight lending standards over the past five years,” said Darren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/february-2014-foreclosure-market-report/

* 1.2 million U.S. borrowers regained equity in 2014. This week Corelogic released new analysis showing 1.2 million borrowers regained equity in 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity at the end of Q4 2014 to approximately 44.5 million or 89 percent of all mortgaged properties. Full Story… http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-1.2-million-us-borrowers-regained-equity-in-2014.aspx

* Why renters may be in trouble. The gap between rental costs and household income is widening to unsustainable levels across the country. NAR evaluated income growth, housing costs, and changes in share of renter and owner-occupied households over the past five years in metropolitan statistical areas across the U.S. Over the last five years, a typical rent rose 15 percent, while the income of renters grew by only 11 percent, according to their research. “Current renters seeking relief and looking to buy are facing the same dilemma: Home prices are rising much faster than their incomes,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Meanwhile, those who were able to buy a home in recent years have been insulated from the rising housing costs since they were able to lock-in a low 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a set monthly payment, according to NAR’s study. Full Story… http://www.realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/03/17/why-renters-may-be-in-trouble

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner: March 20-22, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MARCH 20-MARCH 22, 2015

 

BODY MIND SPIRIT EXPO

SAT-SUN MAR 21-22 Features 90 exhibitors and 70 presentations about alternative health, conscious living, and spirituality. Oregon Convention Center

PORTLAND WOMEN’S EXPO

SAT MAR 21 Features a fashion show, food samples, beer and wine garden, bachelor auction, rock wall, and health & beauty products. Oregon Convention Center

HOT ROD SHOW

FRI-SUN MAR 20-22 See 400 outstanding cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Portland Expo Center

CIDER TASTING

SAT MAR 21 Meet northwest cider makers, taste 10 ciders with your ticket, buy food, and hear live music. Tiffany Center

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

FRI-SUN MAR 20-22 (ends July 11) This exhibit interprets Portland’s rivers and their influence on the city through paintings, prints and multimedia works. Pittock Mansion

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN MAR 20-22 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN MAR 20-22 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN MAR 20-22 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

SPRING BREWFEST

SAT-SUN MAR 20-21 The beer scene is growing in SW WA and we’ve decided to reward you with an awesome Spring Brewfest! March 20 and 21st, sitting right on Spring Solstice! Esther Short Park

FOX HILL PONY CLUB HORSE SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 21-22 FHPC Annual Fundraiser Schooling Jumper Show. Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Insurgent
• Do You Believe?
• The Gunman
• Can’t Stand Losing You
• Danny Collins
• Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
• Lost and Love (Shi Gu)
• Zombeavers
• Spring


Spring Staging Tips for Home Sellers

Screen shot 2015-03-16 at 8.55.30 AMSpringtime   brings   sunshine,   showers – and   plenty of opportunities for home staging. Make the most of the season with these fresh updates that are sure to attract buyers.
Tip 1

Whip your yard into shape. When you’re selling in the spring, you need to get your yard in shape as quickly as possible. Clear winter yard debris, and get frost-resistant plants that won’t be affected if a late cold spell hits.

Tip 2

Box up your winter wardrobe. Bulky winter clothes take up lots of space, so move them out as you de-clutter your closets. You’ll impress buyers with all that closet space.

Tip 3

Spruce up the entryway. If your welcome mat is covered with winter dirt, pick up a new one. A clean, pretty doorway will help set the tone for the entire showing.

Tip 4

Bring spring aromas indoors. Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one. Bring the aroma indoors. Scents have a profound effect on mood, so infusing scent into your decor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space.

Tip 5

Bring out the bright colors. Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don’t forget accent pillows for added style and comfort.

Start your Spring Garden Today!
Screen shot 2015-03-16 at 9.03.05 AMVeggie Seeds to Start Now

March is the perfect time to start planning your veggie garden. Cool weather vegetables can be planted now like arugula, broad beans, collards, corn salad, kale, peas, radishes and spinach. For April, in addition to the March list, you can also plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots (unless we are having a colder/wetter spring) fennel, green onions, kohlrabi, lettuce, onions, parsnips, swiss chard and turnips.

Borders and Flower Gardens

March is the month to feed your garden. Trees, shrubs, hedges, roses, perennials, vines, and small fruits can all be fertilized now. Plant winter hardy flowers like lilies and hostas after March 1 and non-winter hardy types like dahlias and glads after April 1.

For planting new trees, shrubs, roses, perennials, pansies, small fruits and hardy herbs use peat moss or your own compost when planting and don’t forget to water new transplants frequently.

