Real estate roundup: Millennials prefer to use agents; No, they don’t; foreclosures rise

Mar 11, 2015

Oregonian

A couple of just-released studies draw different conclusions about the way millennials, generally defined as 34 and younger, go about buying a residence.

From the National Association of Realtors comes this: Millennials represent the largest share of recent buyers, with 32 percent, up two points from two years ago. The overwhelming majority of buyers search online first, then buy with the help of a real estate agent, with millennials using agents the most. (Emphasis added).

From Neoscape, an East Coast creative studio that specializes in architecture and real estate, this: 51 percent of 25-34 year olds say they don’t want to work with a real estate broker when buying a home and prefer getting their house hunting information from marketing materials, renderings and websites; and 55 percent of those under 34 years old find a mobile app more influential than a broker.

Make of that what you will.

Some other findings from the Realtors report:

The median age of millennial homebuyers was 29, their median income was $76,900 (up more than $3,000 since 2013), and they typically bought a 1,720 square-foot home costing $189,900. The typical Gen X buyer was 41 years old, had a median income of $104,600 ($98,200 a year ago) and purchased a 1,890-square foot home costing $250,000.

Gorilla Capital notes a strong uptick in foreclosures in the 24 Oregon counties it monitors. Judicial and non-judicial foreclosures rose 128 percent in February from February 2014, the company said, marking the third straight month that foreclosures were up at least 95 percent from a year earlier.

Nationally, the foreclosure rate is trending downward, but Oregon is still working through a logjam resulting from changes in state-imposed rules intended to assist homeowners who wanted to stay in their houses.

“I believe the foreclosure paper jam will clear over the next four to six months as more distressed home owners and lenders slog through the cumbersome state system,” writes John Helmick, chief executive of Gorilla Capital.

The most shocking percentage increase in Gorilla’s report: central Oregon’s Jefferson County, which had just one foreclosure in February 2014, but 12 last month. While the law of small numbers applies in the relatively thinly populated county, that’s a four-digit percentage increase in one year.

— Mike Francis

Click here to read the story on the Oregon Live website.