Last month we noted a slight cooling in real estate activity in the Portland metro area relative to the month prior, and that trend continued into September with a slight tapering in sales prices and pending and closed sales.
But don't worry. Real estate is seasonal, and this is the typical seasonal slow down we see in Portland year after year.
Year-over-year, residential sales are still proving to be strong relative to 2014, with pending sales up 16.5% from last September, and closed sales up 26.6% up from a year ago. New listings were up 10.4% from the same month a year ago, a welcome uptick in a market that is desperate for new inventory as buyers continue to struggle over limited numbers of active listings.
Month-over-month is where we see continued signs of a cooling market in the Portland area. Pending sales were 11.2% lower in September compared to August, with closed sales coming in 2.8% lower. Note that you can see a slow down reflected in pending v. closed sales, since closed sales reflect pending sales from the month prior, which explains the near 10% drop in pending v. closed sales. With pending sales down in September, we'll see closed sales down when October's numbers are release mid-November.
New listings were 11.8% below August levels.
Total time on market dropped 9 days from September 2014 but rose just a smidgeon from 41 to 46 days compared to last month.
Inventory of available for-sale homes in Portland is still hovering below 2 months at just 1.9 months of inventory. This means that if no new listings came on the market, all current listings would be sold within less than 2 months at the current rate of buying activity.
Year-to-date, Portland real estate activity in 2015 is still strong across the board relative to 2014. Pending sales are up 23.5%, with closed sales up 22.3%. New listings are up 8.8% this year as well. The average sales price through September rose 5.9% from $330,000 to $352,500; the median sales price rose 7% from $285,000 to $305,000.
Moving into the end of 2015 I expect that we'll continue to see a month-over-month seasonal slow down, with sales and sales prices continuing strong relative to 2014, given continued low levels of inventory and historically low interest rates.