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When you read the lists of areas around the country where real estate prices are red hot or stagnant, the good news is that cities in Oregon aren’t showing up on either of them—not even Portland. Portland and Salem have both appeared on lists with steady but not exponential growth. While that’s not great news for investors, house flippers and opportunity seekers, it’s great news for the average homebuyer. That’s because it means we won’t be seeing any sharp peaks or valleys in home prices in the near future. 

It’s probably evident by a drive through any neighborhood that the housing market has cooled off. You’re seeing for sale signs linger a bit closer to the national averages, and you’re seeing something that’s been a rare bird in Oregon for the past five years at least: the Price Reduced sign. As months of inventory in the area creep back to balanced market levels, you’ll see more of this as prices correct. 

For a while, real estate experts have been predicting a market correction in 2020. This prediction was based on formulas that take into account population size and growth, interest rates, housing inventory, vacancy rates, and average rents. A correction is not something to be feared, it’s simply a cooling of demand that had sent prices soaring away from market values because supply was low. Corrections are needed after high periods of market activity to avoid a bubble that inevitably ends in a crash. 

What Do Buyers and Sellers Need to Know?

Interest rates just recently came down, so it’s a great time to borrow. Since we are still at less than half the months of inventory needed for a balanced market, it’s still a great time to sell as long you bought around 2016 or earlier. The selling season is just wrapping up, but there’s a few ways you can still make this an opportunity. There is less inventory this time of year, so it’s easier for your home to stand out. Take some extra time to work on your yard and give it some curb appeal with seasonal blooms, and feel free to add holiday touches inside as long as they don’t add clutter. A good rule is to put up about half of what you normally use to decorate. With prices slowing, you’ll also want to be smart in how you price your home to make sure it’s a good value compared with your neighbors. 

 Buyers have the upper hand in the fall months, so really hone in on your wants and needs and be specific. Homes for sale this time of year are generally time crunch situations: crises or big changes related to jobs or family. Fall home sellers may want to close quickly and may even agree to a lower price in lieu of taking longer to complete repairs or make other changes. Take this into consideration when you write your offer. Offers that seem like a match made in heaven can often overcome price consideration. 


Key Salem Housing Market Statistics

Here are a few other key stats from the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service housing report for July 2019: 

Average Price for Single-Family Home Salem – $317,310
Average Number of Days on the Market Salem – 74
Average Price for Single-Family Home Keizer - $322,529
Average Number of Days on the Market Willamette Valley– 80
Single-Family Homes Sold Willamette Valley – 1,128
Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in Willamette Valley -- $2,012,684,604
Months of Housing Inventory Available in Willamette Valley – 3.6
Total Pending Sales Willamette Valley – 1,744
Active Listings Willamette Valley – 3,293
Active Listings Salem – 591
Active Listings Keizer – 70

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