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.
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!
Look what Anita’s clients have to say about her great service:
July RMLS market statistics for Metro Portland show closed sales grew 21% in July 2011 compared to July 2010. Pending sales were up 18.4% and new listings dropped 27%. Month to month, comparing June 2011 to July 2011, average sale price activity rose 3%, moving from $267,100 to $275,100.
July RMLS market statistics for Southwest Washington show closed sales and pending sales in Clark County showed increases when comparing July 2011 to July 2010. Closed sales were up by 47.1% and pending sales by 14.5%. Inventory stands at approximately 7.3 months, with 6 month indicating a balanced market.
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.
2011 “Sock it to ’em!” sock and underwear challenge was a terrific success! An intra-company challenge between the McMinnville, Sherwood/Newberg, Gresham and Longview branches brought out the competitive best in our agents and was a boon for local homeless youth! The McMinnville crew took top honors by delivering 1251 combined pairs of underwear & socks (that’s an average of 66 per agent!). Great job everyone! And thanks for all your efforts to brighten the lives of local homeless youth. To learn more about Transitional Youth, please visit www.TransitionalYouth.org.
Everyone had a great time at the recent Transitional Youth Golf Tournament held at Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield, WA, but local homeless youth were the real winners of the day. Even during these challenging economic times, the tournament brought in $21,500! Special thanks to the following sponsors for helping us make this event a great success: Columbia Mortgage, Chicago Title, American Home Shield, Packouz Jewlers, Weaver Technologies, LaPorte & Associates Insurance, Sterling Communication and Gevurtz Menashe. And a big shout out to all the volunteers from Columbia Mortgage, Lovett, and Transitional Youth — thanks one and all!