Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Odds and Ends from the Portland Housing Market

A few odds and ends re: housing and Portland. First, something appears to be working in the long term mortgage market. Here is the graph of 30 year fixed national average mortgage rates for the last month. They are now declining rapidly meaning more liquidity is returning and this is trumping inflation fears for now (a bit of a surprise, that):


Scott Sambucci if Altos Research in the comments sections left a couple of links that were cut off. Here are the graphs of the Portland housing market he was referring to. This first is a break up of list price trends by quartile:

What is particularly interesting here is that conventional wisdom says that high priced properties will feel the pinch more than lower priced ones as the market is thinner and non-conventional mortgages are harder to come by. But not in Portland it appears.

The second graph is price and inventory trends which is very interesting. Notice that in the last half of '07 inventories shot up and median prices declined in response (as we would predict if median price is a good proxy for same sales prices). This price decline eased inventories but they are now on the increase again - will another price decline follow? Perhaps not if mortgages keep falling...

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Interesting stats, Patrick...some observations:

First chart: The wild swings in mortgage rates suggest there's tremendous uncertainty about rates, which can't be good for sales.

Second chart: Over the last 10 months on the high end:
$695,000 to $650,000,
$450,000 to $400,000, and so on....
These seem like pretty big price drops, especially if they're nominal as opposed to real.

I think Portland prices have a long way to fall -- Oregon got into this thing a lot later than the rest of the country, and we're just starting to get a view of the future (although as a homeowner, I hope I'm wrong).