Persistent Weeds

To successfully control the weeds in your garden, learn to recognize them when they’re young. Cultivate (disturbing the soil through digging) around the weed’s roots using a hoe or garden tiller. If your weeds have already blossomed, it’s best to hand pull. After the weeds are clear, it’s good to lay black plastic over the soil in your vegetable garden prior to planting and apply mulch to reduce new weed growth.

 

Brought to you by HGTV.


This Week in Real Estate: March 16, 2015

image001Hello,

The most pressing question in This Week in Real Estate is: will this be the best year for home sales in nearly a decade? As the first quarter prepares to close in just over 2 weeks, Freddie Mac believes the answer is yes. And, if you have not read the 2015 National Association of Realtor’s Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study that was released this week, I encourage you to. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week in March that influence our business:

* Freddie Mac: 2015 best year for home sales in 8 years. “We expect this year to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007 when we saw total home sales about 5.8 million for the year,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac. Reasons Freddie Mac is optimistic: high affordability, improving labor markets, rising rents and expanded credit availability. Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33221-freddie-mac-2015-best-year-for-home-sales-in-8-years

* Home buyers borrowing more than ever before. The average loan size for home purchases reached $294,000 last week, the highest amount since the Mortgage Bankers Association started keeping records 25 years ago. While the loan amounts increased, so did the cost of borrowing money. The average rate for a 30-year, fixed rate loan last week was 4.01 percent, the highest level so far this year and up from 3.96 percent the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The association expects mortgage rates to continue marching upward as strong jobs data reinforces expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as June. The organization predicts long-term mortgage rates will reach 4.6 percent by the end of this year and 5.4 percent by the end of 2016. Full Story… http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/11/Home-Buyers-Borrowing-More-Ever

* NAR Generational Survey: Millenials Lead All Buyers, Most Likely to Use Real Estate Agent. For the second consecutive years, NAR’s study found that the largest group of recent buyers was the millenial generation, those 34 and younger, composed 32 percent of all buyers (31 percent in 2013). Generation X, ages 35 – 49, was closely behind with a 27 percent share. Regardless of their age, buyers used a wide variety of resources in searching for a home, with the internet (88 percent) and real estate agents (87 percent) leading the way. Millennials were the most likely to use a real estate agent, mobile or tablet applications, and mobile or tablet search engines during their search. Although the internet was the top source of where millennials found they home they purchased (51 percent), they also used an agent to purchase their home at a higher share (90 percent) than all other generations. Gen X homeowners represented the largest share of sellers (27 percent) followed by older boomers (23 percent) and younger boomers (20 percent). A combined 60 percent of responding sellers found a real estate agent through a referral by a friend, relative or neighbor, or used their agent from a previous transaction. Eighty-three percent are likely to use the agent again or recommend to others. Full Story… http://www.realtor.org/reports/home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends

* The bitter divorce of ListHub and the Zillow Group was completed in a California courtroom on Thursday. The two parties have settled and ListHub’s listing data will now disappear from Trulia on April 7, the same day it was already set to disappear from Zillow. Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33235-zillowtrulia-settles-with-move-listings-will-disappear-in-april

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner: March 13-15, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MARCH 13-MARCH 15, 2015

 

IRISH FESTIVAL

FRI-TUES MAR 13-17 The annual St. Patrick’s Festival at Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub is billed as the largest in the Northwest. It features music, dancing, arts & crafts. Kells Irish Restaurant

CATS AND SHAMROCKS CAT SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 14-15 Cats and Shamrocks is an all-breed cat show that includes household pets. Double Tree by Hilton

LEGO CONVENTION

SAT-SUN MAR 14-15 Bricks Cascade is a four-day convention for LEGO builders. You can buy a ticket to view their creations on the weekend. Oregon Convention Center

RV SHOW

WED-SUN MAR 11-15 See the latest recreational vehicles and accessories at Portland Metro Dealers RV Show. Portland Expo Center

ST PATRICK’S TASTING

FRI MAR 13 St Patrick’s O’Chocolate McWhiskey pairs handcrafted chocolate with fine whiskey, Irish shepherd’s pie, cheese, and bread. Portland Wine Storage

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN MAR 13-15 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN MAR 13-15 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN MAR 13-15 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

CLARK COUNTY WEDDING SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 14-15 Featuring local Clark County vendors focused on creating lasting relationships with the community and providing brides the tools and support to create the wedding of their dreams. Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

INTERNATIONAL DOG SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 14-15 International European-style dog show celebrating more than 25 years. Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Cinderella
• Run All Night
• Champs
• Eva
• Home Sweet Hell
• It Follows
• Seymour: An Introduction
• The Wrecking Crew


This Week in Real Estate: March 9, 2015

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Hello!

