How’s the Market? A Look at June’s Real Estate Numbers.

For the 4th month in a row, the number of New Listings fell in June compared to last year. We thought Pending Sales might drop again this month due to the continued lack of new listings. But that didn’t happen; instead Pending Sales were up 18.5% compared to June 2019. This combination of fewer new listings and more pending sales led to inventory dropping over 35% to just 1.5 months. This is the lowest inventory we’ve seen in over three years; May of 2017 was the last time inventory dipped below 1.6 months and that was when prices were still reliably increasing by double digits each month. The Median Sale Price increased by 3.6% this month compared to last year. Despite having far fewer listings, closed sales only fell 1.7% this month compared to last year, indicating that even with concerns over the economy and the ongoing pandemic, the local real estate market is still quite active.

Another factor impacting both inventory and prices is mortgage interest rates. As of the end of June, the average Mortgage Interest Rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.29% (compared to 3.94% the same week last year). These record low rates are enticing more and more buyers into the market, pushing local prices up and inventory down. Often when there is high competition among buyers, sellers who might otherwise “trade up” (sell their current home in order to buy a more expensive home), are reluctant to list their existing home for sale for fear of being unable to find a suitable replacement quickly enough. This further restricts inventory.

So, what does the rest of the summer hold in store for Portland-area Real Estate? It seems that we’re seeing the typical Springtime rush happening a little later this year, so we are likely to see inventory continue to stay low, further pushing prices upward through the end of the summer. We typically see a plateau, then slight drop in prices in the late summer and into fall. With the bulk of Real Estate business happening later in the summer this year, that drop may be larger than we’re used to seeing…or we may not see a drop at all this year. But for the next couple months, expect to see prices continue to rise and high competition among buyers.

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