Market Update: $1,000,000 Houses in Portland, Betty Jung, All About Portland Blog


The other day in a post, I said the low end and the extreme high ends homes are selling. This Million $ market segment is doing better overall than some of the other price ranges have been doing in Portland’s metro areas. Although total market time for areas such as Lake Oswego (268 days), West Portland (169 days), and Tigard (180 days) are high, this $1,000,000 price range has had shorter market times per RMLS™. These stats do not include condominium, attached or townhouses, they only include single-family residential properties.

Below are the stats from RMLS™ at the Million $ price point and higher in areas 147 Lake Oswego (zip codes 97034, 97035), 148 SW Portland, and 151 Tigard (zip codes 97223, and 97224):

MILLION DOLLAR HOUSES 147-Lake Oswego
148-SW Portland
151-Tigard
2008-2009 Y.T.D.

# Houses for Sale 131 98 7
# Houses Pending 5 2 0
# Houses Sold 47 57 2
High List Price $19,500,000 $4,988,850 $3,999,000
Low List Price $1,049,950 $1,080,000 $1,200,000
Average List Price $1,956,593 $1,783,814 $2,423,800
$ Sq. Ft. List Price $418 $331
Average Sq. Ft. Listed 4679 5383 4751
High Sold Price $3,150,000 $4,300,000 $3,749,000
Low Sold Price $1,030,000 $1,000,000 $1,200,000
Average Sold Price $1,496,919 $1,447,144 $2,474,500
$ Sq. Ft. Sold Price $337 $280 $454
Average Sq Ft. Sold 4646 5319 4951
Average Days On The Market 85 122 121
% Of Sold to Original List Price 89.93% 77.86% 88.9%
2007-2008 Y.T.D.

# Houses Sold 118 122 1
High Sold Price $5,250,000 $4,000,000 $1,100,000
Low Sold Price $1,000,000 $1,010,000 N/A
Average Sold Price $1,467,497 $1,441,579 N/A
$ Sq. Ft. Sold Price $332 $296 $394
Average Sq Ft. Sold 4426 4866 2792
Average Days On The Market 110 85 11
% Of Sold to Original List Price 91.52% 91.92% 79.14%
Source: RMLS™

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(For more national and local real estate information, go to my website at http://www.bettyjung.com)

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Rate Environment, by Michael Dolan, Broker Pro Mortgage


Mortgage interest rates continue an upward creep. You may be one of 100,000s who got interested in a mortgage loan when the best rate hit 4.5% briefly in mid January. Rates fluctuated for a while before moving up slowly but steadily for the past month. They still remain low compared to last year.

The President’s Tuesday night speech failed to help with rates as they moved up again Wednesday. Over the past month, we have had many speeches, laws, policies and plans that could have pushed rates lower. However, rates never really dropped except for a brief window on 15-yr mortgages.

It’s true that anything can happen in this volatile financial situation. But based on the financial structure in front of us today, I do not see how rates will reverse their trend.

If you planned to re-finance only because we were at historic lows, your window has closed. You might as well wait.

If you had other reasons to re-finance, you can still get a very good rate. It’s probably a good idea to act soon. Many homeowners have moved off the sideline over the past week as they see what is happening. You may want to revise your desired rate target.

If you are planning to buy, rates remain attractive – better than at any time in 2008.

Michael Dolan

BrokerPro Commercial and Residential Financing

1001 SW 5th Ave #1100

Portland OR 97204
503-220-2705
Mobile: 503-287-4876
Fax: 503-961-9937
http://www.brokerpromortgage.com
Start Informed – Finish Faster

MACPLAN – Foreclosure Crisis Analysis, By Dave McDonald


There are several updates and issues to bring to your attention. As things transpire I may not have time to e-mail pertinent updates to you so I have set up a blog at macplan.blogspot.com where you can go for the information. I will try to e-mail you when there is a new update on the blog. Here is what is happening now and what I am working on:

1) Late last week the largest mortgage insurance company, The PMI Group, instituted a policy that they would no longer insure mortgages that were originated by brokers. By implementing this policy the Mortgage Insurance companies will speed up the consolidation and nationalization of the banks, hasten the downfall of most if not all non-bank lenders that utilize brokers as their main source of business, and force the small mortgage broker to consolidate under a larger bank environment. This policy will also put most appraisers out of business.
The public, once again, is getting the shaft. By not allowing brokers to originate loans with less than 20% down on a purchase or less than 20% equity in the property for a refinance borrowers will have to go to the few remaining banks the exist who will be able to charge what the want because they won’t have competition from the brokers. A client that is over 80% Loan –To- Value that goes to a broker will be limited to an FHA product….which is insured by the government ad has not one but 2 types of mortgage insurance which in many cases makes it more expensive for the borrower than it would under a conventional loans with mortgage insurance. Again, customers wanting high LTV loans will need to go to banks, put up with higher rates, longer lines and bad service.
Yesterday I spoke to the upper management at the PMI Group to get their side of the story as to why they are implementing this policy. They told me, unlike published reports, that it was not due to quality of the loan originations submitted by brokers. Their take was that they do not have the capital necessary to reserve for future losses. They say that their low stock prices make it harder to attract new capital. They say that this a strictly a company survival mode tactic to make sure they don’t take on any more risk until the delinquency issues on the current loans in the market place have run their course. They say if they were able to raise more capital then the policy could change back.
I made clear to them what the ramifications of their policy implementation will do to the average borrower. I made clear that it will cause a domino effect with closing of the remaining non-bank lenders, brokers, appraisers and everybody else in the industry leading to a lot more unemployment while giving borrowers less loan options and higher rates.
The bottom line, there are ways to fight this which I will go into later.

2) Obama’s Foreclosure Rescue Plan – I am currently reviewing this. It seems like a lot of the same old stuff and need a lot of questions to be answered:
a) How are they going to implement the refinancing through FNMA and Freddie Mac for upside down borrowers? Where does mortgage insurance come in….are they going to do it without mortgage insurance. If mortgage insurance is required then San Diego is screwed again…because all mortgage insurance companies have designated us as a Declining Market. How is FNMA and Freddie going to get around that. Also, I understand that they will only allow up to 105% LTV….how is that going to help people that are upside down by 20-50%?
B) The incentives given to servicers…are they going to be enough. The modification plan is still voluntary for the servicers.
C) Throwing $400 billion more into FNMA and Freddie Mac to continue to buy mortgage backed securities that nobody else is buying and nobody can put a value on…is the govt over paying….and what are they paying for those securities. It is almost as if the government thinks that the securitization crisis has been solved. The buying up of the securities may have the effect of temporarily lowering rates but will those rates still be offset by the price and cost adjustments currently being added on by FNMA and Freddie.
And when will the money that is printed to fund the buying of the securities get circulated….the printing of the money will no doubt cause inflation which will increase rates significantly.
D) Currently in this plan there is absolutely no relief for people that have Jumbo Loan for more than the GSE Loan limit of $546250. Are we just going to let that deck of cards fall. One Jumbo default equals 3 or 4 condos…nobody has the guts to take this problem on.
E) There is still no relief for people that own rentals. The Popular thing to say is that we don’t want to bailout speculators an investors. But what about they guy who has owned a rental for 20 years and did some refinancing to better his cash flow…but now his value is down, his payment is up, and it doesn’t cash-flow. He is not a speculator. He is one guy that owns a property that is rented out. He did not buy it recently and try to flip it. Most likely, he isn’t rich either. People like that need relief, as much as it is politically incorrect to say such things.

3) The effect of the Stimulus Plan on mortgages – I am still digesting the 1100 or so pages. However, we do know that the loan limit for San Diego will go back up to $697,500. Once again, the key for this is how the loan limit is implemented and we are getting conflicting messages from the bond traders and the GSE’s. We do no that now there will a $8000 tax credit that does not need to be paid back for homebuyers that buy by the end of November. We do know that 2 Billion Dollars is going to be spent on local foreclosure prevention methods

4) The Mortgage Crisis is an Urgent event that could eventually and pretty quickly cost Americans our Sovereignty. The fact that very little is being done correctly to break up the bank oligarchy, correct our financial problems, and produce solutions that will stabilize our economy is absurd.