Following the report this week of another strong month of job growth in February the noteworthy news for This Week in Real Estate  centers around the increasing speculation of just when the Fed will raise interest rates. Also, a very fascinating report offered by Goldman Sachs about millennials and how they will impact the economy. Below are a few of the highlights from the first week in March that influence our business:

* U.S. labor market flexes muscles as February payrolls soar. The jobs report released Friday confirms that the U.S. labor market is continuing an impressive, if not historic, favorable run. The 295,000 gain in payrolls for February solidly outperformed the consensus expectation of 235,000. This is particularly impressive when you take into account the range of recent headwinds confronting the U.S. economy, from disruptive weather to a relentlessly stronger dollar. February was the 12th straight month of job gains exceeding 200,000, the longest such run since 1994. Equally impressively, this report increases the three-month moving average to around 290,000. The unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.5 percent, the lowest since May 2008. Full Story… http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/06/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0M20E620150306​

* Wall Street firms more convinced of June rate hike. Many of Wall Street’s biggest banks are more convinced the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June after a strong February jobs report on Friday pointed to sustained economic growth and as the jobless rate hit a more than 6-1/2 year-low. “The strength of the jobs data today argues in favor of the Fed allowing itself the flexibility to soon drop the word ‘patient'” from its statement, said Dana Saporta, economist at Credit Suisse, who expects a June rate hike. Full Story… http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/06/us-usa-fed-reuterspoll-idUSKBN0M22DB20150306?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews

* Property tax rates highest for homeowners who have owned between five and fifteen years. It seems that taxes on real property reflect not only the value of the property itself, but also how long the owner has held title. That was one finding of a study released this week by RealtyTrac, which it called its ‘first-ever U.S. Property Tax Rates Report.’ RealtyTrac cut the data in several ways and came up with some interesting findings. First, it found that owners of very high end and very low end homes pay the highest property tax rates. The report found significant correlation between years owned and tax rate. The report found that homeowners who have owned 5 to 15 years had the highest effective property tax rates while those who have owned more than 20 years had the lowest effective property tax rates. The average effective property tax rate was 1.35 percent for homeowners who have owned between 10 and 15 years, and it was 1.34 percent for homeowners who have owned between 5 and 10 years. Meanwhile, the average effective property tax rates was 1.18 percent for homeowners who have owned less than 1 year, and it was 1.15 percent for homeowners who have owned more than 20 years. Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/property-tax-rates-highest-for-homeowners-who-have-owned-between-five-and-15-years-own-high-end-or-low-end-homes/

* Goldman Sachs just nailed millennial homebuying. The Millennial generation is the largest in U.S. history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.  “As millennials enter their peak home-buying years, their reluctance to enter the housing market could change. The cohort’s sheer size, plus its desire to settle down in the future, could lead to a surge in home sales.” Millenials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents. Full Story… http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/outlook/millennials/index.html?cid=tw-or-mil-3

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


Portland Metro Weekend Events, March 6-8, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MARCH 6-MARCH 8, 2015

 

CINDERELLA BALLET

FRI-SAT MAR 6-7 Oregon Ballet Theatre performs the magical and romantic fairy tale Cinderella. Keller Auditorium

AMERICA’S LARGEST ANTIQUE & COLLECTIBLE SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 7-8 1300 vendors sell furniture, glassware, movie memorabilia, estate jewelry, paintings, and toys. Portland Expo Center

SEQUENCE 8: ACROBATIC DANCE PERFORMANCE

THURS-SAT MAR 5-7 From Montreal, widely considered the world’s circus center, comes the world-acclaimed Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers of the Hand), acrobatic dancers whose goal is to bring circus to a human scale. Newmark Theatre

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN MAR 6-8 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN MAR 6-8 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN MAR 6-8 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

COLLECTOR’S WEST GUN & KNIFE SHOW

SAT-SUN MAR 7-8  Our goal is to have the highest quality, most enjoyable Gunshows in the West. You never know what you’ll find at a Collector’s West Gun & Knife Show! Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

YOUTH GOLF LAUNCH PARTY

SAT MAR 7 Come learn about 2015 programs, meet our professionals, play mini-putt and Wii golf, and enjoy a tasty milkshake! All program signups receive a free logo Nike pack! Camas Meadows Golf Course.

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Chappie
• The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
• Unfinished Business
• Merchants of Doubt
• Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank


Join us in welcoming our newest brokers

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is proud to welcome these real estate professionals to our ever-growing family!

Samm Howard – Clark County Northwest

Marcia Jones – Bend

Shannon Miller – Columbia Tech Center

Ethan Anderson – Bend

If you are considering a career as a real estate professional, consider Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Our brokers have the business tools and training to help them build successful careers on a foundation of exceptional representation and service. Please click here to learn about our company, or email careers@bhhsnw.com to set up a confidential meeting.