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Sales Hold Steady Heading into Winter | Portland Sales Volume Report | January 2017

Posted by Nick Krautter on January 05, 2017  /  in Reports, The Market  /  No Comments

Sales Hold Steady Heading into Winter

814 homes sold in Portland this December which is 1 more than November. The close-in market saw a slight increase in sales, which is not typical for this time of year. Pending sales decreased going into 2017, so expect a drop in sales next month due to an uptick of interest rates and the holiday season. The suburban market is slowing more rapidly, but is still outperforming sales from the same time last year. The market is still favoring sellers and promises to keep inventory low.

Wild cards: Interest rates are increasing, although out of state investment continues to push prices and rents higher and keep inventory low.

I’m predicting around 675 closed sales in Portland (RMLS areas 141, 142, 143 & 148) in January.

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Still Falling – Dropping Inventory Bucks Season | Portland Inventory Report | December 2016

Posted by Nick Krautter on December 20, 2016  /  in Reports, The Market  /  No Comments

Still Falling – Dropping Inventory Bucks Season

The election hangover behind us, buyers got back to buying but sellers are holding off until 2017. With fewer homes to choose from, prices should hold through the winter and are poised to jump again in 2017. Interest rates spiked up but remain historically low, which should keep the market busy, ultimately favoring Sellers.

This localized home inventory report helps give context to the metro statistics that often make headlines. Real estate is a local affair and this report shows which parts of town and which types of properties are selling and which ones are sitting. Inventory is figured in months with 6 months being balanced, less than 6 months favoring sellers and more than 6 months favoring buyers. I use active listings and 6 months of sold data from the RMLS to create this report.

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Sell PDX Supports Central City Concern on KGW News

Posted by Sydney Agate on December 16, 2016  /  in Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Sell PDX and Other Businesses Donate to Central City Concern

Sell PDX and Nick Krauter were featured recently on KGW News for contributing to donations made to Central City Concern. The nonprofit works to solve the homelessness problem in Portland.

A recent campaign called Home for the Holidays, started by vacation rental company Vacasa, has now generated  over $30,000 dollars for the organization. The money donated will not only work to provide a roof for homeless individuals, but create long term solutions for these people. These include support for lifestyle changes , health services,  and potential career opportunities. This organization really creates an opportunity for people in need to change their lives.

Watch the news coverage here.

Learn more about Central City Concern

 

Nick Krauter Talks about Portland’s Home Energy Score Proposal on Xray in the Morning

Posted by Sydney Agate on December 12, 2016  /  in Sellpdx News, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Nick Krauter weighed in on Portland’s home energy score on Xray in the Morning last Wednesday. The bill was scheduled to be voted on December 7th. The bill is intended to increase consumer awareness, and lower Portland’s carbon footprint over time. Homeowners looking to sell their houses would be required to get a home energy score before putting their house on the market. This costs approximately $150.

What is the Home Energy Score?

The Home energy score tells you how energy efficient your home is. Homes are scored from 1-10, with 10 being a perfect score, and 1 describing a very energy inefficient home. The score will help show buyers how much it will cost to heat, how much other utility bills will be. Especially with older homes in Portland, people are often surprised by how high their utilities are and may struggle to afford them. The energy score may help buyers to know if they can really afford the house payment and the monthly expenses.

How is the score determined?

The energy audit determines the energy efficiency of a home based on the structure of the home. For example factors like insulation and windows will affect how much energy will have to be used in the home to heat it. The score describes how well the features of the home will work together to create an energy efficient space.

What’s the Downside?

Nick weighed in on some of the potential downsides of the bill.

The bill isn’t just about consumer awareness. It’s  intended to lower the carbon footprint on Portland residential homes. It’s supposed to do this by forcing sellers to get an energy score rating before they can sell their homes.This could lead some to homeowners making improvements, put it could have some unintended consequences.

Many of the homes in Portland are very old. It’s safe to say that many of these homes will receive a low energy score. This will likely lower home values, and sellers would have to make improvements to increase their home value. This might not cause too much harm right now in a seller’s market, but it won’t stay this way. The real estate market is cyclical, and eventually home prices will drop and this bill could be very hard on sellers.

Making upgrades in this older homes will also be very expensive for sellers.  It could cost as much as $20,000 to $40,000 to adequately improve the home’s energy score. All this just to save less than $100 a month in utilities. Also keep in mind that money spent on improvements may not increase the home value enough to cover the costs.

Nick also pointed out that if you are looking to buy a home, you can get a home energy score done as part of your inspection.  In fact much of a regular home inspection covers an asset base survey. This covers the efficiency of important items like your heating system, windows, water heater, etc. You can also request previous utility bills to see exactly how much it cost to live in the home.

Nick also suggested that it may be more effective to provide incentives for to make homes more energy efficient.

Do you think sellers should have to provide a home energy score when selling their home?

Listen to the radio show here. The energy score proposal segment spans from 34:00 to 1:04

 

Will Higher Interest Rates Cool the Market? | Portland Sales Volume Report | December 2016

Posted by Nick Krautter on December 08, 2016  /  in Reports, The Market  /  No Comments

Will Higher Interest Rates Cool the Market?

813 homes sold in Portland this November which is 42 more than October. Pending sales are starting their predictable softening into Fall and Winter. The market is still favoring sellers and promises to keep inventory low, although buyers should have an easier time this winter vs winter 2015, which had the lowest inventory ever. Rising interest rates could have a cooling effect on the market.

Wild cards: As prices rise, more buyers are priced out of the market which could slow the pace of sales. Interest rates have dropped close to all time lows. Out of state investment continues to push prices and rents higher and keep inventory low.

