Moving to Portland
 June 2016 Newsletter


Shelli Gowdy
Real Estate Broker
Windermere Stellar
Susan Marthens
Principal Real Estate Broker
Windermere Stellar

June 2016:  Signs of a Slow Down 
Home prices continued to rise in June and the number of properties on the market in the Portland area remains very low, but there are signs the real estate market may be loosening, according to the latest monthly report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Activity has been mixed in 2016 compared to 2015. Closed sales (15,468) are up 2.2%. New listings (21,903) are down 0.3% and pending sales (17,857) are down 2.2% for the year thus far.

Below are the highlights of the two stories for this month's newsletter.

It May be Time to Refinance Your Home Mortgage  
For most homeowners, it's still a good time to refinance. And refinance rates are only slightly higher than the record lows reached a few years ago. Mortgages remain incredibly cheap. American homeowners can thank British voters, central banks in Europe and Japan, and a global economy that just can't get out of first gear.

WIllamette Week's Best of Portland 2016 The paper's annual celebration of the charming and often unheralded people, places and things that make this city so great, whether a foster mom who went far and above the call of duty, or a stripper who does comedy in the raw.

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Below information from the RMLS™   Market Action report for June 2016

Market Action Reports 
The Market Action reports for the Portland metro area as well as all Oregon areas and Southwest Washington are also available to download.  It also has the  summary  page for the June 2016 Portland metro area home prices.
June 2016 Real Estate Highlights
The Portland metro area saw an uptick in new listings this June. The 4,501 new listings were a 5.2% increase over June 2015 and a 8.6% increase over last month in May 2016. It was the strongest June for new listings since June 2008, when 5,213 were offered for the month. 

Closed sales (3,158) outpaced May 2016 (2,896) by 9.0%, but showed a 4.4% decrease compared to last year in June 2015 (3,302). Pending sales (3,390) were cooler in June, falling 6.0% short of June 2015 (3,605) and 4.9% short of May 2016 (3,563).

Inventory edged higher in June to 1.5 months. Total market time decreased to 33 days. There were 4,762 active residential listings in the Portland metro area this June.

Click on image   to enlarge.
Average & Median Sales Prices
Median Sale Price for a Home in the Portland Metro Area was $362,000 in June 2016.

Prices continue to rise in the Portland metro area. Comparing 2016 to 2015 through June, the average sale price rose 11.8% from $347,900 to $388,800. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 13.3% from $300,000 to $339,900.

Click on image to enlarge.
Sales Price Percent Change
Average Sales Price Percent Change:  9.2% ($373,400 v. $342,000)

The Average Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (7/1/2015 - 6/30/2016) with 12 months before (7/1/2014 - 6/30/2015).
  • Average Sales Price Percent Change: 9.2% ($373,400 v. $342,000)
  • Median Sales Price Percent Change:  10.2% ($325,000 v. $295,000) 
Foreign Buyers of U.S. Homes
Foreign buyers purchased residential properties for a variety of reasons and across geographic areas, with the prices of properties purchased typically above those of domestic buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released the 2016 Profile on International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate.

On average, foreign buyers paid $477,462 which is higher than the average price of all existing homes sold in the U.S. at $266,683.  In terms of the typical residential property purchased by foreign buyers, the median price of these properties was $277,380 compared to $223,058 for all existing homes sold in the U.S. in the same time period. 

Among  major foreign buyers, Chinese buyers purchased residential properties that were more expensive than properties purchased by other buyers. This can be attributed to the tendency of Chinese buyers to purchase residential properties in central cities and suburban areas with relatively higher property prices such as California, Washington, and New York. In contrast, Canadians mostly purchased residential properties in Florida and Arizona where properties may be cheaper.

