Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Portland Home Values: Case-Shiller April Numbers

Farmed out to Jeff Manning at The Oregonian:

Portland-area home prices jumped 1.8 percent in April from a month earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday.

It was a nice contrast to earlier this year, when the index in Portland was falling.

But experts warned against getting too optimistic over the April improvement, as it doesn't take into account the market slowdown that struck in May after the April 30 expiration of the federal tax credit for certain home buyers.

"Don't read too much into the increase," said Tim Duy, an economics professor at the University of Oregon.

Portland, like much of the rest of the country, enjoyed a last-minute frenzy of real estate dealing as the tax credit was about to lapse. But afterward came a lull.

In the 30 days ending June 13, there were 3,280 home sales or pending sales in the Portland area, a 24 percent decline from the prior four weeks, according to numbers compiled by Realty Trust Group. The average price of the sold homes was $282,910, a 5.97 percent decline from the earlier four weeks.

I agree with Tim, this should not be taken as a sign that the home market is appreciating in general. I still think, as I have for many months, that 2010 will not see significant appreciation nor depreciation. In fact, all indications are that my overall view of the economy - that 2010 will be a year stuck in a rut - is exactly what is happening. There is just no momentum causing airflow over the wings of the economy and providing lift.