Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

July 27, 2021

City leaders announce plans to remove homeless encampment in SE Portland

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland city leaders have announced plans to remove a homeless encampment next to Laurelhurst Park in southeast Portland.

The city posted the camp for removal Monday morning, leaving residents anxious about what's next.

"I’m just wondering where they want us to go. Cause this is like a last resort for a lot of people," said a camper who goes by "Randall."

In a joint statement Monday morning, all five city commissioners said they were unified in their decision to "act immediately at Laurelhurst Park, in the interest of public safety and public health." Commissioners cited a recent incident in which two guns were drawn and a city contractor threatened.

"Because the city chose not to enforce any laws, rules, or city codes, a culture of lawnessness just flourished there and placed pretty much everybody in danger," said T.J. Browning, Safety Chair for the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association.

For many who stay at the camp, it's not the first time they've had to leave. A woman who goes by "Mama Zeigh" said her previous campsite was cleared also, and she doesn't want to leave the people she's come to know at Laurelhurst.

"This is a really cohesive community. We take care of each other medically. There’s not enough food out here, so we all share food and water," said Zeigh.

The City of Portland last cleared the Laurelhurst campsite in November, 2020.

Posted in Portland News
July 27, 2021

Borrowers get more options as foreclosure deadline nears

Biden administration acts to extend mortgage terms and reduce interest rates for affected borrowers

With the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgages set to expire next week, the Biden administration is giving borrowers additional options to reduce their mortgage payments.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will give homeowners options to reduce their monthly principal and interest by lengthening the term of the mortgage, bringing the agencies “closer in alignment with options for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” a White House press release said.

The ban on foreclosures for federally backed mortgages will expire on July 31, after the Biden administration extended it a final month. The enrollment period for forbearance will conclude at the end of September.

Approximately 1.75 million homes are still in forbearance. For borrowers who can resume paying their mortgage, federal agencies will allow them to move their payments to the end of their mortgage. But the White House said some homeowners will need “deeper assistance” to become current and keep their homes.

“In order to ensure a stable and equitable recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for homeowners to exit mortgage forbearance, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to keep Americans in their homes and support a return to a more stable housing market,” the White House said.

For borrowers unable to make monthly payments after the foreclosure ban expires, HUD will give servicers the ability to lengthen the mortgage term. Borrowers could see their mortgage terms extended to 360 months at market rate, to reduce their payments by 25%. In addition to a term extension, borrowers could receive an interest-free subordinate mortgage not due until after the first mortgage is paid off, otherwise known as a partial claim.

HUD will offer a partial claim to borrowers who can start making their mortgage payments again.

The USDA will also offer new options to help borrowers attain a 20% reduction in their payments. The tools include an interest rate reduction, term extension and a mortgage recovery advance, to help cover past due mortgage payments and related costs. The options can be used separately or combined.

There are also options for VA borrowers to reduce their monthly payments after. The VA can purchase up to 30% of borrowers’ unpaid principal balance and arrearages, and provide an interest-free subordinate loan similar to a partial claim. Servicers can also extend the loan term to up to 40 years.

In addition, the Homeowners Assistance Fund provides $10 billion to states, D.C., territories, and tribes for relief to COVID-impacted homeowners after the foreclosure ban expires. In addition to the payment reduction options, homeowners can use those funds to pay mortgage, homeowners’ insurance or utilities. Those with federally backed mortgages and borrowers whose mortgages are not backed by federal agencies will have access to the relief funds.

Ginnie Mae said that its new securities pool for mortgages with a 40-year term will be up and running later this year, giving federal agencies the flexibility to extend mortgage terms, if they choose to do so.

Courtesy of Housingwire

Posted in Mortgage News
July 27, 2021

A Look at Housing Supply and What It Means for Sellers

A Look at Housing Supply and What It Means for Sellers

One of the hottest topics of conversation in today’s real estate market is the shortage of available homesSimply put, there are many more potential buyers than there are homes for sale. As a seller, you’ve likely heard that low supply is good news for you. It means your house will get more attention, and likely, more offers. But as life begins to return to normal, you may be wondering if that’s something that will change.

While it may be tempting to blame the pandemic for the current inventory shortage, the pandemic can’t take all the credit. While it did make some sellers hold off on listing their houses over the past year, the truth is the low supply of homes was years in the making. Let’s take a look at the root cause and what the future holds to uncover why now is still a great time to sell.

Where Did the Shortage Come From?

It’s not just today’s high buyer demand. Our low supply goes hand-in-hand with the number of new homes built over the past decades. According to Sam Khater, VP and Chief Economist at Freddie Mac:

“The main driver of the housing shortfall has been the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes.”

