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Tips for House Hunting in Portland, Oregon in 2018

The Portland real estate market is tight, with a lot of activity from competing buyers. But with a bit of research and planning, you can successfully navigate this hot market. Here are our top-three tips for house hunting in Portland, Oregon in 2018.

1. Be aware that Portland home prices have risen, a lot.

Houses have become more expensive in the Portland area. Over the last couple of years, the median home value for the metro area rose by well over 10%. That being said, prices appear to be slowing down a bit, as we enter the last two months of 2017.

In October 2017, the median home value in Portland climbed above $400,000 for the first time ever. During that month the median reached $414,800, according to Zillow.

Economists expect home prices in the area to continue rising in 2018, though at a slower pace than the last couple of years.

As a result of these trends, those buyers who start house hunting in Portland during 2018 will encounter higher housing costs. So you might have to be flexible when it comes to the size of the home you’re purchasing, the location, and other factors. A willingness to compromise goes a long way in a hot real estate market.

2. Be ready for competition when house hunting.

When house hunting in Portland, Oregon, you should expect to have plenty of company. Or should we say “competition”. There are a lot of buyers in the market right now, relative to the number of homes listed for sale. In fact, the local real estate market has been dealing with a shortage of inventory for the last couple of years.

A balanced or “normal” real estate market has somewhere between 5 to 6 months worth of supply. In September 2017, Portland’s housing market was reported to have a meager 2.2-month supply of homes for sale. That’s below the national average, and also below what is considered to be a balanced market.

Under these kinds of conditions, sellers have more negotiating leverage than buyers. Bear this in mind when house hunting in Portland in 2018.

3. Be decisive when the right house comes along.

Several factors are used to determine how quickly homes are selling within a particular real estate market. The median number of “days on market” is one such metric. This is basically the midpoint for how quickly homes are selling, from the time they are first listed until they go under contract.

In September 2017, homes in Portland spent a median of 14 days on the market before a sale was made. That is below the national average and indicates an active market with strong demand.

While house hunting in Portland, Oregon, home buyers should be prepared to move quickly with a strong offer. You can rest assured there will be other buyers lined up behind you, especially if the home is located in a desirable area with strong demand.

You can use recent sales prices to help shape your purchase offer. This could increase the chance that the seller accepts your offer. Having an experienced real estate agent on your side can make this process go smoothly. A savvy agent will understand the importance of submitting a timely offer, to get ahead of other buyers. And that’s the kind of strategy you need when house hunting in a market like Portland, Oregon.

Get pre-approved for a loan. In a fast-moving real estate market, it’s important to have your financing arranged ahead of time. We can review your financial situation to determine how much you are able to borrow. Please contact our staff to begin the process, or with any mortgage-related questions you might have.

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