Buying a Home in Oregon in 2017: Three Things You Should Know

Are you planning to buy a home in Oregon in 2017? Do you have questions about current real estate trends, mortgage rates, and other factors that affect home buyers? If so, keep reading.

We created this housing market update for anyone who is planning to buy a house in Oregon in 2017. It’s a great place to begin your research.

Buying a Home in Oregon: 3 Things to Know

When it comes to buying a home, knowledge is power. Entering the housing market with a solid understanding of current trends will improve your chance for success. With that in mind, here are three things you should know about buying a home in Oregon in 2017:

1. Home prices are much higher than a year ago.

The first thing you should know as a potential buyer is that home prices in Oregon have risen sharply over the last couple of years. And they continue to rise in 2017.

According to the real estate research team at Zillow, the median home price in Oregon rose by a whopping 12.5% over the last year alone (Feb. ’16 – Feb. ’17). That’s well above the historical average increase for U.S. home prices, which is around 3% – 4% per year.

The statewide median price is currently around $300,000, but it can be above or below this level depending on where you are buying a home. In Portland, for example, the median home value is now north of $350,000, according to recent reports. The median price for a lot of Oregon cities outside the Portland metro area is in the $200,000 range.

But what all of these areas have in common is that house values have risen sharply over the last year. As a result, those buying a home in Oregon in 2017 will encounter higher housing costs.

2. It’s a sellers’ market in many cities, especially Portland.

Is Oregon experiencing a sellers’ market in 2017? This is a hard question to answer across the board, because real estate conditions vary from one city to the next. With that being said, most of the major cities in Oregon are sellers’ markets right now. And nowhere is this more evident than in Portland.

In fact, Portland was recently ranked as one of the “Top 10 Sellers’ Markets” in the country, by the economists at Zillow. The real estate data company examined housing conditions in the largest U.S. metro areas, and then ranked them based on whether they favor home buyers or sellers. Portland showed up at #6 among the strongest sellers’ markets in the country, with homes selling quickly at or near the full asking price.

According to a related press release from February 14, 2017:

“Strong job growth is attracting newcomers, causing demand for homes to skyrocket. Portland and Seattle have experienced extremely high home value growth over the past year, with Portland leading the nation for the past 12 months.”

This is an important factor that will affect anyone who is buying a home in Oregon in 2017. Buyers should understand that market conditions in many cities currently favor sellers — especially within the Portland metro area.

Oregon home buyers can expect a high level of competition and should be prepared to move quickly when the right property comes along. This also underscores the importance of having your financing lined up ahead of time.

3. Postponing your purchase might mean paying more.

Mortgage interest rates rose sharply during the latter part of 2016. This surge began right after the U.S. presidential election and continued through the end of the year. Thankfully, rates have leveled off since then. You can see all of this in the 12-month mortgage rate trends chart below, which is based on the industry survey conducted by Freddie Mac.

Rate chart February 2017

Mortgage rate trends through February 2017. Source: Freddie Mac PMMS.

Additionally, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) recently predicted that rates would continue to rise gradually through the end of 2017. In their latest finance forecast, published in January, the MBA’s economists said they expect the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan to reach 4.7% by the fourth quarter of 2017 (it was at 4.17% when this article was published in February).

Oregon home prices are also expected to rise steadily throughout 2017. When you consider these two possibilities together, the message is clear. Home buyers who put off their purchases until later in 2017 could pay more for a mortgage loan and for the property itself. These are important considerations for anyone who is thinking about buying a home in Oregon in 2017.

We can help: Will you be buying a home in Oregon in 2017? Do you have questions about qualifying for a mortgage loan? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been serving home buyers across the state for more than two decades. Please contact us with any questions you have, or to receive a rate quote.