Chances are if you have been following the real estate market lately, you have been hearing a lot about how we have such low inventory, not only in Portland, but across the country. So what exactly does that mean? The way we measure inventory is in months. That is to say, if no one else put their home on the market, how long would it take to sell all the homes for sale. Currently Portland’s inventory is sitting at 1.7 months. So if no one else tries to sell their home, we will be completely out of homes for sale by mid August. To put that into perspective, a “healthy” market is considered 6 months of inventory.
There are a couple factors that could be creating such low inventory for us. The low-interest rates are creating a larger than average pool of buyers, the drought in southern states is driving more buyers into our market, reasonable homes prices have people choosing Portland over other metro areas, and some sellers who purchased in 2006/2007 are still underwater on their loan.
Portland’s real estate market has been trending under 6 months for quite some time. and we have been steadily dropping by .1 months almost every month. This means we are in a seller’s market. As a seller, you hardly have to do anything to get your home sold in a matter of days and for top dollar. As you can see by the graph, we are well under the number of homes for sale as we have had in previous years.
Generally as we approach late spring we get a big push of homes for sale to accommodate the heavy buying season. We have just not seen that so far this year. We have a large pool of buyers, mostly people moving from out-of-state, who are all competing for the same house. Homes in “hot” neighborhoods are getting upwards of 10, 15, 20 offers, many of which are cash offers. If we look at recently sold homes, about half of them are closing with cash terms. So how do you compete in this crazy market?
There are many extra steps that you can take all with varying degrees of risk. The most obvious choice, is to offer over asking price, but you can also shorten the inspection period, offer free rent after close to the sellers, write a letter to the sellers about how much you love the property, waive the appraisal, etc. Be sure to talk with me, or your realtor, to fully understand the risks involved so you aren’t putting yourself in a position you are uncomfortable with.
On the other hand, if you are in the position to sell your home, now is absolutely the time!