Market Update

Our buyer's agent Andy Harris is knee deep in the market touring and getting our client's into escrow. He also keeps a close eye on the market update and the ebb and flow that this crazy Portland Market brings us. Below is his take on June's real estate market as brought to us by RMLS.


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"For the past month or so, I’ve noticed a slim slowing down in the Portland housing market. Our clients have had a relatively easier time of getting an offer accepted, and the general number of offer counts on listings have dropped.

Given my personal and our teams’ experience is only a small slice of the larger overall market, I’ve asked a number of agents what they’ve been experiencing, and every single one I’ve spoken to has echoed the exact same sentiments – the market is still strong, but has definitely softened from a buyer’s perspective.

The numbers released for June, 2016 were just released late last week and they reflect our collective experience. Inventory has ticked higher to 1.5 months, after previous months at 1.3, 1.4 and 1.4 from March to May respectively.

I’ve asked agents what they think is behind the modest change in the market, and no one has quite been able to put their finger on it. One item that could be at play is the number of new listings have jumped 5.2% over last June, and 8.6% over new May, 2016 listings. The 4501 new listings in June mark the strongest June since 2008 (5213).

Pending sales (3390) are also lower than last year’s June by 6% (3605), and 4.9% lower than May, 2016 (3563). One thing to note while I’m showing data that is showing a softer market than last year based on new listings and pending sales, last year’s June inventory was 1.6 months – so in that sense June, 2015 was technically ever so slightly softer than this year when using inventory as a measure. As we all know, we can use these numbers to paint a picture and get an idea of what’s happening, but we also have to be careful not to cherry pick data just to prove a point.

Prices have continued to rise, and the Portland metro region has seen a jump of 11.8% on an “average” basis ($347,900 to $388,800), or 13.3% on a median basis ($300,000 to $339,900).

Higher priced houses tend to skew the average, so I prefer to look at the median housing price to get a better picture of what the average buyer is paying for a house.

To illustrate this, imagine 3 houses sell – one for $250,000, one for $350,000 and one for $600,000. The median sale price is $350,000, whereas the average sale price is $400,000. Now let’s say the 3rd house sold for $900,000 instead of $600,000. The median price stays at $350,000 but the average is now $500,000.

Regardless of which way you prefer to value Portland homes, they continue to rise and, at the very least in the eyes of many agents, the market is just starting to slow down.

Is it seasonal? Is the higher pricing triggering a higher amount sellers getting off the fence and increasing the number of listings? Are more prospective buyers reconsidering buying a home? Is the Portland market becoming less attractive to people moving here as they hear of the extreme competitiion, higher prices and housing headaches?

These are the sort of questions I wish I could answer at this point, but I’ll need to keep my eye on the market to really start to unravel what’s happening and to see if it continues or if it’s just a blip."

All Data Source: RMLS