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Portland Pre Foreclosures Surged, Drove Down Prices

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Portland pre foreclosures in February marked the highest among city filings in Oregon and pushed down the median home sales price by more than 9 percent.

Based on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service, 430 foreclosures were posted in February, contributing substantially to the 3,312 total foreclosures posted by the state of Oregon in February.

As the number of Portland foreclosure homes surged, the sales price median for houses plunged by 9.3 percent year-over-year to $235,000 and the average price dropped by 8.5 percent from February 2009 to $273,100. Prices in Portland peaked in the middle of 2007 when prices surpassed the $350,000 level.

The surge in homes auctions in Portland also pushed up both actual and pending home sales in February. Actual sales rose by 18.4 percent year-over-year to 1,015 units and pending sales soared by 45 percent. New listings also increased by 12.4 percent. The number of units available for sale also increased to 13,100 units compared to January.

Local housing analysts said that the Portland residential market in the first months of 2010 was better than the same period last year, but it was weaker compared to the last months of 2009. They said that the surge in Portland pre foreclosures could hinder recovery.

The inventory of houses for sale was equivalent to 12.9 months of supply, higher than the January supply but lower than the 16.6 supply level in February last year.

The regional listing service also showed that listed homes stayed on the market for an average of 150 days, lower than the previous time of 153 days.

Tim Duy, economist at the University of Oregon, said that the rush of buyers in the last months of 2009 has not extended into 2010 despite the extension of the tax incentives. He added that the number of home shoppers is not compensating the increase in inventory in the market.

In another report from real estate professional Salvador Del Cid, the pace of house sales in Portland was fastest in North Portland, where homes stayed on the market for an average of only 74 days. Homes in West Portland were the ones taking the longest to sell, as they stayed on the market for an average of 208 days.

According to local analysts, the surge in Portland pre foreclosures will continue if mortgage refinancing and employment do not pick up, but the local market will still be in a better situation to bear foreclosure activity than most other cities.

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