Data in a recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tells the same story. New home construction has been lagging behind the norm for quite some time. Historically, builders completed an average of 1.5 million new housing units per year. However, since the housing bubble in 2008, the level of new home construction has fallen off (see graph below):A Look at Housing Supply and What It Means for Sellers | Keeping Current MattersThe same NAR report elaborates on the impact of this below-average pace of construction:

. . . the underbuilding gap in the U.S. totaled more than 5.5 million housing units in the last 20 years.” 

“Looking ahead, in order to fill an underbuilding gap of approximately 5.5 million housing units during the next 10 years, while accounting for historical growth, new construction would need to accelerate to a pace that is well above the current trend, to more than 2 million housing units per year. . . .”

That means if we build even more new houses than the norm every year, it’ll still take a decade to close the underbuilding gap contributing to today’s supply-and-demand mix. Does that mean today’s ultimate sellers’ market is here to stay?

We’re already starting to see an increase in new home construction, which is great news. But newly built homes can’t bridge the supply gap we’re facing right now on their own. In the State of the Nation’s Housing 2021 Report, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) says:

“…Although part of the answer to the nation’s housing shortage, new construction can only do so much to ease short-term supply constraints. To meet today’s strong demand, more existing single-family homes must come on the market.

Early Indicators Show More Existing-Home Inventory Is on Its Way

When we look at existing homes, the latest reports signal that housing supply is growing gradually month-over-month. This uptick in existing homes for sale shows things are beginning to shift. Based on recent data, Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, has this to say:

“It looks like existing inventory is starting to inch up, which is good news for a housing market parched for more supply.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NARechoes that sentiment:

“As the inventory is beginning to pick up ever so modestly, we are still facing a housing shortage, but we may have turned a corner.”

So, what does all of this mean for you? Just because life is starting to return to normal, it doesn’t mean you missed out on the best time to sell. It’s not too late to take advantage of today’s sellers’ market and use rising equity and low interest rates to make your next move.

Bottom Line

It’s still a great time to sell. Even though housing supply is starting to trend up, it’s still hovering near historic lows. Talk to a trusted real estate professional about how you can list your house now and use the inventory shortage to get the best possible terms for you.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
July 26, 2021

3 Hot Topics in the Housing Market Right Now

 

3 Hot Topics in the Housing Market Right Now

If you’re a prospective buyer or seller, it’s important to understand the current real estate market conditions and how they affect you. The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) just released its Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate report. Here are three hot topics from the list and how they impact today’s housing market.

Technology Acceleration and Innovation

The past year ushered in many changes to the real estate industry, especially when it comes to technology. The CRE report elaborates on this:

“Lockdown-driven changes in our work, in the economy, in social structures, and in our personal behavior have pushed our reluctance aside. The acceleration and adoption of technology during the pandemic has impacted everything, and real estate is no exception.

For real estate, innovations like digital documentation, virtual tours, and video chat enable agents to connect with clients no matter their location. These options are ideal for prospective buyers and sellers who aren’t local to the area or those that need the added flexibility signing documents online or doing virtual tours provide. That’s why many trusted real estate advisors will continue to use these technologies moving forward to best serve their clients.

Remote Work and Mobility

Working from home became the reality for many individuals during the pandemic, and the latest list from the CRE identified remote work and mobility as an important influence on the real estate market. As the report notes:

the pandemic universally caused a movement away from urban cores, particularly for those with higher incomes who could afford to move and for lower-income individuals seeking lower costs of living. Most of these relocations remained within their original region—84%—and, while some are returning, it is unknown as to the permanence of these movements or whether they represent a true urban exodus.

With the added mobility remote work offers, where people are moving and where they can ultimately purchase a home is less dependent on a physical office location. This newfound flexibility is giving remote workers the opportunity to move to more affordable areas and buy more home for their money.

Housing Supply and Affordability

Finally, the limited supply of houses for sale and the related affordability challenges also makes CRE’s list of key factors this year:

“According to the National Association of Realtors®, the state of America’s housing inventory is dire, with a chronic shortage of affordable and available homes needed to support the nation’s population.”

There is good news. Homes are still more affordable than they have been historically thanks to today’s low mortgage rates. And while housing supply is still low, we’re seeing steady increases in the number of homes coming to market, which gives hope to homebuyers. As the supply of homes for sale improves, buyers will have more options.

Bottom Line

New technology, remote work, housing supply, and home affordability are key factors in the housing market right now for both buyers and sellers. Connect with your trusted real estate advisor to better understand how these topics can impact the buying and selling process for you.

 

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Posted in Market Updates
July 26, 2021

15 States Drawing High-Earning Gen Xers

Gen Xers—the highest-earning generation, with a median income of $113,300—make up a quarter of home buyers, according to National Association of REALTORS® data. And they’re choosing specific areas to call home.

