So I've decided everytime I read an article that is pertinent to the Portland market, I need to blog it! I spend most of my time talking with my clients, and sharing about the market, and what the latest is. But I need to stretch and spend some time each day to record my thoughts, as well as my observations about the market! So...I will spend a little bit of time this week putting up all of the articles that are important regarding the market truths or media stretches. Each of these pieces is important to the "market reality" because they both create the picture most consumers see...
This article was written a few weeks ago in The Oregonian, and made the front page! The article titled "Portland home prices stable while most cities slide" on November 28th, 07 made some interesting observations.
the article spends time explaining the reasons why the Portland market has sustained the "blow" that other markets have seen...so much so that Portland made one of only five major cities that reported rising home prices in September compared to the same month last year (2006). Portland was seeing a 2.2% change. Two above were Charlotte at 4.7% and our neighbor Seattle also at 4.7%..two below Atlanta at 0.4% and Dallas at 0.2%. The rest of the cities (as you can see in the article - link at the bottom of this blog) were all reporting a negative percentage, some up to 11.1%! Yikes!
Now all facts aside, I do understand that the market has undergone a change. The rapid speed and momentum that Portland had throughout 2007 has slowed towards the last couple of months...but by all means it is not in the condition that others are across the nation. There are some great points on how Portland has sustained the "blow", but i have a hard time looking at their predictions to 2008. Through the article, they interview various experts in the area or industry, and overall say that the market will be "flat" next year. As the article quoted that Freddie Mac's economist says that "flat is good when everyone else is going down". This is true.
There will be challenges...the mortgage market is a messy one, but it's one that is crucial to our economy as a whole. This means it won't go unnoticed...there will be answers (as we are currently seeing drastic moves to slow the momentum of the market - suggesting a freeze on rates, etc.). Yes, as the article notes, that there will be challenges, mainly because of the pool of buyers. But here's the bottom line: no one knows what will happen. We can forecast what we think might happen, but nobody knows for sure. If someone did, please me with them immediately...! But the truth is we don't...no one saw the severity of this subprime hit, no one saw how Portland could sustain it so well, and no one can see what next year will look like. I see rates going down (30 year fixed is hovering around 5.8%!) and there are drastic actions being taken to help the market. The housing market is so crucial, like I said, to the entire economy as a whole...it won't go unnoticed.
I suggest to my clients to look at their indiviudal situations closely. It's not a matter of listening to what everyone else says or tells you what to do...it's taking the facts for what they are, and taking them through your own criteria, through your own goals, and your own life choices. The importat thing is to look at your own finances, and look seriously at what you want, and how you can achieve it. Reality is every market changes, everyday...it's a matter of facts, risk and weighing out what's important. If you are looking for investment, your decisions will be different than a home for your family. This is where a team of people (lenders, agents, financial professionals...) can be very helpful in deciding what that market looks like for YOU.
Article Link..from The Oregonian 11/28/07