Best Time to Sell a House in the Portland Market 2019 Edition

best time to sell a home in Portland

The Portland real estate market is officially cooling after an incredible five year rise from 2012 to 2017. A few small Portland housing market segments in 2017 decreased in price, and then the majority of higher-end homes and condos decreased in price in 2018. In 2019 the luxury and condo real estate market will continue to suffer while more and more segments of the market go flat. More affordable homes under 400K or 500K will still likely appreciation in 2019. See our final 2019 Portland housing market forecast here.

The best time of a year to sell a home stays relatively consistent in the Portland housing market. Since being licensed in 2003, I’ve noticed and tracked the same trends year after year.

Is Portland a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

The number one factor that determines a buyer’s or seller’s market is simple. Take all available inventory and compare it with the total number of willing and able buyers. We are able to track both numbers weekly. When you have low inventory and high buyer demand, prices rise. When you have high inventory and low buyer demand, prices drop. It is pretty simple, but has a huge seasonal effect on the Portland market.

Best time to sell your home in Portland – month by month analysis:

January

Pros: Inventory is incredibly low in Jan. and for many neighborhoods this is the first breath of inventory relief after six months or more of high inventory. It might even be advisable to put your home on the Portland real estate market in Jan. if there is nothing else like your home active on the market.

Cons: Incredibly low buyer traffic, particularly in the first half of the month, but the second half of the month buyer traffic goes from almost non-existent to simply low. Typically you only get last year’s prices, no appreciation. But also in a cooling market, typically no depreciation occurs because inventory is finally low again. Weather is also poor and if you have truly miserable weekend weather it can hurt your sale.

Feburary

Pros: Inventory remains incredible low and buyer traffic climbs to low and can approach medium. It is always a strong month to sell a home. If your area is poised to appreciate you have earned a little of it by now. Also, if you have a luxury home or a condo (the toughest market segments right now) February is the time to list. The buyer pool is smaller and these properties take longer to sell. You want to give yourself a long runway to sell in which every month you are on the housing market is a good month. You want your property to sell before inventory gets high and prices start dropping. This is true for all homes but much more so for luxury homes and condos in 2019.

Cons: Buyer traffic is still a little low so if you have a lot of competition, other active properties for sale in your area, you may want to hold off a little longer. Weather is also still poor, but your chances of decent weather is better than January. A quick note on weather, your typical cloudy Portland day with drizzling rain doesn’t hurt the housing market here, but anything worse than that can.

March

Pros: I believe this March could be the best month of the year to sell a home in Portland in 2019. In 2018 April was the best month. I believe due to the cooling Portland real estate market, it is important to sell sooner rather than later. I believe inventory will increase faster than it has in previous years. In 2017 we had a 10% drop in buyer traffic, in 2018 we had about another 10% drop in buyer traffic and in both years inventory climbed sooner in the year than before. This year we will also have less buyers and so the low inventory season will drop off much faster. March has good weather (mostly), March has low inventory, and March has medium to high buyer traffic. Sell your Portland home in March if you can.

Cons: If your home is in an appreciating area, you could hold off a little longer to gain more appreciation, but it is a risk I wouldn’t take.

April 

Pros: As mentioned already, April was the best month of the year in 2018. It will be a great year to sell in 2019. My only concern is the unknown, I am worried inventory may creep up as early as April. This does not mean you cannot sell fast and for a great price, again, I am always looking at inventory vs. available buyers to determine what the most optimal times are to sell and are not. You can sell anytime of the year with the right real estate agent and the right plan, but some times will earn you more and take less time than others. Weather is fantastic typically in April, buyer traffic is high and inventory will be medium or low. You have gained most of the appreciation that will occur if your area is appreciating.

Cons: Depending on the neighborhood and type of home it might have been better to get on the market sooner.

May 

Pros: Weather is fantastic, buyer traffic is high. A quick note on buyer traffic, it is high from May through July – at about the same level, but inventory changes May through July.

Cons: in 2018 inventory in many areas was already high in May. It will be even higher in 2019. High inventory plus high buyer traffic is not terrible. Most homes still sell in May that go on the market. However, there is a chance your home could be missed in the pile.

June

Pros: Buyer traffic is high, weather is good. You have gained most of the appreciation that will happen for the year if your segement is poised to apprciate.

Cons: Inventory is close to a peak high. Most homes that go on the market in June will sell in June. However, even more so than in May, there is a chance your home could be missed in the pileup. It is unlikely prices will drop in June.

July

Pros: Buyer traffic is still high.

Cons: Inventory is at the peak. In 2018 prices started falling nearly across the board in Portland in July. I believe the same thing will happen in 2019. Weather can be bad at times (too hot).

August

Pros: None.

Cons: August is often the worst month to sell a home in Portland. Buyer traffic is now medium, but those buyers are watching prices fall and few will pull the trigger, preferring to wait for bigger discounts. Inventory is hanging at the same July peak.

September

Pros: After the city has adjusted to the school year, usually by mid-Sept, inventory finally starts to drop from the July and August peak. By end of Sept. many buyers are starting to see prices stabilize and begin purchasing again.

Cons: Buyer traffic is medium and inventory is high.

October

Pros: Inventory is down to medium and buyer traffic holds at medium. If you missed the good spring Portland housing market, sell in October. Prices will have stabilized in many, not all, areas.

Cons: not as good as the spring market. Also the window to sell is relatively short.

November

Pros: Inventory will be low in some areas. Buyer traffic slowly starts to drop.

Cons: Inventory will remain high in tougher areas and now your buyer traffic is starting to dwindle. Prices will drop in many areas.

December

Pros: The first couple of weeks in December are not terrible. Inventory is low in many areas.

Cons: Buyer traffic is very low and almost non-existent by Christmas. Bad weather can be a factor.

Other opinions

Zillow regularly writes articles on the best time of year to sell. Typically they generally fall in line with my assessments, but I would defer to your local source for information as Zillow is researching the entire nation’s seasonal trends and they do change from state to state.

Work with the number one seller’s agent in Portland anytime of the year.

For a few years running, no one has sold more homes in Portland than Stephen FitzMaurice. We’d love to work with you! We offer a reasonable 4.5% max. commission rate and pay more to market our homes online so they sell faster. In 2018, we sold 139 homes in less than 30 days on market and 56 in the first weekend. Our sold to list price average was 100%. Let us know if we can put our success to work for you today. No matter the time of year you need to sell, we have the advice and services you need. Read more about our excellent seller’s package here.

February 1, 2019
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team. We work from Salem, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington and beyond. Check out our full services areas on the top menu.