The Portland housing market is definitely starting to look more normal, which is good reason for a sigh of relief all around. Here are some of the key things we’re seeing in today’s market.
The summer, normally the hottest time of year for both the weather and the housing market, has been a little different from past years (well, not in weather). The housing market has been unexpectedly cool. Competition for homes is slowing down as inventory slowly goes up. Home prices are still rising, but they aren’t going up at nearly the pace they have been.
In real estate, we measure the market’s strength by taking the current total number of listings and dividing that number by the current rate of sales. In June of 2018, Portland had 2.1 months of inventory available. In other words, at current sales rates, all homes on the market would be sold in 2.1 months. In June of 2017, inventory was just 1.6 months. It was 1.5 in June of 2016. By comparison, a “balanced” market is six months of inventory.
There are more homes to choose from now than there have been in quite some time (around 7,500). This means that you may not be facing as many competing offers as you would have been a year ago. On the other hand, you may still encounter stiff competition for certain types of homes, especially if they’re priced well, are in good shape, and are in a desirable neighborhood.
Days on Market
Homes are also sticking around for a little longer than they have been. Homes were on the market for an average of 40 days this past quarter.
But it’s worth pointing out that the median is still just 9 days, so many houses are still moving quickly. This shows that the good homes are still going quickly, while less desirable homes are sitting and dragging that average higher.
The median sales price in Portland this past quarter was $410,000. The median sales price in June of 2017 was $390,000. So, prices are still climbing, but they are not rising at the frenzied pace they were before.
However, competition is stiff for homes under that $400,000 mark because there just aren’t that many of them. You may still have a hard time if you’re a first-time home buyer looking for a starter home.
Speaking of price changes, curious about how prices have changed in Portland over the past few years? This heat map shows you exactly what’s changed for the entire city.
You can see that there have been increases for some parts of the city, but there have also been decreases in a few. By the way, these one- and five-year numbers are all down from last year.
Here’s a closer look at North Portland’s neighborhoods. The first number is the one-year median price change, and the second number is the five-year median price change.
Arbor Lodge (5%, 56%)
Bridgeton (5%, 29%)
East Columbia (-5%, 46%)
Hayden Island (1%, 27%)
Kenton (9%, 71%)
Overlook (-6%, 50%)
Piedmont (10%, 71%)
St. Johns (11%, 73%)
University (9%, 54%)
What the Future Holds
The pendulum is starting to swing back toward buyers. Actually, Portland is seeing two separate markets right now, with the separation being at the $500,000 mark. Homes under $500,000 are still going for full price or very close to it, with the occasional multiple offer situation. Homes over $500,000 rarely see those circumstances.
With two more interest rate increases scheduled this year (September and December), the market will probably slow down again until buyers acclimate to higher interest rates. Some expect prices to go down, but we don’t expect that. We probably will see appreciation slow significantly.
Now’s a great time for buyers to get moving. There’s increased inventory, so buyers have a little leverage. And of course, interest rates haven’t moved up again.
If you need any help buying or selling a home, give us a call! We’d love to help you navigate Portland’s market.