July’s home sales were up

Home sales, in number of units sold, were up for the fourth straight month in July, According to the NAR. Increases for four months in a row hasn’t happened in five years. Nationwide, we’re on track to sell 5 1/4 million pre-existing houses this year. July’s increase over June’s, at 7.2%, was the largest in a decade.


Home sales popped up in July 2009

Home sales popped up in July 2009


Houses prices in the West

The National Association of Realtors has a neat site where you can compare the prices of houses sold for different U.S. Metropolitan areas. It also lists average commute times; the value of that is a bit of a mystery to me, but it’s mildly interesting.

In the chart below, I show median single family house prices for some Western cities. The average price drop across the nation for second quarter 2009, compared to the same time period last year was 15.6%. All of the cities listed in California did worse. As did Nevada.

Oregon and Washington fared better than the national average. The average decline for the Oregon Cities was: Portland 14%, Eugene 12%, and Salem at 11 ½ %. While the decreases are notable, the bottom didn’t fall out in these markets. Conventional wisdom is that because the Willamette Valley didn’t see the run up in prices at market peak, we had less of a correction at market bottom.

Median house prices of selected western cities.  Q2:  2009.

Median house prices of selected western cities. Q2: 2009.

Owning vs. Renting

Most people intuitively know that it’s better to own a house instead of renting a place. The NAR recently looked at the data and found that the net worth of home owners exceeds that of renters by a factor of 50 to 1, with the main difference being home equity. 50:1 – wow.

There are still plenty of affordable good buys out there. This house was in a quiet neighborhood and was in the 160’s. It’s been remodeled and is on a large lot, and subsequently sold.

If you’d like information on affordable homes in Eugene Springfield, give me a call at 517-6543.

Another affordable house in Eugene Springfield.

Another affordable house in Eugene Springfield.

Renters receive protection in foreclosure

New protection for tenants will be in effect at the end of the week, according to the Register Guard, if their rental is in foreclosure. Federal law will allow tenants at least 90 days to move after foreclosure, if they’re on a month-month basis, or allows them to finish out the terms of their lease, unless the new buyer of the foreclosed property intends to use it as their primary residence, in which case there’s a maximum of 90 days. According to the Guard, New Oregon law will allow tenants to apply their deposit to their final days in the house, if they choose to do so.

Conventional Loans most popular in Lane County

This post will be of most interest to my loan writing friends, a.k.a., mortgage brokers. I looked at the different types of loans used to purchase single family houses in the one-year period of July 2008 to July 2009 in Lane County. Raw data came from rmls.

Of the 3,172 sales, a little over ½ the loans were conventional; cash purchases came next, with one in five purchases last year, FHA insured loans comprised only 18%; and VA was a paltry 4%. Given the popularity of FHA loans these days, I was surprised to find that less than 1 in 5 purchase money loans last year were FHA.

Loan Types for Home Purchases in Lane County Oregon

Loan Types for Home Purchases in Lane County Oregon

July 09 Home Sales up in Lane County

The Register Guard, in a front page story on 14 August declared Lane County home sales are on the rise. Normally, such news might have been confined to the business page, but real estate and the economy have been on everyone’s mind. July’s sales were up over 10% when compared to last month and last year. Woo hoo.


Lane County Home Sales up over 10%

Lane County Home Sales up over 10%