Sales this season clung pretty tightly to what we saw in 2018, with a small dip in June and July--typically the biggest months—but otherwise holding steady as far as number of homes sold. We got off to a little bit of a slower start in January through March compared to last year, then surpassed sales year over year in April and stayed that way through June.
Overall, sales are down year over year by nearly three percent, which doesn’t sound like much but consider that the last time sales were down year over year at all was 2014 and 2011. Both were small slowdowns after lots of growth, similar to where we are now. Bearing out the sales numbers, sales to asking price has slipped a percentage point to 97 percent, showing that prices are responding to the increase in inventory. Slightly up also is the number of days on the market, rising to 75 days.
That still means most homes are selling within two weeks of listing or less, so there’s still a brisk pace to things, but it’s no longer frenetic. New construction also appears to finally be catching up to demand; in all of 2018 only 788 sales were recorded in the Valley, but with three months left to go in 2019 there have already been 729 sales.
What Do Buyers and Sellers Need to Know?
Again, I can’t stress how much the slow movement of the market is a benefit to both buyers and sellers. Slow movement encourages buyers to get out and look, sellers to take a chance and list, and those on the fence to pick a side. Markets like this encourage churn, which is what was missing during the last market run. When the market is moving quickly, it spooks people looking to upsize or downsize, so only the people who are deadly serious about buying and selling are out in the market, and there’s less variety.
The current market and low interest rates will encourage churn, and that, along with the aging Baby Boomer population will free up more inventory to produce market conditions with more choice in housing types, size and price.
Key Salem Housing Market Statistics
Here are a few other key stats from the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service housing report for August 2019:
Average Price for Single-Family Home Salem – $317,882
Average Number of Days on the Market Salem – 75
Average Price for Single-Family Home Keizer - $326,213
Average Number of Days on the Market Willamette Valley– 79
Single-Family Homes Sold Willamette Valley – 1,188
Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in Willamette Valley -- $2,400,104,590
Months of Housing Inventory Available in Willamette Valley – 3.56
Total Pending Sales Willamette Valley – 1,726
Active Listings Willamette Valley – 3,262
Active Listings Salem – 559
Active Listings Keizer – 88