July 2013 Case-Shiller Home Price Report


Real Estate Advocate

Another Report Breaking Records

“Home prices continue to strengthen,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Two cities set new highs, surpassing their pre-crisis levels and five cities – Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle – posted monthly gains of over three percent, also a first time event.”

This is pretty big news– to gain on a monthly basis over 3 percentage points. It appears to be approaching frenzy in a few states this summer. Blitzer did not mention the two cities which set new pre-crisis highs.

The gain for the 10-city and 20-city composite was also significant at 2.5% and 2.4%.

Though the 20-City and 10-City composites appear to be at spring 2004 levels, Portland is at July 2005 levels with a figure of 151.91. It is also sitting nicely in the middle of the pack with a yearly gain of 12.5%.

People are…

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Time for a Change?


Eliot Neighborhood

Portland is revising its Comprehensive Plan. Comp Plans are a State requirement and need to be revised every 20 years. Eliot land use and zoning is currently covered by the Albina Community Plan and the Eliot Plan within it. Previous columns discussed revisions to the Central City Plan. All these plans were adopted over 20 years ago.

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Eliot Home Selected for Kitchen Revival Tour


Eliot Neighborhood

By Joan Ivan

The Architectural Heritage Center recently presented its spring showcase of the talent, skill, and creativity of local craftspeople, designers, and homeowners who wish to preserve original character and charm while making the most popular room in a home meet 21st century needs.

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Corbett Building, 1954


Vintage Portland

The 1870 Corbett Building was the first fully cast-iron fronted building in the city. It was also the only building to have its cast-iron pieces come from Baltimore, shipped around Cape Horn. Demolished two years after this photo, it was on SW 1st Avenue between Alder and Washington.

corbett building 8028 1954(University of Oregon Libraries)

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Using Gift Money For Your Down Payment


Ask Carolyn Warren

kitchen counter top view No money for a down payment? If you have a family member who is willing and able to give you the funds for a down payment, you may be in luck! Here’s how it works.

Who Is Allowed to Gift Money

Gift money may come from a family member. Some lenders will stretch that to include a fiance/fiancee. Friends are not allowed to gift the down payment. Why? Because lenders believe that your parents, a grandparent, or even a brother or sister would give you cash without expecting it to be returned. But a friend? No, lenders don’t think friendship stretches that far, and that it would actually be a secret loan. Remember, borrowed money cannot be used for a down payment.

What the Gifter Has to Prove

Lenders have a form Gift Letter that the person donating the funds must fill out and sign. In addition, they have to…

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SW 5th Avenue & Washington, 1949


Vintage Portland

SW 5th Avenue was very busy place where it crossed Washington Street in this 1949 photo. Pedestrians, autos, buses and streetcars all vie for space. Other than the wooden “no left turn” sign in the middle of the intersection, there don’t appear to be any traffic controls. Both streets were two-way at the time, further complicating things.

A2005-001.900  SW 5th Ave and Washington St looking south on 5th Ave 1949(City of Portland Archives)

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Portland Heights Real Estate Ad, 1907


Vintage Portland

We’ve seen this Portland Heights illustration before but this version is without the folds shown in the previous one. It also presents it in context of the full-page D.E. Keasey & Co. real estate ad in 1907. $550 gave you your choice of 50 lots at the time.

de keasey real estate 1907(The Oregonian. Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com)

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July 2013 RMLS Market Action


Real Estate Advocate

Time for a break. Take a breath and exhale slowly. That is what the market did too this past month. It has been 3 years, 2010 since the Portland Market Inventory has actually increased between May and June.

Market time is still climbing downward at a decent pace. It fell 38.4% from last year and 17.6% from last month. This figure is getting closer to winter 2007, December 2007 had 73 days on the market average time.

Interest rates going up, 4.5% today on average for a 30-year loan, has definitely changed a few buyers’ earning power. The .5% costs about $90 a month more for a $300,000 home or takes a $300,000 home search down to $260,000-$270,000.

Compared to Last Year
Inventory up to 2.9 months.
Closed sales up 11.9%.
Pending sales up 15.2%
New listings up 16.9%.
Average Sales Price up 10.5%
Median Sales Price 12.4%

Compared to…

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Should You Pay Points for a Low Interest Rate?


Ask Carolyn Warren

house American With the recent rise in interest rates, does it make sense to pay a percentage point (1% of the loan amount) to get a lower interest rate?

That’s a good question, and I’ll tell you how I determine the answer, based on your individual situation. But first, for those who are not familiar, I’ll explain how you can a lower interest rate by paying a point.

What Does Paying a Point Mean?

Let’s say today’s interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate is 4.25%, but you would really love 4.0%. You can opt to buy down your rate by paying one percent of your loan amount as an upfront closing cost. For example:

$200,000 loan, 0 points, 4.25% = $983/mo. principal and interest

$200,000 loan, 1 point ($2,000), 4.0% = $954/mo. principal and interest

By paying $2,000 upfront, you save$29/mo. on your payment.

How to Determine…

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