Looking Back at the LO Real Estate Market of 2009

Red man statueI think the best thing I can say about the Lake Oswego real estate market of 2009 was that it wasn’t 2008. Remember a year ago? We’d seen the collapse of some of the Nation’s largest banks, the first bailout/stimulus package had been put into play, and the entire Nation was in a wait and see mode as the country transitioned to a new Presidency. It was a very difficult time. And it makes today’s market feel, well, pretty darn good.

Let’s start by looking at the Portland Metro area.

  • At this time last year the RMLS was reporting 19.2 months of inventory.  In other words, to sell all of the active listings at the pace that properties were then selling, it would take 19.2 months.  Today that same inventory is just 7.1 months.  Whew!
  • Closed sales from November of 2009 (the most recent report available at the RMLS) are 72.4% greater than they were in November of 2008.  Don’t get too excited about that one.  It’s a reflection of just how horrible sales were in November of 2008 and how great they were comparatively in 2009.  Putting better perspective on it requires doing a 11 month average of January-November for 2008 and then 2009.  When this is done the closed sales are greater in 2009 by 2.6%.  Still, an improvement.
  • November of 2009 compared to November of 2008 has pending sales up by 19.9%
  • November of 2009 compared to November of 2008 has new listings down by 7%
  • We have continued to see a decline in home values of 11.4%, year over year.

Looking at the specifics of Lake Oswego:

  • There are currently 396 single-family homes for sale and 130 condos.  Of the single-family homes, 96 are priced at over $1,000,000 and 54 are priced at $350,000 or less.
  • There are currently 49 single-family homes and 12 condos with pending sales.
  • In the last 12 months 393 single-family homes and 95 condos have sold and closed.  Of those 42 cost $1,000,000 or greater and 93 were priced at $350,000 or less.  In those high-end homes, 7 were priced over $2,000,000.
  • At the pace that $1,000,000 and greater homes are selling, based upon the performance of the last 12 months, there is still 2.2 years of high-end inventory.  And that also means that the less expensive homes ($350,000 or less) has just 7 months of inventory.
  • The average sales price is $419,300.
  • Property values saw a decline of 12.9% in the last 12 months.
  • Average days on the market (length of time between listing a home for sale and accepting an offer) is 163 days.

I just can not leave this subject entirely without doing my compulsive comparison of affordable homes in Lake Oswego versus Sellwood, a neighborhood in SE Porltand.  I like to do this because I used to live in Sellwood, so I think I have a good idea of the area, and because I remain convinced that Lake Oswego is misunderstood by buyers.  Many people assume that Lake Oswego is just too expensive for their budget.  This is, in fact, not true at all.  At this time there are currently 54 houses for sale in Lake Oswego priced at $350,000 or less, whereas in Sellwood there are currently just 27.  Lake Oswego is a good place to find an affordable home.

  • The least expensive home in Lake Oswego is a short-sale property that needs work.  It’s priced at $169,000 and has 1382 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.  It’s on a quiet street near Waluga Junior High School.  Offers have been submitted to the lender for 3rd party approval.
  • The least expensive home in Sellwood is a short-sale property that is being sold “as is”.  It looks to me like it needs some work but is in better condition than the LO property.  It is priced at $209,000 and has 850 square feet (120 of that in the basement) with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath.  It too has received an offer and is waiting for lender 3rd party approval.
  • The most expensive home in Lake Oswego remains the 5.5 acre private island in Oswego Lake that is priced at $19,500,000.  Built in 1929, it has 13,500 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 6 1/2 baths.  There are waterfalls and a lake side pool.  To arrange a showing, buyers must provide verification of funds. Yep, LO has those kinds of houses too.

We will never be able to foresee the future.  We can only look at the present and the recent past to get an idea of what to expect ahead.  My prediction is that the tax incentives for 1st time buyers, and now for repeat buyers as well, will continue to boost sales.  I think people intending to sell who are serious will continue to price their homes at reasonable levels that will attract an offer.  I also think that people have been beat up in the last couple of years and realize that many mistakes were made.  Even if the economy improves, I predict caution from home buyers for many years.  People will shop carefully and make home choices carefully.  I will also tell you that from my perspective, having survived the housing market of 2008, and now the market of 2009, I am really looking forward to 2010.

Linda and I want to wish you a safe, healthy, and happy New Year.

Yours in real estate, Dianne

2 Replies to “Looking Back at the LO Real Estate Market of 2009”

  1. Thanks Betty. It’s always good to hear from you. Linda and I both want to wish you much success in 2010.

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