The real estate market in Portland, Oregon has changed a lot over the past couple of years. Home-price appreciation has finally slowed down, after a long period of rapid growth. And there appears to be more inventory available for buyers to choose from.
Those are just two of the reasons why 2019 could be a good time to buy a home in Portland. The fall and winter of 2018 could also be a great time to buy, due to the seasonal slowdown in the market.
Why 2019 Could Be a Good Time to Buy in Portland
Housing inventory has increased a bit, giving buyers more options. And the rapid home-price growth of the last few years has slowed to a more normal pace. This latter development should allow buyers to catch their breath, so to speak. These and other factors could make 2019 a great year to buy in Portland. Here’s what you should know about these trends.
1. Home buyers could have more inventory to choose from — finally.
Back in late 2015 and early 2016, Portland’s real estate market had about a 1-month supply of homes for sale. By June 2018, inventory had increased to about a 2.2-month supply. This is a positive trend that could make things easier for home buyers planning to enter the market over the coming months.
A July 2018 Bloomberg article pointed to Portland, Oregon as one of several tight real estate markets where inventory is starting to rise.
To quote that article:
“In San Jose, California, inventory was up 12 percent in June from a year earlier. It rose 24 percent in Seattle and 32 percent in Portland, Oregon. Those big jumps are from low numbers, so the housing crunch is still a serious problem.”
To be clear, housing inventory in Portland is still well below what’s considered to be a “balanced” real estate market. But the fact that supply is finally starting to grow is a positive sign for buyers. It should give them more options, while easing competition a bit. It’s another reason why 2019 could be a good year to buy a home in Portland.
2. Slower home-price appreciation could relieve some of the urgency.
In August 2018, Zillow reported that the median home value in Portland was $425,500. That was a slight gain over the same month a year earlier. Looking forward, the company predicts that the median price will rise by around 2.1% over the next 12 months (ending in August 2019).
That’s a much slower rate of home-price growth than we were seeing a few years back. From 2015 to 2016, for example, house prices in Portland rose by double digits. So the market appears to be returning to “normal,” at least in terms of year-over-year price growth.
With Prices Rising, Buyers Shouldn’t Wait Too Long
To recap: housing inventory has increased a bit in the Portland area, and it could continue along that trajectory. Meanwhile, home-price growth has slowed down. Those are two reasons why 2019 could be a good year to buy a house or condo in Portland, Oregon.
But buyers shouldn’t mistake a “cooling” market for a “cold” one. There’s still plenty of competition within the local housing scene, due to the tight inventory conditions mentioned earlier. And prices are still rising. As a result, those buyers who postpone their purchases until later next year could encounter higher housing costs.
Have questions? Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.