“We don’t have the $800,000-to-$1-million homes that you see in Irvington and Alameda,” Clark points out. “The most expensive home on the market in Sabin right now is listed at $739,000. It’s a total rebuild, and it’s been on the market for a while.” Although Portland home sales have been brisk this summer, Sabin lacks a large inventory for agents to show. With just 11 active homes on the market in late August and 16 home sales in July, Sabin has less than one month’s inventory. The national real estate industry measures an area’s monthly inventory by dividing the number of active listings by the number of homes sold in the last 30 days.
As a comparison, the entire city of Portland has 2.8 months worth of inventory. However, economists generally consider 6 months of inventory to be a balanced market, with anything below indicating a seller's market. “That means we are a super, super seller’s market right now,” says Clark. For Sabin homeowners considering selling their homes anytime soon — or even in several years — Clark suggests talking to an agent who can advise them how to maximize their profit on a prelisting fixer-up investment. “We might suggest replacing a countertop and flooring, and adding new fixtures rather than spending $30,000 on a whole-kitchen redo,” she says. “It’s going to be difficult getting that entire $30,000 out of the sale.”
Home prices are definitely up from last year. In 2012, Sabin had 106 homes sell with a median price of $368,500. The median price means half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. As of Aug. 20, Sabin’s 11 active listings had a median asking price of $475,000. Clark notes that even during the recent recession, Sabin home owners didn’t have to take much of a hit on their asking price. Her historical data shows that from January to August in 2009, Sabin homes sold for 96 percent of their asking price. During those same months this year, sellers got 101 percent of their listing price. "Sabin is a great, walk-able neighborhood, and it’s very community focused,” adds Clark, who knows the neighborhood well. She’s lived here for eight years. “Personally, I’d rather live in Sabin than in Irvington or Alameda. I like the diverse culture here.”
— Susan Goracke