SmartAsset, a financial resource, identified the top states where Gen Xers who earn at least $100,000 annually are moving. Southern and Western states dominate the list. Some have no state income tax, which could be a factor driving more high-earning Gen Xers there, researchers say.

 

SmartAsset Gen X chart
Courtesy of Realtor Magazine
Posted in Portland News
July 26, 2021

No Relief in Shortages of Appliances, Furniture

 

High demand for home products continues to cause supply chain disruptions throughout industries related to real estate. Shortages of appliances, furniture, and building materials are most acute and not expected to ease any time soon.

The problem largely began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns—during which time demand soared as many people started remodeling their homes—disrupted supply chains. The shortages also came from foreign suppliers who contribute appliance materials and parts, Gay Cororaton, director of housing and commercial research at the National Association of REALTORS®, told bankrate.com. “The pandemic has impacted production in the U.S. manufacturing plants, as factories have to operate with less workers onsite or on staggered shifts as part of social distancing precautions,” Cororaton said.

Earlier this year, nearly 90% of builders said they were having difficulty securing appliances, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders. Some new-home buyers are having to wait out delays or make compromises for appliances. Furniture shortages also abound. The furniture industry has reported delays of four months or longer, according to the Commerce Department.

Paint shortages, which could hamper summer home improvement projects, also are being reported.

 

Courtesy of Realtor Magazine

Posted in Market Updates
July 23, 2021

Most Oregon children soon will receive up to $1,100 apiece to help buy food

 

Oregon will send up to $1,088 to most of the state's children over the next three months to help pay for food. The payments are intended to make up for free and reduced-price school meals they missed during the pandemic. Lots of food but no people visible

This week, Oregon children will begin receiving the first of three monthly payments of up to $408 per child to help their families afford to feed them.

The payments, which have barely been publicized, are intended to make up for the free or reduced-cost meals that more than 400,000 preschoolers and public school students missed out on during the past year, while their schools and child care centers were closed.

 

That means most Oregonians age 18 and under will get the money, which can be spent on any of the wide array of foods and beverages that people are allowed to purchase with food stamps.

For children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the extra money will be loaded onto their parents’ Oregon Trail cards between Thursday and July 29, then again in late August and late September.

Hundreds of thousands of additional children, whose families make too much money to qualify for food stamps, will be mailed special debit cards with the child’s name on them.

The cards will be mailed Thursday from South Dakota, and state officials are warning families to be on the lookout for mail from an unfamiliar address in that state that will contain the cards. Like Oregon Trail cards, they will be reloaded in late August and late September to allow for purchase of additional groceries.

Children in certain schools will be sent the money regardless of their family’s income. That’s because hundreds of Oregon schools offer free meals to all their students, under a federal school meals rule known as “community eligibility.” If a school has at least 40% of its students in certain state programs including food stamps or foster care, then every student is served free meals without any families having to fill out school meal-related paperwork.

Those schools include Benson, mcdaniel, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Hillsboro, Parkrose, Reynolds and David Douglas high schools and Beaumont, Lane, Ockley Green, George, Tubman, Rowe, Parkrose and South Meadows middle schools. Dozens of elementary schools in the Beaverton, Centennial, David Douglas, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, North Clackamas, Parkrose, Portland and Reynold school districts also offer the meals benefit to every student.

The first of the three payments is designed to cover school lunches children would have received last October, November and December.

Any child who was eligible for free or reduced-price school meals and whose school was closed or serving most of its students remotely during that period will be sent $136 a month, or $408 if most students were exclusively engaged in distance learning all three months. Children whose schools served most students with a combination of in-person and distance learning during those months will be sent $75 a month.

Students whose schools served grab-and-go meals to students engaged in distance learning or otherwise provided students food outreach will still be eligible for the full $136 a month.

The August payments will cover missed school meals from January, February and March. And the final payments, arriving in September, will cover school care closures or hybrid teaching schedules for just two months, April and May, meaning the final payment will top out at $272.

 

 

Posted in Portland News
July 23, 2021

A slice of paradise for seniors: Beaverton Lodge

 

Tucked away in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood with spacious grounds and a meandering creek is Beaverton Lodge, a senior community with a welcoming fireplace, large apartments, fine dining, an art gallery, mineral saline pool, close-in to city amenities and residents living their golden years among friends, and even their pets.

What strikes people most are the spacious apartments and beautifully appointed common areas. Beaverton Lodge is more than just a pretty community, it features a caring staff dedicated to making their clients' lives better by attending to their needs and making their lives more enjoyable through kindness and professionalism. There are two sets of 24-hour on-site managers, an activity director, executive chef with team, maintenance technicians, housekeeping staff and drivers.