The below chart show the average purchase price of foreign buyers from the top five counties. China includes the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 

Click on image to enlarge
Cost of Residential Homes by Community
In the chart below we have extracted the most important data from the RMLS Market Action report (21 columns) and created this simple chart. Below is the chart that displays the June 2016 numbers by area or community. It includes the following:
  • Number of closed sales.
  • Average price of homes sold.
  • Year-to-date average price.
  • Year-to-date median price.
  • Average sales price percent change. 

Click on image to enlarge or  click here
 to view the report (pdf).
Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) on July 14. They  describe the last few weeks as  A Tale of Two Rates . Immediately following the Brexit vote, U.S. Treasury yields plummeted to all-time lows. This week, markets stabilized, and the 10-year Treasury yield rebounded sharply. In contrast, the 30-year mortgage rate declined after the Brexit vote but only by half as much as the 10-year Treasury yield. This week, the 30-year fixed rate barely budged, rising just one basis point to 3.42 percent. This pattern suggests that mortgage rates are likely to remain low throughout the summer
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.42 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending July 14, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.41 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.09 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.72 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged  2.76 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.68 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.96. 
Penrith Home Loans 
Penrith Home Loans   (PHL) Penrith was formerly called Windermere Mortgage Services, and they changed their name in 2015. PHL is Northwest owned and operated and headquartered in Seattle, with offices throughout Washington and Oregon.  PHL is a full service mortgage banker and direct lender.  In addition, they have access to numerous other lenders which allows them to meet everyone's individual needs.
  • West Portland Contact:  Bertha Ferran, telephone (503) 464-9215. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, West Portland Branch, 6400 SW Barnes Road, Suite 305, Portland, OR 97225.
  • East Portland Contact:  Tanya Elder, telephone (503) 497-5367. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, Lloyd Tower Branch, 825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 120, Portland, OR 97232.
  • Lake Oswego Contact:  Clayton Scott,  telephone (503) 497-5060. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, Lake Oswego Branch, 220 "A" Avenue, Suite 200, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.
Monthly Weather Summary

weather data for the month of June 2016. These readings are from the Portland airport. 
  • Average Monthly Temperature for June 2016:  66.1 (2.5 degrees above normal of 63.6 degrees). Three days in June the temperature reached 90 degrees or higher.
  • Warmest Day:  100 degrees on June 26th. 
  • Coldest Day:  48 degrees on June 13th and 14th.
  • Most Rainfall in 24 Hours: 0.54 inches on 6/23-6/24.
  • Rain Days: 14 days with light rain and 2 days with heavy rain.
  • Clear/Cloudy Days for June 2016:  8 fair days, 18 partly cloudy days, and 4 cloudy days.
  • Average Wind Speed for June 2016:  6.6 mph.
A "water year" is defined as the 12-month period beginning October 1 of any year and continuing through September 30 of the following year. The water year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends and which includes 9 of the 12 months. Thus, the water year ending September 30, 2016 is called the 2016 water year.

The normal precipitation for a water year in downtown Portland is just under 44 inches and at the airport it is 37.04 inches. The official measurement is taken at the Portland International Airport (PDX) which is one of the driest places in the metro area. 

The HYDRA rainfall network is operated and maintained by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, and there are 38 gauges throughout Portland where rainfall is measured - the water year average for these 38 gauges is 42.77 inches.
  • June 2016: Normal precipitation at the airport is 1.70 inches, and we had 1.42 inches in June.
  • Water Year:  As of June 15 we have had 51.54 inches of rain (average of 38 gauges from different locations in the metro area) and 44.94 inches at the airport - the average  rainfall at the airport is 33.75 inches at this time of the year. 

Portland Weather Rarely Warrants Emergency Alerts - 2nd Lowest

While Northwest weather can certainly be hard to predict, overall, it's fairly boring, especially when you take a look at "short fuse" warnings issued by the National Weather Service. A short fuse alert is a type of weather alert that is in effect for four hours or less.

Reporters at the Washington Post looked over data for two years of social media "alerts" sent out by the NWS and found that cities like Seattle and Portland rarely have weather that triggers emergency notifications.

