Although the rate of growth has slowed somewhat, the Oregon economy continues to expand its job base. There was a decline in employment in September and the unemployment rate rose, but I do not see this as a trend so much as a temporary “blip”. I anticipate that, going forward, the State will continue to see growth at rates above the national average.
HOME SALES ACTIVITY
- Sales activity rose by 21.6% when compared to the third quarter of 2014. What is more impressive is that this exceeds the 20.9% year-over-year growth rate that we saw in the second quarter.
- Home sales were the highest in Clatsop, Skamania, Josephine and Marion Counties.
- Double-digit percentage increases in closed sales were seen in all but three counties across the region. In aggregate, we saw over 18,800 sales in the third quarter.
- The slowest rate of sales growth was seen in Coos, Polk and Klickitat Counties.
- Average prices in the region rose by 6.1% year-over-year to $309,565. It is clear that the rate of price appreciation has started to slow. The current annual rate of price growth has slowed from the 7.2% rate seen in the second quarter.
- When compared to third quarter of 2014, Coos County rose to the top with price growth of 15.1%. Other markets that saw notable price growth were Cowlitz and Crook Counties.
- All but four counties saw prices rise compared to the third quarter of 2014, with three showing double-digit percentage gains when viewed on an annual basis.
- Prices fell in four counties, but these are counties where relatively few transactions take place so they are prone to wild swings.
DAYS ON MARKET
- The average number of days it took to sell a home in the region dropped by 16 days when compared to the third quarter of 2014.
- The average time it took to sell a home in the region was 92 days, with the Portland market dropping from 37 to 27 days.
- There were just two markets where the length of time it took to sell a home did rise, but these are small counties and not a cause for concern at the present time.
- It now takes less than a month to sell homes in Multnomah and Washington Counties.
The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, sales velocities, interest rates and larger economics factors.
There continues to be a shortage of homes for sale, which is driving prices higher. As long as home sales continue to increase and supply continues to fail to meet demand, the markets covered in this report will not be in equilibrium. Because of this, I have moved the gauge a little further in favor of sellers.
Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.