I had a mentor years ago who used to say, “You will know the top of the market with absolute clarity when it’s passed you by.” And so, here we are in early June, which is usually a time when the market is jumping locally. Instead, it is plateauing. Even dropping in some market segments.
The number of houses on market has risen, the number of properties remaining on market for a week or more has risen and yes, we have seen some price reductions as well. And, sparsely attended open houses. None of that means we’ve seen the last of high sales prices or multiple offers, just that at the moment, pressure on buyers has eased some.
SO….the gnawing question: Has the peak peaked? Is this the market “correction”? Is the bubble popping? Is there a bubble?
The cautious answer to all of these questions should be: I have No Idea. Apparently, I have company ‘cuz the Fed apparently doesn’t know either.
However, in considering the future, it might be wise to muse on the following:
First, although the market has been dizzyingly fast until now, significant segments of the population have been largely missing in action for the past year in the buying and selling ranks. Among them: Seniors. Many are continuing to shelter in place until issued an All-Clear by the governor. Each year, seniors are a powerful force in the housing market because they tend to hold more cash than buyers in other demographics. In a competitive market where multiple offers are common, a senior with cash can often flush heavily leveraged buyers off the table with ease. The opening of Oregon will bring a return of these buyer-sellers.
Also missing from the market: Middle and upper-income business owners whose companies have been shuttered or otherwise damaged by pandemic restrictions, and W-2 workers who, while still employed, lost a year of step-raises or, worse, took a pay cut.
Coming soon, the reopening of Oregon. A fully open Oregon has the potential to bring some balance to the market. With more available properties for sale, would-be buyers stuck in houses they’ve outgrown will finally be able to find what they want and move up, making way for first-timers trying to afford starter homes or seniors wanting to downsize.
Stimulus checks burning a hole in the pockets of some can help cover buyer closing costs/down payments or get repairs done before selling. Those whose unemployment checks are bigger than their previous wages might also have managed to put some cash away toward a new house, and some might be able to find a better-paying job than they had before the virus crisis because of the worker shortage.
In short, no, I don’t think bubbles are bursting or that we are on a road to disaster. I think it’s possible we’re on the road to a healthier market, one where the population rotates logically and calmly to its next housing iteration. A little less Duck-Duck-Goose, a little more Monopoly.
So, if you’ve contemplated making a change, it may be time to pack the knickknacks and the Thigh Master.
Principal Broker | REALTOR
RE/MAX Equity Group
It’s time for something nice to arrive in your mailbox. Starbucks coffee, Subway sandwiches or dinner at Red Robin. Yes! It could happen to YOU!
Just refer your friends to me and I’ll not only take great care of them as they shop for a house or market their houses with me, but I will send You a gift card for something delicious, too!
Is that a great deal or what?!
Fire season is breathing down our necks.
It started exceptionally early this year with a dry, warm April and rainlessness in May. Fires in Wasco and Klamath counties have already resulted in evacuations. The US Forest Service declared the beginning of wildfire season in the driest parts of the state the second week of May – the earliest start in 40 years.
On the ground here, the February ice storm has left dead and dying branches and woody debris for fire to feed on. Evening winds are frequenting the weather forecasts in the valley.
So now would be a good time to consider two things: Whether your homeowner’s insurance is up to the job of replacing your home should the worst happen, and whether you can improve your chances of staving off fire or reducing damage should a fire happen by your neighborhood, looking for a quick snack.
At special risk are rural neighborhoods and acreages with a wealth of trees, but any neighborhood can be at risk in a high-wind event where houses close to forested areas become a bridge to other – traditionally safer – neighborhoods.
While you can’t control other properties, you can work on making yours less vulnerable. Some ideas, courtesy of confidential fire science sources (Smoky Bear…shhhh, don’t tell!):
Remove downed timber from the storm, cut and haul away dead snags
Prune dead and dying branches from trees, prune branches away from your roof
Move stored firewood away from your house
If you haven’t started irrigating your landscape, start now
If you live near a wooded area, consider creating a firebreak between your property and the woods
Remove woody undergrowth from under trees
Need help? Great news: Some home insurers in Oregon are providing wildfire prevention labor free of charge to their policy holders (American Family Insurance is one). Give your insurance agent a call and see what may be available for you. Note: Apparently, this does NOT mean they will mow your lawn for you each week even though it would CLEARLY reduce fuels. Bummer.
If you have a drinking problem, let’s talk.
How many cans/bottles are filling your garage since the pandemic? Whether it’s Diet Coke or microbrews, everyone’s sitting on a mountain of them.
The solution is here.
Bottle Drop, previously known only to Washington County and Marion/Polk county folks, has officially arrived in Yamhill County.
Now you can take a bag of cans or bottles and drop them off in a single location, where they will be counted, and the balance credited to your account for use in buying, well, probably more pop or microbrew!
No more sticky icky, bee-and gnat-filled emporiums where sad sack recyclers spend the better part of an hour carefully placing one can at a time into a machine that ultimately rejects and spits 30 percent of them back out. No more waiting for the recycling attendant to come schlepping out to fix the machine, or standing in line for the honor of recycling, or fluffing up a dented can so the machine will deign to accept it. Are we animals?!
Embrace your humanity again and try the BottleDrop.
Begin your journey back to sanity at Newberg Fred Meyer Customer Service, where you can open your BottleDrop account, buy your BottleDrop bags ($2/box) and start dropping bags willy nilly (well, there is a 15-bag limit per quarter). You can withdraw your account money in cash, or, you visit a BottleDrop Plus location (Keizer/Salem/Beaverton/Tigard) and get a retailer voucher for 20 percent more than the value of your BottleDrop account balance.
If you are a recycler who likes to gift nonprofits with your deposit money, you can do it through BottleDrop or you can continue to go the direct route and drop your cans off at a local nonprofit. You can also, if it feels nobler to you, stand in line and plug the machine at Safeway. I won’t take that feeling of accomplishment from you!
OldCastle Planter Blocks
Remember Tinker Toys? You know, the little wooden wheel-and-dowel building system from your childhood? Now there is a grown-up version that makes building a raised planter bed, retaining wall or composting bin a snap.
Each cinder block is pre-fitted for a 2 x 6- inch board, and multi-sided. Slide one board end into the block and another in the slot on the other side of the block, voila, your first corner. Stack the blocks and secure them with rebar (the blocks are pre-drilled for that as well). Add some trim boards on the top for general prettiness if you like but it’s not required. Done. Below, a dolled-up example of a double-decker raised bed. Materials courtesy of Lowe’s.