A table posted on  Seattle's showed that Portland ranks second in the "least warned cities" with only .06 warnings per 1000 square miles. Seattle ranks first with .02 warnings.

If you're looking for a quiet weather place to call home, the Pacific Northwest and California face the least severe weather in the nation. The persistent flow of weather off the Pacific Ocean creates a stabilizing force on weather patterns and rarely do we have conditions that cause severe weather. 

Source:   Rosemarie Stein, Oregonian
It's Time to Consider Refinancing Your
Home Mortgage 

For most homeowners, it's still a good time to refinance.  And refinance rates are only slightly higher than the record lows reached a few years ago. Mortgages remain incredibly cheap. American homeowners can thank British voters, central banks in Europe and Japan, and a global economy that just can't get out of first gear.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.42 percent on Thursday, which is down from 4.2 percent a year ago and 3.9 percent at the start of 2016 (the rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and various forms of adjustable-rate loans are also down). This movement is being driven by  shifts  in the global bond markets.

Lower rates can make this a good time to refinance for people who want a different type of mortgage, like moving from a 30-year loan to a 15-year one to pay off the home faster.

Here's Some Numbers for Guidance 

Using the rule of thumb that refinancing frequently makes sense when rates have fallen by a full percentage point, people who took out loans at the prevailing rate at various points in late 2013 and the first part of 2014 might see favorable economics for refinancing, as will those whose loan was first made anytime before mid-2010.

Let's say you have a 30-year fixed-rate home loan that's charging 5.6%.

Refinance at  current interest rates, and you'll reduce your monthly payments by about $119 a month for every $100,000 you borrow.

The best deal for most borrowers is the one that offers the lowest interest rate, with no points and lender fees of $2,000 or less.

Online Calculators

For a first cut at exploring whether refinancing might make sense in your situation, use any of several online calculators, such as  this one  created by A mortgage broker or banker can help determine the exact rate, eligibility and fees that would apply.

Penrith Home Loans provides six calculators as a self-help device that may help you decide what type of mortgage is best for you. Of course, no calculator can take into account all the factors that should be considered when choosing a new mortgage; they are designed only to offer assistance in beginning your analysis. 

Source:  "It's time to think about refinancing your mortgage (again)," by Neil Irwin, New York Times, July 12, 2016

Best of Portland 2016
Back in 2014, the Matador, a much-loved 40-year-old West Burnside dive bar, closed amid a landlord dispute that has left the building empty to this day. The packed crowd that came to mourn it cleaned the place out of liquor-even the weird stuff-while bartenders and regulars left with mementos.

But, in Portland, the things people love never really die.

And so one of the bar's most dedicated customers took a 3-foot chunk of the bar top and  rebuilt a replica of the Matador in his studio apartment.

There's something about this anecdote that feels fitting as a prelude to this year's Best of Portland issue, our annual celebration of the charming and often unheralded people, places and things that make this city so great, whether a foster mom who went far and above the call of duty, or a stripper who does comedy in the raw.

Portlanders seem particularly worried this year that the city is losing what makes it special. But perhaps that's why so many seem dedicated to preserving it-like the maker of a well marking the site of a now-buried stream,  the former employees of a closed restaurant keeping its undead spirit alive three blocks away, or  Portland's most prolific web historian-chiropractor, who has detailed the city's storied past across 50 different blogs.

And just to remind you this isn't the only time all year we've been nice to anybody, we  list the many, many things we've declared "the best" in our pages over the past year. And in a new tradition begun last year, we asked you to pick your own favorite things in town-and, boy, did you ever respond. More than 27,000 of you voted in  218 categories of Portland things you really like.

Take a moment to sit back, sip on a cool and refreshing LeBronald Palmer, and enjoy what's good about being alive in Portland.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

Source:  "Best of Portland 2016," by Matthew Korfhage, July 13, 2016. Willamette Week 

 June is National Great Ice Cream Month
We'll See You at The Ice Cream Parlor
Susan and Shelli
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