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By JOY KINGSBURY/for The Herald  —  Higher Mortgage rates and a shortage of affordable inventory continue to keep the housing market sluggish.  It’s the slowest sales pace since November 2010.  In Oakridge, there are homes available sitting on the market for longer periods of time at prices that are considerably elevated over the past.

New statistics from Oregon Realtors, cites that 84% of Oregonians believe that housing affordability is a very large, or, at least, a big problem. 76% of Oregonians believe that there is not enough housing affordability for teachers, nurses, firefighters, and civil servants to fit their moderate incomes. 79% say they would prefer to live in a single-family home as opposed to a town house, apartment, or condo.  67% say they need housing to fit their budgets even if that uses more land and creates more carbon emissions.  75% prefer to live in a single family detached home even if it means driving more. 23% prefer to live in an apartment, or townhouse with easy access to amenities.

Here in Oakridge/Westfir, there are twenty-three single family detached properties listed for sale, four of which are manufactured homes.  They range in price from $140,000 to $1,100.000 depending on size and location.  The average price is $363,248.00 and days on the market are approximately 179.  We have five multi-units on the market priced from $375,000 to $848,000, and days on market are approximately 252. There are 24 lots and land on the market ranging in price from $50,000 to $848,000, with days on market up to 388.  We have four commercial properties priced from $239,000 to $848,000 with days on the market to 170.

At this time, there is little hope that interest rates will go down.  The best advice to home and land purchasers is to plan and budget resources to be certain that house payments can be met on current income, and payments are no more than 23 to 25% of monthly income. There should be a cushion left for utility expenses. If there are sufficient funds in the budget to pay extra to the principal of the mortgage each month, the interest rate can be lowered significantly over time by doing that.

Joy Kingsbury is an Oakridge resident and regular contributor to The Herald.

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