First-time homebuyers dominated the U.S. real estate market in 2009, accounting for roughly half of all residential transactions, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
That trend is likely to continue well into the new year. That’s because interest rates are hovering near all-time lows, home-price affordability is near all-time highs and a third factor – Congress’ extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit until April 30, 2010 – make conditions quite favorable for those considering homeownership for the first time.
Still, with the prospect of making one of the largest investments you’ll ever make in your life, you can easily become overwhelmed. Some of the questions you may be asking are: Will I be able to afford the home of my dreams? Do I have enough money for a down payment? Will I qualify for the tax credit? Will I make smart home buying decisions? If you go into the process prepared, your first purchase – like the current timing – can be just right.
Prudential Northwest Properties’ Clark County NWRealtor Linda McClellan was installed as the 2010 board president of the Clark County Association of Realtors during the group’s annual installation and awards luncheon yesterday at the Heathman Lodge. McClellan was sworn in with four new officers and 10 board members who will preside over the association next year. The group will focus on lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry, said McClellan, who foresees a better year for local home sellers in 2010. In Clark County, home sales have made year-over-year gains since June, although sales are still off from peak years in 2005-07. “It would be really nice to see this trend continue,” McClellan said.
Linda joins these Prudential Northwest Properties brokers in leadership of their local REALTOR Associations during the 2010 term: David Tangvald, GRI – Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, Lisa Frahm – Columbia County Board of Realtors. Thanks to all of these pros for giving back to our industry!
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
Prudential Northwest Properties is sponsoring the Prineville Realtors Quarterly Meeting today from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the Meadow Lakes Restaurant at the golf course. This is a fund raiser to aid St Vincent de Paul’s efforts to provide more than 3,000 food baskets to those in need in Crook County this holiday season. A donation of $10 will purchase 70 lbs of food toward this goal.
Thanks to Bob McClung and the super Central Oregon team for supporting those in need.
KOIN News Channel 6 came to the West Portland office to tape a segment about their “LOVE BOX for the Holidays” drive for the Troops in Iraq. They had a ‘packing party’ on Monday and KOIN News came to the office to cover the event. Thanks to the efforts and coordination of Lynne McIntyre, they adopted 26 soldiers for the holidays and packed care boxes for them. They were also able to provide regulation helmet liners that were handmade by a few of our agents, and Nike donated 26 dry-fit shirts! Rothana Mao, West Portland’s receptionist, was key in facilitating the drive. Her husband is stationed in Iraq and he was instrumental in getting us shirt sizes, wish lists, etc.
The gifts from West Portland are packed and ready for shipment to the troops overseas! Each box is thoughtfully filled with gifts from home, specifically chosen for each soldier.
Thanks West Portland, for coming together in support of this wonderful effort!
Prudential Northwest Properties’ Janet Dalton, a longtime member of the Lake Oswego branch and a strong Transitional Youth advocate, was recently featured in The Times for her exceptional community service contributions. Read the full story here…
Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, Janet! We’re proud to have you on the Prudential team!