August 2011 Existing-Home Sales Rise Despite Headwinds

Existing-home sales increased in August, even with ongoing tight credit and appraisal problems, along with regional disruptions created by Hurricane Irene, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Monthly gains were seen in all regions.

Existing-home sales in the West jumped 18.3 percent to an annual pace of 1.23 million in August and are 20.6 percent higher than August 2010. The median price in the West was $189,400, down 13.0 percent from a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says there are some positive market fundamentals. “Some of the improvement in August may result from sales that were delayed in preceding months, but favorable affordability conditions and rising rents are underlying motivations,” he notes. “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties. In additional to bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher inflation.”

To read the full article from the National Association of Realtors®, CLICK HERE.


Kudos to Lorre Jaffe, elected CCAR Director for 2012

Lorre Jaffe

Lorre Jaffe, Designated Broker & Longview Branch Manager

Lorre, the Designated Broker and Branch Manager of the Prudential Northwest Properties Longview office, was elected to one of two Director positions on the Cowlitz County Association of REALTORS Board of Directors for 2012.

Congratulations on your new leadership position, Lorre! We appreciate your efforts to give back to our industry and we’re proud you represent Prudential Northwest Properties.


Lake Oswego agents support the Buddy Walk Festival

Kudos to our Lake Oswego office for supporting the Down Syndrome Network of Oregon’s annual Buddy Walk on Saturday. For the third year in a row, members of the Lake Oswego team have provided complimentary hot chocolate and coffee in support of this wonderful event. Big thanks to Janet Dalton, Jason Waugh, Gayleen Weiler, Ann Martin, Jon Sanford and Phil Barr, who sits on the board and is an active supporter. And very sincere thanks to Dave and Janet Dalton of Dalton’s Northwest Catering, for providing the beverages and for your longstanding support of our community.

Buddy Walk 2011 supporters

Pictured: Janet Dalton, Jason Waugh, Gayleen Weiler, and Ann Martin


Western Region of U.S. Leads In Sales Activity

The National Association of Realtors® is reporting the Western region of the United States continues to lead the rest of the country with the highest level of real estate activity for pending sale contracts. This is good news for Oregon and Washington residents as we head into the busy Fall season. Pending home sales were up almost 14.4% across the country in July 2011 compared to the same time period a year ago.

 

Is this positive news for the real estate market and a sign of things possibly turning around?

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said “The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage underwriting standards return to normalcy. We also need to be mindful that not all sales contracts are leading to closed existing-home sales. Other market frictions need to be addressed, such as assuring that proper comparables are used in appraisal valuations, and streamlining the short sales process.”

To read the full report from the National Association of Realtors®, CLICK HERE.

 

 


Congratulations to Anita Cassarino, QSC’s Agent of the Month!

We are very pleased to announce that Hillsboro’s Anita Cassarino is being recognized as the QSC Agent of the Month for her extraordinary service and customer satisfaction. Anita has distinguished herself as an example of professional excellence from among the 22,000+ Quality Service Certified real estate professionals nationwide. During the past seven years, she has earned a near perfect Customer Satisfaction Rating of 4.96 (on an excellence scale of 1-5). She is being featured on the home page of www.QualityCertified.org. Please join us in congratulating Anita on this well deserved recognition!

Anita, you make us proud!

Anita Cassarino

Anita Cassarino

Look what Anita’s clients have to say about her great service:


Rent or Buy? Do the Math…

Owning a home has never been more affordable than in today’s market, according to NAR’s Housing Affordability Index.

The affordability index compares median income, median home price and mortgage rates. An index value of 100 means a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment. The index rating has fluctuated within the 180 to 200 range since the beginning of this year. An HAI of 180 means that a family earning the median income has 180 percent of the income needed to qualify for a mortgage on a median priced home.

For deeper perspective, consider a family with an annual income of $60,000 renting at $1,000 per month. By comparison, a 30-year mortgage payment on a $170,000 home at a rate of 4.5 percent, assuming a 20 percent downpayment, would be $700 per month.


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