THE MACPLAN – An Action Plan For the Financial Crisis

1) Currently, I am assembling plans and ideas from many various sourcesfrom bond traders to securitizers to asset managers to Realtors to come up with an overall, well thought out comprehensive mortgage crisis and foreclosure prevention plan. Most plans are there come from one view or the other….they are not comprehensive and don’t attack all areas. If you have any ideas please e-mail them to me. Once these ideas are collected, I will setup meetings where everybody can show up, voice their opinions, and add ideas to for speak against the plan. Unlike Congress, you will have ample time to read the initial plan before you go to the meeting.
DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IDEAS AND PLANS: Sunday February 22nd
SELF IMPOSED DEADLINE FOR PUBLISHING INITIAL PLAN: March 1st
1st MEETING :tentatively March 1st at a place TBD

2) The final plan will be put together based on the response of the meetings

3) Once this plan is completed, then we will get it to our elected officials via e-mail, fax and regular. We will also post not only on my blog but several others.

4) We will start not only an online petition but a handwritten petition to implement this that will be delivered to our officials

5) SAN DIEGO ECONOMIC AND MORTGAGE REVOLT DAY – APRIL 1st

This is where all of the mortgage and real estate professionals, our families, and our customers take to the streets to promote the plan that we come up with….yes picket the banks, picket intersections, rally at the park, etc.

We will need a committee to put this on and I will be looking from leaders and non-leaders in all parts of the county to step up.

Be looking for the MACPLAN to take form….we will eventually change the name but it’s good for now.

Dave McDonalds Blog
http://www.macplan.blogspot.com/

Home Purchase Tax Credit, By Paul Dean of Evergreen Ohana Group


As you may know, I have been advertising and promoting the $7500 First Time Home buyer Tax Credit (which is really an interest free loan for 15yrs) expires on July 1, 2009. And there has been very little interest by the general public & buyers.

THIS IS A NEWS FLASH: The new stimulus package may increase that credit to $15K for ANY purchase of a primary home, and IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE RE-PAID!!! This hasn’t been passed yet. But as soon as it is signed into law, I’ll let you know. This is the news from RIS Media today:

“The enhanced $15,000 tax credit offers a powerful incentive for home buyers to get off the sidelines and represents the best opportunity for economic recovery,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. “Congress must make sure that the full $15,000 tax credit remains in the final stimulus plan.”

The bipartisan amendment to the stimulus package, offered by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and approved by unanimous voice vote, would create a $15,000 home buyer tax credit available to all purchasers of a principle residence for one year after its date of enactment. The tax credit would not have to be repaid and buyers could claim it against their 2008 and/or 2009 tax returns.

This could be HUGE for our industry. Stay Tuned.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you,

Paul Dean
Principal
Evergreen Ohana Group
5331 SW Macadam Ave, Suite 287
Portland, OR 97239

Toll Free: (800) 387-7355
Office: (503) 892-2800 Ext.11
Fax: (503) 892-2803

Website: http://www.evergreenohana.com
Email: pauld@evergreenohana.com

OR ML-21, WA510-LO-33391, WA WA:520-CL-50385

PS. Your business and loyalty are truly valued. I strive to provide all my clients with the very best professional service possible. If a friend or family member would appreciate this level of service, please don’t keep me a secret!

Point of Order by Matt Stashin, Pacific Residential Mortgage Company


We’ve all heard the news: the dark storm clouds of the financial meltdown will cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars, if not several trillion by the time it is all said and done. Unemployment numbers are set to skyrocket. The U.S. automakers need a bailout, following suit after so many others. Retail sales were down substantially during the holiday shopping season. People are keenly aware of the possibility of layoffs. Are we done yet? Probably not.

But amidst the ominous storm clouds lingering on the horizon, if one looks very closely, a platinum lining is visible amongst those clouds. One first reaction might be, “are you kidding?”. However, after a bit of reflection, one can begin to see the sun reflecting off that platinum lining.

Regardless of an individual’s opinion of the bailout, the soon-to-be former administration and the role of the government in residential housing, the opportunities available in the market place today are unprecedented. We all recognize home values have dropped substantially in almost every neighborhood. And if this is coupled with extremely low interest rates (did someone say rivaling the lowest in 40 years?), the buying power of the consumer has not been more keen.

