Report Dates: January-March
Each quarter we pool our knowledge and experience to evaluate the latest real estate market data. We provide our thoughts here to give you an insider’s look at what’s going on in Portland.
The Portland real estate market has been going strong for several years now with home values consistently trending upward. Based on the quarterly market data, the latest data that we have pulled for 2017 so far, and our observation, this will continue to be the case for the near future.
March residential sales and new listings remain almost on par with 2016’s activity, which is to say that the Portland Metro saw 3600 homes come on the market in March, then watched just over 3000 of them go pending, and about 2500 sales closed. March 2017 showed the same scant 1.3 months of available inventory as a year ago, down from 1.9 months in February (a healthy market typically has 3-6 months of inventory!). In all, the number of closed sales increased by almost 50% over the previous month. This has continued to drive the strong “seller’s market” conditions, although homes that are too aggressively priced are now resisted somewhat as the inventory in April has increased and May threatens to do the same; buyers seem hopeful that more listings are coming and feel less pressured to settle and to overpay.
Nevertheless, the average sales price in March 2017 went up nearly $25K over February’s (!) and at $428,400 is $43,300 higher than it was a year ago. That’s more than 11% overall!
It seems worth noting that many of the west side communities (notably NW and SW Portland; and also Hillsboro/Forest Grove) are enjoying pending sales up 20-30% over the March/April 2016 period. Buyers appear to be expanding their geographical parameters to meet their budgets and still check the required boxes for features and amenities.
What’s in store for summer and beyond?
There are many factors to consider when trying to anticipate what will happen to the Portland real estate market as the year continues, especially when trying to predict whether or not there will be any major changes. Two factors to keep an eye on are interest rates and the economy.
Home loan rates did see an increase toward the end of 2016 but remain very low. If the rates rise significantly in 2017, it could affect buyer activity. The economy is always a big factor when it comes to housing. New state and federal policies and policy changes may promote uncertainty. Locally, there is some fear that our strong seller’s market may not be sustainable for much longer.
These and other factors could result in more people deciding that 2017 is the year to list their home(s) for sale. Look for the possibility of 2017 being the year that inventory begins to swing upward. Keep an eye on current inventory by visiting our featured listings page.