Housing Inventory Lowest Since ’05

People seeking to buy a house in Portland faced longer odds in March than at any time since September 2005, the Regional Multiple Listing Service reported this week.

The inventory of available houses dropped to 1.9 months in March, reflecting quickening demand as buyers prowl for properties and interest rates remain low. The median sales price jumped $5,000 in the month to $290,000.

The trends are good news for sellers and real estate agents, who are scrambling to match buyers and properties, but bad news for buyers on limited budgets, who are seeing their prospects squeezed in the supply-demand curve.

"There's hardly anything for sale, especially close-in, quality properties," said Jeff Parker, president of Parker Realty in Multnomah Village. "Properties are selling in the first two to three days if they're priced right."

Parker said more buyers are offering all-cash deals.

"Whether they're getting loans from their parents or grandparents, they've decided it's better to put their money in a house," Parker said.

In its just-released March report, RMLS said there are 4,767 active listings in the Portland area. Closed sales and pending sales each jumped by about one-third from the previous March.

The number of sales and prices are up in every geographical sector of the Portland area, but the hottest zone of all may be North Portland, where the average sale price of a house has risen 9.9 percent from a year earlier, and houses are on the market for just 35 days — the lowest level in the area.

RMLS said North Portland had just 141 active listings in March, with a median sales price of $286,000, and an average sales price of $305,600.

By Mike Francis, the Oregonian

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 11:28 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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