Active listings are up 10 percent over this time last year, and that’s even with inventory taking a substantial dip in February compared to the past three years. It’s the result of a few things. First, millennials have largely settled into new homes, which means less demand pressure on the market. While many Baby Boomers are choosing to age in place, many are also hitting retirement age and electing to downsize.
Low interest rates also factor into slowing sales, in that many people who bought in the past five years at higher rates are now eligible to refinance at lower rates. When rates are friendly for re-fi, those homeowners are more likely to stay put and lower their payment than start the whole home buying process over again, especially since home prices have cooled but not slowed.
Another surprise this month? Keizer’s average price for a single-family home overtaking Salem’s single-family average. Is it the In-N-Out bump at work? Probably not. Keizer has been steadily gentrifying over the past decade as people frustrated with the low inventory and high prices in Salem discovered friendlier land prices and lower development costs just a few miles up the road. This trend will likely cool as Keizer runs out of development space.
What Do Buyers and Sellers Need to Know?
With interest rates at a low, it may seem like a great time to buy, but know that rates could head lower in the next few weeks. However, inventory will wane in the last weeks of the selling season, so if you have a property in mind, it’s not a bad idea to make an offer and lock in the deal. If you’re just buy-curious, get pre-qualified for a loan but don’t commit, and keep looking until you find a deal you can’t pass up. Rates may drop again before you find that perfect home.
Sellers who aren’t time-sensitive may want to take a step back and see if a re-fi is a better deal for them right now, especially if you bought in the past five years or if you’re in a rural area or an area that’s not in demand. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that we aren’t in multiple-offer territory anymore. Homes need to be clean, clutter free, and updated to get noticed. Don’t skip the professional photos! If you enter the market ready to sell and priced right, you’ll do fine. But if you can wait, you might consider holding off until after 2020.
Key Salem Housing Market Statistics
Here are a few other key stats from the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service housing report for May 2019:
Average Price for Single-Family Home Salem – $314,122
Average Number of Days on the Market Salem – 72
Average Price for Single-Family Home Keizer - $319,156
Average Number of Days on the Market Willamette Valley– 82
Single-Family Homes Sold Willamette Valley – 1,038
Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in Willamette Valley -- $1,279,955,061
Months of Housing Inventory Available in Willamette Valley – 3.21
Total Pending Sales Willamette Valley – 1,717
Active Listings Willamette Valley – 2,983
Active Listings Salem – 487
Active Listings Keizer – 78