Friday, May 10, 2013
March Portland Home Sales Press Release
Sales of Portland-area homes fell short of the historical March average but were still the highest for that month in five years thanks to relatively strong condo resales, which hit a six-year high. The median price paid for all homes sold in the five-county region climbed to a 45-month high as deals over $200,000 shot up and sales of sub-$200,000 homes, especially foreclosures, fell sharply, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 2,699 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow during March in the five-county Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area. Sales rose 35.5 percent from the prior month and rose 13.5 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
On average, sales between February and March have risen 37.1 percent since 1994, when DataQuick's complete Portland-area statistics begin.
Although March's sales tally was the highest for that month in five years, it was 22.6 percent short of the average sales total for all months of March since 1994. While sales of existing (not new) single-family detached houses and newly built homes fell 21.1 percent and 44.6 percent short of the March sales average, respectively, condo resales were 32.4 percent above average.
The number of homes that sold for less than $100,000 in March fell 47.3 percent year-over-year, while sub-$150,000 deals declined 35.4 percent. However, sales between $200,000 and $600,000 (a typical move-up range) jumped 40.6 percent from a year earlier, while sales over $500,000 rose 85.6 percent. Viewed another way, this March sales over $200,000 made up 67.0 percent of total sales, compared with 53.1 percent in March 2012.
The Portland metro area statistics in this report and in the table below reflect sales in Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos that closed escrow in the Portland region during March was $240,000, up 4.7 percent from the prior month and up 14.3 percent from a year earlier. March's median was the highest since the median was $242,000 in June 2009. The median has risen on a year-over-year basis for 13 consecutive months.
The March median was 17.1 percent lower than the peak $289,000 median in October 2007, and it was 23.1 percent higher than the post-peak trough of $195,000 in January last year.
Another price measure analysts track, the median paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses, rose to $147 in March. That was up 5.8 percent from the month before and up 16.7 percent from a year earlier. March's figure was 23.8 percent below the June 2007 peak of $193.
Among the Portland region's counties, the median paid per square foot in March for resale detached houses rose 18.0 percent from a year ago in Clackamas County, while the median rose 24.8 percent year-over-year in Multnomah County. The figure increased 13.0 percent year-over-year in Washington County, 2.8 percent in Yamhill County, and 9.0 percent in Clark County, Washington.
Sales of distressed properties - the combination of foreclosure resales and short sales - accounted for roughly 24 percent of the Portland area's resale market in March, down from about 41 percent a year earlier.
Foreclosure resales - homes foreclosed on in the prior 12 months - made up 8.7 percent of the March resale market, down from 11.2 percent the month before and down from 24.8 percent a year earlier.
Short sales - transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property - accounted for an estimated 15.7 percent of the March resale market. That was down from 16.8 percent the month before and down from 16.3 percent a year earlier.
Meanwhile, lenders foreclosed on 218 single-family houses and condo units in the five-county Portland area during March, up 3.3 percent from the month before and down 42.6 percent from a year earlier. During the first three months of this year, foreclosures totaled 605, down 49.4 percent from the same period last year. The foreclosure figures are based on the number of Trustees Deeds filed with county recorder offices. The document is filed when a home is lost to foreclosure.
Absentee buyers, which are mainly investors and vacation-home buyers, accounted for 28.0 percent of the Portland area's total March home sales, down from 28.3 percent the month before and up from 26.8 percent a year earlier. The peak was 31.7 percent in April 2012. (The absentee data series goes back to 2000). Absentee buyers paid a median $221,000 in March, up 14.3 percent from a year earlier.
Among these investors are many buyers who pay cash - a group that accounted for 23.4 percent of all Portland-area home sales in March. That was down from 26.6 percent the month before and 27.3 percent a year earlier. The peak was 31.6 percent in January 2011. Cash buyers paid a median $196,750 in March, up 15.7 percent from a year earlier.
Government-insured FHA loans, a popular, low-down-payment option for many first-time buyers, represented 21.7 percent of all home purchase loans used in the Portland area in March. That was the same as the month before and was down from 28.6 percent a year ago. In recent months the FHA level has been the lowest since the first half of 2008. The peak for FHA use during the current housing cycle was 42.3 percent in November 2009.
To view the Portland MSA home sale chart, visit DQNews.com.
Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157
Source: DataQuick; DQNews.com
Copyright 2013 DataQuick. All rights reserved.
Posted by DQNews and Custom Reports at 4:36 PM