I’m predicting around 700 closed sales in Portland (RMLS areas 141, 142, 143 & 148) in December.

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Portland’s New Home Energy Score Proposal

Posted by Sydney Agate on December 02, 2016  /  in Sellpdx News  /  No Comments

There’s a new bill being proposed in Portland, Oregon, and it’s getting a lot of attention. This bill is intended to help combat climate change, an issue that is currently of major concern. It will address the issue of home energy usage, which currently contributes to approximately 20% of the city’s carbon emissions. The bill will do this by requiring home owners who want to sell their home to have an energy audit and receive a home energy score.

Single family homes would be required to do two things if the bill passes. First, the home must acquire a home energy performance report. This report typically costs between $150 and $200 for the average home. Second, the homeowner will be required to disclose the report to the city of Portland before the home can go on the market.  They will also have to disclose the score to any potential home buyers.

The idea is that the energy report will encourage home sellers to make changes to their homes to make them more energy efficient. A contractor will conduct the report, and will also make suggestions to improve the homes energy score. This could also potentially increase the value of the home, since “green” homes can sell for up to 4% more. However, there is no way to know how many households will actually make the improvements.

Will the Energy Score Help?

In theory, this bill sounds great. Anything that addresses climate change is a good step forward. However, will this bill help to solve the problem? Or will it just be another regulation that makes lives more difficult and does little to help?

Only about 2% of single family homes have an energy score. However, home buyers can still have access to the utility costs of the home. Nick Krauter commented on this on KATU news:

“This concept that they are trying to sell, that this is a buyer protection, is a complete fallacy. If you’re a home buyer and you want to know what the energy costs of a home are, you can get the utility costs.”

Nick  also made it clear that he wants to combat climate change, but that there are more effective ways to do so. This includes creating incentives for current homeowners (who are not looking to sell) to make changes to their homes to make them more energy efficient.

You can read more about the bill here.
You can watch the news report with Nick Krauter on KATU News here.

Inventory Drops as Sellers Wait out the Winter | Portland Inventory Report | November 2016

Posted by Nick Krautter on November 22, 2016  /  in Reports, The Market  /  No Comments

Inventory Drops as Sellers Wait out the Winter

Chalk it up to election jitters or the return of a normal seasonal slowdown but sellers look to be sitting out the Portland real estate market this winter. With fewer homes to choose from prices should hold through the winter and are poised to jump again in 2017. Interest rates may spike up a half a percent but remain historically low, which should keep the market busy, ultimately favoring Sellers.

This localized home inventory report helps give context to the metro statistics that often make headlines. Real estate is a local affair and this report shows which parts of town and which types of properties are selling and which ones are sitting. Inventory is figured in months with 6 months being balanced, less than 6 months favoring sellers and more than 6 months favoring buyers. I use active listings and 6 months of sold data from the RMLS to create this report.

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No One Likes Surprises: The Election and Portland Real Estate

Posted by Nick Krautter on November 15, 2016  /  in The Market  /  No Comments

No one likes surprises, and for most people in Portland, Oregon the election results were a shock. In my experience when people are in shock they often pull back from making big life decisions, such as buying or selling a home.

The stock market in the days following the election has hit all time highs. This positive response to a Trump win is also a surprise as most pundits claimed it would be met with an immediate recession.

The bond market is getting hammered and interest rates have risen sharply with an expected rate increase in the Fed funds rate in December. It’s worth noting though that rates are still very low.

My prediction is that the real estate market in Portland will go through a short term pause to deal with the surprise of the Clinton/Trump election results but will return to normal activity in the Spring of 2017. I also predict that we will have a typical seasonally-adjusted, slower Winter 2016/2017.

The factors that drive real estate, namely supply and demand, are still pointing to increased prices in the Portland market. The State of Oregon Economics office is predicting record in-migration and population growth over the next seven years and we are still not in an over-building phase.

To sum up: expect a moment of pause and slower real estate activity followed by a normal up swing in early Spring 2017 for Portland real estate.

Be sure to download our most recent Commercial Real Estate Report.

Broadway & Weidler Corridor Report here >>

Sellpdx Team sponsors Home for the Holidays and Central City Concern

Posted by Nick Krautter on November 11, 2016  /  in Sellpdx News  /  No Comments

We’re proud to announce that the Sellpdx team is a major sponsor this year for the Home for the Holidays campaign to help fight homelessness in its hometown of Portland, Oregon. The campaign will run through Thanksgiving weekend and benefit Central City Concern, a Portland-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing pathways to self-sufficiency through active intervention in poverty and homelessness.

Our hope is that our support will help solve our problem with homelessness in Portland and make life better for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Central City Concern

 

 

It’s Property Tax Time Again!: Property Tax in Portland Oregon

Posted by Nick Krautter on November 03, 2016  /  in Misc, Sellpdx News  /  No Comments

Property Tax In Portland Oregon

It’s property tax time again, so you should start receiving your property tax statement in the mail here in the coming days and weeks. And don’t be surprised to see a hike in your tax bill.

If you are wondering how to go about appealing your property taxes, find links provided below for how to appeal in each county:

Multnomah County

Clackamas County

Washington County

Property tax bills are allowed to increase up to 3%, plus any additional increase due to the cost of bond measures that voters approve, such as the Parks and Library bonds passed three years ago. However, Portlanders can receive up to a 3% discount on their tax bills if the full property tax amount is paid by November 15, 2016.

Total property tax collections in Multnomah County are projected to top $1.5 billion in 2015-16, about 4.8 percent more than the prior year, according to new calculations by County Assessor Randy Walruff.

For a quick tutorial on how property taxes are assessed and further information on the appeals process, check out this post Nick authored!