Last week's economic news included an encouraging report from the National Association of Home Builders, whose housing market index held steady with a reading of 60 in July. This was the 13th consecutive month for readings over 50, which indicate that more builders are confident about housing markets than those who are not. July's reading was noteworthy as it was the highest since November 2005 prior to the recession.
Are you thinking about buying a home in Portland, Oregon during the second half of 2018? Or maybe early in 2019? If so, there are a few things you should know about the current housing market. Here are three things every home buyer should know when house hunting in Portland.
Three Things to Know When House Hunting in Portland
Home price appreciation has slowed down considerably over the last couple of years, and inventory has improved. But there’s still a shortage of inventory relative to the numbers of active buyers in the market, which can make the house hunting experience in Portland, Oregon pretty competitive.
1. Home price appreciation has slowed down over the last couple of years.
Two or three years ago, the Portland housing market was frequently in the news due to a rapid rise in home prices. It was one of the fastest appreciating real estate markets in the country. Back then, the median home value in the city rose by double digits in a single year.
But things have cooled down quite a bit since then.
According to Zillow, the median home value in Portland reached $425,000 during the summer of 2018. That was an increase of just 1.1% from a year earlier. So clearly, home price appreciation has slowed down within the Portland housing market. Looking forward, Zillow’s economic team predicts that the median home value in Portland will rise by 2.2% between now and summer of 2019.
2. The inventory situation has improved, but it’s still tight.
There is more housing inventory on the market today than there was a couple of years ago. But the supply situation is still tight in the Portland area, and that’s something you should know when house hunting in 2018 or early 2019.
As of June 2018, the Portland housing market had about a 2.2-month supply of homes for sale. That’s a theoretical measurement used mainly for tracking purposes. What house hunters need to know is that the inventory level within Portland’s housing market is still well below what is considered normal.
At the start of 2016, there was only a one-month supply of homes for sale. So inventory has grown a bit since then.
Here’s the take-home message for home buyers: When house hunting in Portland, it’s important to start early and be patient. It might take a while to find the right house.
3. Homes are selling faster than the national average.
Despite the slowdown in home price appreciation mentioned above, Portland, Oregon is still a very active real estate market.
In June, homes listed for sale spent a median of 11 to 12 days on the market before going under contract. That was well below the national average for the same time. This indicates that there is still strong demand from home buyers in the Portland area.
While the current housing market isn’t as hot as it was last summer, it is still highly competitive due to the relative shortage of inventory. So home buyers will want to be ready to move quickly with a strong offer, when the right house comes along.
So those are three of the most important things you should know when house hunting in Portland in 2018 or 2019. The real estate market has settled down a bit, with slower price growth than what we saw in 2016 in 2017. But there is still a lot of competition, mainly due to a lack of for-sale inventory.
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.
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