Pending home sales, new listings surged in May in Portland

The number of new listings of Portland area homes in May , 3,419 , skyrocketed 20.1% compared to the previous month, 2,847, but dropped 30.3% compared to May 2019, 4,902, according to the local listing service RMLS.

Contracts for home sales in May, 3,112, more than doubled, 52.5%, from the 2,041 in April 2020 but were 5.5% less than the 3,292 offers pending in May 2019.

The number of closed sales , 1,963 , in May decreased 2.6% from the 2,015 transactions recorded in April 2020, and there was a 33.9% drop from the 2,969 closings in May 2019.

The best indicator of June’s outcome: May’s huge jump in pending sales.

These contracts, which typically close four to six weeks later, means June will enjoy a spike, but it will not match June 2019 sales, said Kurt Misar, a broker with NW Property Advisors who issues newsletters to clients based on a variety of data.

Other factors are also influencing the home market.

Dustin Miller, a broker with Windermere Realty Trust, said the process of selling a residential property, although altered to conform to distancing guidelines, isn’t hampering transactions as much as the difficulty to move safely and schedule a mover.

Miller also thinks Portland’s protests will impact buyer interest. “I think a silent group of people may be looking to move from Multnomah County” to Alameda Ridge, Garthwick, Dunthorpe, University Park and other suburbs due to safety concerns, he said.

The average time residential properties were for sale in May before receiving an acceptable offer was 38 days, a decrease from 44 days in April 2020.

“The market time is down over 13%, which is an indicator of a seller’s market, “ said Miller. “However, many different price ranges and areas cannot quite boast about that just yet.”

Average sale price dipped 0.8% to $467,500 in May compared to $477,400 in April.

The median sale price, the point in the middle in which half of the properties sell at a higher price and the other half at a lower price, held steady from April, $424,000, to May, $425,000. But it’s up 4.1%, from $402,400 to $419,000, when comparing the first five months of 2020 to the same period in 2019.

In other year-to-date comparisons of the first five months of 2020 to the same period in 2019, new listings in the Portland area decreased 15.6%, pending sales decreased 9% and closed sales decreased 7.4%, according to RMLS.

Sellers at almost all levels continue to profit from the low number of residential properties for sale in Oregon, the state with the largest housing shortage in the nation.

The number of homes for sale has been dropping in the Portland area since January 2019, and even then, with a 3.3 month supply, it was considered a seller’s market.

In May 2020, there was a 2.3 month supply of homes for sale, which was steady with April’s 2.4-month supply but an increase from March’s 1.8 month supply.

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