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 Real Estate

What will the 2013 real estate market hold in store for us?  CNN-Money just released their predictions:

National 2013 housing predictions

1.  Buying will be less affordable because house prices are rising,

2.  Job rates, not housing prices will show the condition of the housing market,

3.  Mortgage delinquencies will continue to drop,

4.  Mortgage interest rates will stay at record lows, and

5.  There are fewer first time home buyers, but that might increase.

All eyes are on the housing market in 2013

All eyes are on the housing market in 2013

 

Of course, it’s very difficult to predict the future, at least if accuracy is important.  Even Gary Shilling, one of the nation’s most prominent real estate price guru’s got it wrong for 2012, when he said home prices would drop another 20% because of a flood of foreclosures, among other things.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and 2012 house prices rose nationally and locally, in Eugene Springfield Oregon.

So, how do the experts’ national predictions apply to Oregon and Eugene Springfield.  They seem right on the money to me.

The biggest factor that may affect our housing market is the State Supreme Court’s ruling and legislative changes on foreclosures, which will occur later this year.  If I had to guess, I’d say one or both will make changes that speed up the foreclosure process.  If that occurs, then more foreclosures would come on the market, taking some of the steam out of rising prices.