December RMLS Market Analysis

The RMLS Numbers for December are out! Here’s our take:

Looking at the last month of last year (and last decade!) we see a lot of positive activity in the Portland Metro Area. Compared to the previous December, new listings increased by 1.2%, closed sales were up almost 20% and the Median Home Price increased by 3.8%. Inventory fell by 28% to 1.8 months – the lowest we’ve seen in almost two years. As with nearly every month of 2019 (January being the only exception), the Median Home Price in December ($405,000) was the highest we’ve ever seen for that month. This caps off a final push of 2019 that saw prices increasing at a higher rate at the end of the year than during the typically busier months of spring and early summer. In most years we see the market slow down in the fall and early winter and start to pick back up again in the new year. In 2019 we didn’t see that slowing down in the last couple of months: in addition to New Listings increasing in December, Pending Sales also increased by over 10% from the previous year, leading us to believe that January and the first few months of 2020 will likely be busier than usual.

Low mortgage interest rates are also contributing to the increased activity in the market. Throughout 2019 we saw historically low rates and most experts expect rates to stay low during 2020. In addition to favorable interest rates, a program local to Multnomah County — Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT — goes into effect this month. The program provides eligible homebuyers with up to $20,000 in down payment assistance on qualified properties and could inject up to $7.1 million dollars into the local real estate market. Eligible funds must be used within 3 months of being qualified, so we expect to see a lot of activity in the first few months of 2020.

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