One doesn’t have to look far to find a bargain. And with these interest rates, all factors have aligned in favor of the buyer. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, it is for those who have put themselves in a good position to purchase a home. History will show them to have been very savvy. It pays to buy low, at the incredible interest rates, and watch one’s equity build substantial wealth over time.

In today’s marketplace, 20% down isn’t the only option. There still exist a limited number of financing options with little to no down payment. In order to better prepare one’s self, a quick check of your credit scores are in order. Freecreditreport.com is a way to find out how your credit history will be analyzed by lenders; credit scores in excess of 740 give access to the best programs and pricing on interest rates. At least 2 years on the job, showing steady income will help on the employment front. Assets are nice to have, but not necessary to have in abundance for all programs. One will want to make sure that checking account statements (2 month’s worth) show no overdrafts. In today’s marketplace, lenders are more cautious than ever when it comes to loaning money to buy a home, but obtaining mortgage financing is still relatively painless when one chooses to work with a seasoned professional mortgage broker.

With a mini refinance boom going on due to these record low interest rates, one issue the mortgage industry will have to face is the potential for a scarcity of funds. Today, due to the federal government’s conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie along with the strategy to have the Federal Reserve purchase mortgages, many fears have been eased regarding the availability of mortgage money. But a new problem may be just ahead. Wall Street, which capitalized about 60% of the mortgage market, has all but disappeared. Banks are publicly being told to lend money, while their regulators are telling them to maintain adequate reserves, which translates into holding onto their cash. Couple this with the mass exodus of foreign investment into the U.S. mortgage market, and one can imagine a market in which there is more demand to borrow than there is money to loan.

Consider this: the Treasury department is issuing T-bills with very low yields that may not be attractive to buyers and the Federal Reserve will, at some point, rely on the funding created by the sale of T-bills to have enough capital to continue to purchase mortgages through Fannie and Freddie. If the appetite for low-yield T-bills drops off substantially, which may be a very real possibility, a liquidity crisis in the mortgage market could manifest itself.

How does this apply to someone today who is considering purchasing a primary residence, a second home or an investment property? My point is this: don’t wait. A scarcity of funds will cause interest rates to skyrocket, overnight. Jumbo funds seem to be disappearing already, although conventional financing to loan amount limits of $417,000 is readily available. Banks don’t seem to be interested in tying up their liquidity in large loan amounts. To me, this is a sign. Not a “doom & gloom” sign, but a warning sign nevertheless. My interpretation here is now is the time to act. The banking system is sound, but mortgage financing is not the banking system. And when capital is being used at the current rate due to the refinance boom, it sets me to wondering how this will impact the availability of funds for mortgage lending throughout the course of this year.

The federal government has a very tenuous road ahead of it this year. The conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie was meant to be a temporary situation and, as it is currently in place, will terminate at the end of 2009. Between now and then, the best and brightest minds in our country will have to reinvent the mortgage market. With many banks still teetering on the edge, one must think these low interest rates will take a toll on the availability of funds. Who will be interested, long term, in 4.5% paper? As the stock market starts to rebound, investors will be looking for higher returns on their money and interest in current mortgage paper yields will wane thereby creating a scarcity of funding for new lending.

Thought the storm clouds continue to linger, and they may even get a bit darker in the near future, It is my opinion that today is perhaps the best opportunity to invest in real estate that has existed in decades. For the money, this seasoned mortgage professional thinks now is the time to get mortgage financing before it becomes a scarce resource. Those that buy houses now will likely look like a genius down the road.

Am I saying this is a sure thing? NO; any investment carries risk and should be carefully evaluated. But I am saying when one peers into the storm clouds above and sees the shiny reflection of the sun off the platinum lining, one should strongly consider that the combination of low home prices and low interest rates is a sign to buy before the clouds all break up and disappear. And everyone knows the opportunity has slipped away once the storm has passed. And so I say, keep wear a raincoat and keep an umbrella handy while shopping for a home out under the storm clouds.

Matt Stashin
President/CEO

Pacific Residential Mortgage, LLC
2 CenterPointe Dr. STE 500
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 619-0482 Direct
(503) 670-0674 Fax
(800) 318-4571 Toll Free
http://www.pacresmortgage.com