May 16, 2012
Well our primary race elections are over as well as OUR UCC bond levy which was defeated overwhelmingly by a 3-1 margin. I am very disappointed in the results because this bond levy represented a real vision for our college and community for generations to come. However, the voters have spoken and I respect that. Congratulations to Commissioners Susan Morgan and Doug Robertson on their re-elections.
Nationally the real estate market continues to slowly recover. The sale of existing homes is estimated to finish at 4.48 million units which is up by nearly 5% over last year. Housing starts continue to rise and are estimated to finish about the 650,000 level which is up by 6% over last year. The largest gain in new housing starts is in the construction of new apartment complexes. As home ownership continues to decrease and people are losing their homes to foreclosures, many have decided to move into apartments. Lending conditions continue to remain tight with the full enactment of the Dodd/Frank bill, which requires larger down payments and higher credit scores of buyers.
In comparing April 2011 to 2012 both new and pending activity rose. New listings rose the most to 199 up from 148 (+34.5%). Pending sales saw a (+5.1% ) gain from 78 to 82 and closed sales declined by (5.3% ) from 76 to 72. At 13.3 months inventory in April 2012 it is very similar to April 2011 when inventory was 13.6 months. In comparison with the previous month of March, the same pattern is evident. New listings rose from 140 to 199 (+42.1%), accepted offers rose from 79 to 82 (+3.8%) and close sales fell from 85 to 72 (-15.3%).
Our year to date activity is mixed because the first 4 months of 2012 there was a drop in new listings, 674 to 619, pending sales increased to 306 up from 303 and closed sales up by 10% from 261 to 287. We are glad to see the closed sales trending upward because it is a good sign that our real estate market is improving. In April 2012 the average sales price was up from $152,600 to $163,200 (+12.5%). Total time on the market continues to decrease by 10 days from 185 days in 2011 and 175 days in 2012. In the greater Roseburg Areas there were 111 closed sales followed by the Sutherlin/Oakland area at 42. There were 37 closed sales in the Drain area with 33 in the Myrtle Creek area.
As I mentioned earlier, real estate sales and prices are moving upward and that is good news for our sellers. However, many of our sellers are helping with the sale by offering incentives to the purchasers, which can be as high 3.5% of the selling price. We are very fortunate to have sellers that are willing to help with buyer’s concessions in order to get their transactions closed. Interest rates continue to drop and now are 4.65% for a 30 year mortgage. We are seeing some mortgages below the 4% level.
Please keep all the troops that are currently serving in our military as well as our veterans and fallen veterans in mind as we celebrate Memorial Day. Remember, our freedoms are not free and the only reason that we are not fighting in our country is because our brave soldiers are protecting us in other countries.