Our Golden Gallery Offers six exhibits each year featuring local, northwest artists that are well-known or emerging talent. The Gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for residents, family and friends to appreciate and enjoy fine art.

For our fitness-minded residents, we offer a large exercise room for guided classes, a mineral saline pool is heated for water aerobics classes with a professional instructor and achy joint can find relief in the adjacent Bubbly Spa.

We stand out because of features like these and hear from our residents how they wished they would have moved in earlier. Life is about living and at Beaverton Lodge, a life of good eating, fun activities, health and well-being are all packaged for you. We are waiting to show you how easy life can be at Beaverton Lodge. Visit us today!

12900 S.W. Ninth Street

Beaverton, Oregon, 97005

503-646-0635

beavertonlodge.com

 

 

Courtesy of Pamplin Media

Posted in Portland News
July 23, 2021

Portland-based app makes it easier to find free camping

With camping more popular than ever, a Portland-based app called The Dyrt makes it easier to score a great camping spot.

 

PORTLAND, Ore. — More and more people are getting out in nature and campgrounds are filling up faster than ever. But Portland-based company called The Dyrt has an app to help you find all the free camping you can handle, along with every other type of camping experience.

“The Dyrt makes it easier to find camping," said co-founder Sarah Smith. "We have the most campgrounds listed on our platform than anyone on the internet and we have the most photos, videos and reviews of campgrounds.

 

Smith and her husband Kevin Long started the company seven years ago.

In 2021, the popularity of camping has never been stronger, and the popularity of The Dyrt has grown with it. Smith recommended camping on public lands as a solid and budget-friendly choice. 

“Camping has exploded in popularity. Millions of new campers have come online this year, so campgrounds are getting full,” said Long. “So when you look at what are some other options, dispersed camping on free public land is a great option because there's a lot of public land and a lot of free camping potential.”

 

Long said the biggest fear people have about camping on public lands outside of traditional campgrounds is that they're not experienced enough to do it. He and Smith said to just be prepared, follow local regulations and leave no trace, and the rewards can be great.

“We will stay in a place for a weekend and not see another human being, absolutely incredible. And the peace of mind you get from being out there, it's amazing,” said Long.

Long and Smith said they have grown The Dyrt into one of the most popular camping apps on the market. They have 40 employees helping to keep it going. Now the couple is set for a big adventure in a new camping van they just bought.

“Sarah and I, as married cofounders, after seven years are finally living the dream,” said Long.

Starting Saturday, they are hitting the road for six months and exploring dozens of campsites along the way.

 

 

Courtesy of KGW

Posted in Portland News
July 22, 2021

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends


Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.

A Shortage of Homes for Sale

Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com says:

“In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.”

This is good news for buyers who crave more options. But even though we’re experiencing small gains in the number of available homes for sale, inventory remains a challenge in most states. That’s why it’s still a sellers’ market, giving homeowners immense leverage when they decide to make a move.

Buyer Competition and Bidding Wars

Today’s ongoing low supply, coupled with high demand, creates a market characterized by high buyer competition and bidding wars. Buyers are going above and beyond to make sure their offer stands out from the crowd by offering over the asking price, all cash, or waiving some contingencies. The number of offers on the average house for sale broke records this year – and that’s great news for sellers.

The latest Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the average home for sale receives five offers (see graph below):Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | Keeping Current MattersFor buyers, the best way to put a compelling offer together is by working with a local real estate professional. That agent can act as your trusted advisor on what terms are best for you and what’s most appealing to the seller.

Home Price Appreciation

The competition among buyers is driving prices up. Over the past year, we’ve seen home price appreciation rise across the country. According to the most recent Home Price Index (HPI) from CoreLogic, national home prices increased 15.4% year-over-year in May:

“The May 2021 HPI gain was up from the May 2020 gain of 4.2% and was the highest year-over-year gain since November 2005. Low mortgage rates and low for-sale inventory drove the increase in home prices.”

Rising home values are a big part of why real estate remains one of the top sought-after investments for Americans. For potential sellers, it also means it’s a great time to list your house to maximize the return on your investment.

A Rise in Home Values and Equity

The equity in a home doesn’t just grow when a homeowner pays their mortgage – it also grows as the home’s value appreciates. Thanks to the jump in price appreciation, homeowners across the country are seeing record-breaking gains in home equity. CoreLogic recently reported:

“…homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 19.6% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion, and an average gain of $33,400 per borrower, since the first quarter of 2020.”

That’s a major perk for households to leverage. Homeowners can use that equity to accomplish major life goals or move into their dream homes.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there’s no time like the present. Reach out to a local real estate professional to talk about how you can take advantage of the conditions we’re seeing today to meet your homeownership goals.

 

Courtesy Keeping Current Matters