Home/Mortgages/Portland Home Sales Highest in Four Years

March 14, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in the Portland area declined as expected from December to January but were still at the highest level for the month in four years according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

A total of 1,729 new and resale homes and condos closed escrow in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area in January. Sales were 23.5 percent lower than in December, but were 10.5 percent higher than in January of 2011.

Home sales in the region typically decline 23.9 percent between December and January and were 29.3 percent lower than the historical average for the month. Despite the decline in home sales in January, the sales tally was still the highest for the month since 2008.

Cash buyers accounted for 27.3 percent of the purchases in January, up from 18.2 percent in December and 20.9 percent the previous year. Cash buyers paid a median price of $152,000 for the homes that they purchased during the month which was down from $165,000 in December and down from $173,238 in January of last year.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyer’s, accounted for 23.7 percent of all homes sold in January paying a median price of $165,000. That was up from 18.2 percent of all homes sold in December at a median price of $155,000 and up from 20.9 percent of all homes sold in January of last year at a price of $163,450.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in January was $195,000, down 4.9 from December and down 8.4 percent from January of last year.

The current median price is 32.5 percent below the peak median price of $289,000 in October 2007.

Distressed sales accounted for 41.8 percent of the resale market in January with foreclosures accounting for 26.0 percent of the distressed sales, up from 21.2 the previous month, while short sales accounted for 15.8 percent of the distressed sales, up from 14.4 percent in December.

Foreclosures held steady in January with lenders foreclosing on 487 single-family homes and condos, up 0.4 percent from December and up 3.7 percent from January of 2011. For the entire year of 2011, foreclosures were down 21.7 percent compared 2010.

Tags: DataQuick, existing home sales, Portland, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price