Rise in Repo Home Listing, Falling Prices in Oregon

by Simon Lindsay on States

The continuous increase in the number of properties in repo home listing in Oregon is pressuring down home prices. The unabated foreclosure in the state may cause anxiety to thousands of homeowners but the resulting drop in home prices may mean bargains for price-conscious homebuyers and investors.

And potential homebuyers are observed to be exploring the foreclosure market, lured by a federal tax credit of $8,000 and low interest rates. In Portland, median home price last month was $249,000, representing a 17 percent decline from figures during the housing market boom. Meanwhile, the number of real estate sales until last month declined by almost 30 percent compared with the previous year figures.

And the bad news is, homeowners who purchased their properties after January 2006 experienced a significant decline in the market value of their houses. This value decline is acutely felt in luxury homes and condominium towers in downtown Portland. Meanwhile, sales of houses priced above $1 million declined nearly two-thirds in value compared with the previous year.

And things are not looking up for Oregon residents who have been experiencing the impact of the housing crash caused by bad mortgages for several years now. Adding to their woes is the significant rise in the unemployment rate in the state. The state’s jobless rate was the second highest in March and this means more problems for homeowners who are struggling to meet their monthly mortgage payments.

Compounding the foreclosure problem also is the increasing number of people who lost significant amount of money on short sales. A short sale deal involves selling distressed properties for a price lower than what owners owe for their mortgages.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) data showed that first-time homebuyers accounted for 50 percent of all property sales in the first three months of this year. However, majority of first-time homebuyers were seeking big discounts from repo home listing and short sales which caused home prices to plummet.

Additionally, NAR said that distressed sales contributed for almost 50 percent of the total sales in the first three months of the year.

In Portland, short sales and foreclosures accounted for one in every five of the total 14,300 repo home listing. Statewide, foreclosure filings increase by 29 percent or 10,547 properties in the first quarter of this year.