As a Realtor in Lake Oswego for the past 25 plus years, I’ve seen property values go up by a cumulative 225% increase with an average yearly change of a little over 6%. In that time frame, there have been some dips (like we saw back in 2008), but for the most part, homes in Lake Oswego prove to be a solid investment both financially and personally.
Here are some things to watch for in the upcoming year as they will play a role in home valuation.
●Schools. As I’ve said before, I’ve seen the Lake Oswego School District’s reputation brings as many homebuyers into our town as the lake, the location, or the community. Being honored as the #1 school district in the nation by StartClass, an educational research website last year only helped validate that perception. But our schools are facing challenges, especially with the expected increase in PERS payouts for the 2017-2019 biennium. It’s important to watch school board decisions regarding how the district is going to manage those costs, offer input and say “YES!” when the Lake Oswego School District Foundation comes calling.
●Interest rates. The mortgage interest rate marker (which is tied to the bond market, not the Federal discount rate) remained steady for the past 12 months with a low of 3.5% to a high of 4.25% for a 30 year fixed rate loan, both conventional and jumbo. Everyone kept saying, “This has to change,” but it never did. Now the question is shifting more from “Will they or won’t they?” to “When?” Expect rates to slowly rise, perhaps beginning by Spring Break or earlier. The rise will probably be slow and should have little impact on the Lake Oswego housing market except for the entry level where every increase hurts.
●Rental market. Across the country we are seeing more people renting than buying. New apartments locally were added in 2015 near ClubSport. More will come with the Wizer project and there are actually many small 2-10 unit projects that have popped up around town. This could impact demand for housing as more people have the option to rent rather than own in Lake Oswego. However, I believe in the value of calling Lake Oswego home, and think that after renting here for a while, renters are very likely to put down roots…by buying a home.
●Buyer/seller market. Last year started off as a strong seller’s market but ended up with things in balance. I see 2016 headed for more of the same which personally, I see as healthy. It helps us to determine real values, not inflated ones that can come back to haunt us as they did in 2008.
●Sweat equity. This part is up to you—what you decide to redo, remodel, update, or add on to the house you are currently living in. If you’re a fan of HGTV, you know that in most cases, sweat equity pays off. But before you hire that contractor, or pick up that paintbrush, feel free to give me a call at 503.939.9801 so I can advise you on where you will get the most bang for your fixer-upper bucks. Not all home remodeling projects are created equal and some will reap you more rewards in terms of resale than others. I’m happy to put my market knowledge to work in helping you make the right decision.