January 2013 Lane County Oregon Real Estate Prices

Today, the NAR released national real estate market statistics for January 2013.  Nationally, there is a pretty strong seller’s market, with house supplies under 5 months.  A 6 month supply is said to be balanced between buyers and sellers.  Nationally, prices continue up at 12.3% greater, compared to a year ago.  Distressed sales, short sales and bank-owned, make up between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 sales.

In Lane County supply is also fairly low, weighing in at 6.8 months in January 2013, up from 5.2 months in December 2012, but down from 7.8 months a year ago, according to RMLS.  January sales tend to be pretty low in Lane County.  For reference, we were at over 20 months in January 2009, at the depths of the Great Recession.  Prices continued up last month, with a median price of $186,300 compared to $182,000 two months ago in December 2012.  January 2013 prices were 10.2% greater than those in January 2012.  Lane County prices are a little above the national average.  Prices are trending up and interest rates are low, now is a good time to buy or sell real estate in Lane County.  Please call me if you have questions.

January 2013 National and Lane County Real Estate Stats.

January 2013 National and Lane County Real Estate Stats.

Low Interest Rates: Good Time to Buy

Mortgage interest rates are very low these days, usually in the 3% to 4% range, which makes for affordable house payments.  Rates are said to be at 40 year lows, and combined with low, but increasing, house prices in Eugene Springfield Oregon, makes it a good time to buy.

The latest data from the Federal Reserve Board shows a national average for fixed conventional home mortgages to be 3.35%, which is very low.  How long will it stay that way?  No one really knows, but analysts are saying rates will stay low until unemployment drops below 6.5% which they’re not expecting in 2013.  Last quarter’s GDP actually was in negative territory, attributed to a decrease in defense spending.  Get  2 of those in a row and you have a recession, by definition; analysts are not expecting that, though.  New home building is expected to contribute significantly to the economy in 2013.

If you are thinking about buying a house in Lane County, please contact me.

Monthly Mortgage Interest Rates through December 2012

Monthly Mortgage Interest Rates through December 2012

2013 Lane County Real Estate vs. National Trends

The real estate market continues to improve.  Some analysts predict rising home prices in 2013 of 6%, on a nationwide basis.  Of course, all real estate is local–there can be a boom in one town and a bust in another.  So, what are real estate prices in Lane County going to do in 2013?  We tend to follow national trends, so my guess is that prices will go up, but not as rapidly as they will nationally.

Prices are being buoyed by fundamentals, namely decreasing unemployment and a low inventory of homes for sale.  Fundamentals are good–they’re the opposite of bubble conditions; bubbles are unsustainable, which is anathema in Eugene.  In Lane County we’re seeing gradually decreasing unemployment and there is a low supply of homes for sale, but not as strong as national trends.  The single biggest factor, in my opinion, is our 5.2 month’s supply of houses for sale versus 4.4 months nationally.  If you have questions on Eugene Springfield real estate, please contact me.

Lane County vs. National real estate trends

Lane County vs. National real estate trends

2013 Eugene Springfield Real Estate Prices: Up

The new year makes a convenient time to look back and also pull out our crystal ball.  2012 may have marked the bottom of our real estate market in Eugene & Springfield.  Prices have trended up in the last few months.  Mostly, this is brought about by lack of supply, that is too few houses actively for sale.

In real estate’s boom years, before 2008, supplies of houses for sale dipped below two months, which was a strong seller’s market.  At the depths of the Great Recession, supplies greater than a year were seen around Eugene Springfield, indicating a strong buyer’s market.  Lately, we’ve been at 6 months or less, which is a mild sellers market.

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Eugene Springfield January 2013

Why the lack of supply of houses for sale?  One reason is Senate Bill 1552.  This good intentioned Bill had the effect of decreasing the rate of completed foreclosures, so fewer of them are on the market and more are still in the process of foreclosure.  The Oregon Supreme Court is scheduled to take a look at this in January 2013.  My guess is that they or the Legislature will change something.

Fundamentally, the prices of real estate are affected by things like inward migration and unemployment rate.  We’ve had fewer immigrants to Oregon in the last few years, and unemployment rates are stubbornly high, although decreasing.

My prediction for house prices in 2013 for Eugene Springfield is flat to mildly increasing.  I’ve been wrong before, though, and we’ll have to wait and see.