Is now a good time to buy a home in Portland, Oregon? With a growing population and a bustling real estate market, this is currently a hot topic among residents. So let’s look at some of the factors that will influence your decision to buy a home in Portland in 2017.
Home Price Trends: A Good Time to Buy in Portland?
In many ways, now is a good time to buy a home in Portland, Oregon. This is true whether you’re a first-time or repeat buyer. But there are some things you need to know about the local real estate market before moving forward.
The first thing home buyers need to realize is that house prices in Portland have risen steadily over the last couple of years. In fact, the median home price rose faster over the last 12 months than almost any other metro area in the country. With that being said, house values appear to be rising more slowly, as we head into the summer of 2017.
According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median home price in Portland, Oregon rose to $415,000 in May 2017. That was an increase of 9.2% from a year earlier, which far exceeds the national rate of appreciation during that same time period.
But the company’s analysts don’t expect that kind of appreciation going forward. In June, they predicted that the median home price in Portland would rise by 2.9% over the next 12 months. That is a more “normal” level of annual appreciation, based on historical trends over the last 30 years or so.
So, is it a good time to buy that house in Portland? From a market perspective, a case could be made for buying sooner rather than later. If Portland home prices do continue to rise, as predicted, those who delay their purchases until later in 2017 or even 2018 could encounter higher housing costs.
The Real Estate Market Is Competitive, With Limited Inventory
Home buyers in Portland should also know that the local real estate market is very competitive right now. This is largely due to a lack of inventory.
Housing inventory is particularly tight in the “starter home” price range, which is loosely defined as $200,000 to $300,000 for this market.
According to a May 2017 article from The Oregonian:
“If the [April] sales rate continued, it would take just over seven weeks to sell every home on the market, indicating a strong seller’s market. A more balanced market would have five to six months of supply.”
Portland home buyers need to enter the market with a realistic expectation of what they can get for the money, and a willingness to move swiftly when the right property comes along.
It’s also important to have your financing squared away before you enter the real estate market – as much as possible anyway. Cash buyers should have the money in the bank with statements to prove it. Portland home buyers who use mortgage loans (which is most buyers) would be wise to get pre-approved for a loan before house hunting. Expect the sellers to ask about your financing.
Mortgage Rates Recently Fell to a 2017 Low
Here’s another signal that now may be a good time to buy a home in Portland. Mortgage rates recently sank to their lowest level of 2017.
During the first week of June, Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan fell to 3.94%. That was the lowest average of 2017, to date. At the start of this year, the average rate for a 30-year home loan was 4.20%.
So this might be a great time to buy a house in Portland, particularly for those buyers who need to use mortgage financing.
Mortgage rates are at yearly lows right now, but there is no telling how long they will stay there. The Mortgage Bankers Association recently predicted that 30-year loan rates would rise to an average of 4.6% by the fourth quarter of 2017, and would continue to inch upward in 2018.