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Portland, OR House Hunting Guide for 2018

Portland, Oregon is a competitive real estate market with limited supply and strong demand from buyers. As a result of these conditions, home buyers need to bring their ‘A’ game when house hunting in Portland in 2018. Here’s an updated look at the local housing market, along with some tips for house hunting success.

House Hunting Guide for Portland: 2018 Update

Tight inventory. Stiff competition. Quick sales. Those are some of the things home buyers should expect in 2018. With that in mind, here are three things you can do before house hunting in Portland, to increase your chance for success.

1. Review current home prices in your desired area(s).

Home prices in the Portland metro area have risen sharply over the last couple of years. The median sale price hit $400,000 during October 2017.

But house values in the city now appear to be leveling off a bit, as affordability becomes an issue for some residents. Economists are predicting smaller price gains in 2018 than what we’ve seen over the last couple of years.

The local real estate market has changed dramatically, so buyers need to conduct a thorough round of research before house hunting in Portland.

Related: Buying in Washington vs. Oregon

This market offers a broad range of home prices, so you’ll want to zero in on the area(s) where you plan to buy a home. The median sales price for most neighborhoods in Portland fall somewhere between $250,000 and $450,000. But the median can approach $1 million in pricier areas, such as Arlington Heights and the Northwest District. It’s a broad spectrum.

2. Get pre-approved for a home loan, so you can compete.

Inventory is still tight in the Portland real estate market. As of October 2017, the city had about a two-month supply of homes for sale. Five to six months is considered to be a normal or balanced market. So it’s still a very competitive market for buyers.

This underscores the importance of getting pre-approved for mortgage loan, before house hunting in Portland. Sellers expect buyers to have their financing arranged ahead of time, before making an offer. They expect cash buyers to show bank statements proving they have the funds necessary to buy the home. And they expect mortgage buyers to have a pre-approval letter from a lender.

Related: Portland home loan FAQs

3. Get an experienced real estate agent on your side.

According to recent real estate reports and analysis, Portland, Oregon is still considered a sellers’ market. In October, homes listed for sale were going under contract in a median of 20 days. That was well below the national median of 44 days for the same timeframe.

This is why it’s so important to have an experienced real estate agent when house hunting in Portland in 2018. Even thought price growth appears to be slowing, this housing market still favors sellers over buyers. So you want to have every possible advantage when shopping for a home in Portland.

According to Timothy Duy, an economist with the University of Oregon, the market is slowly shifting but is still competitive for buyers.

“It’s probably a little bit less of a seller’s market than we were experiencing a year or two ago,” Duy said. “You’re making that transition from a super-heated market to just a sort of hot-ish market.”

Get preapproved for a mortgage loan. Sammamish Mortgage has been serving borrowers in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest for more than two decades. We can pre-approve you for a home loan to give you a much-needed advantage in the market. Please contact our staff with any mortgage-related questions you have, or to begin the process.

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