Going Up: New Apartments, Portland Home Prices

portland home prices rising

The average price of a home in Portland is up and the total number of residential properties on the market remains low, according to the most recent Market Action Report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Good news for sellers, but with the city’s population climbing at a steady rate, where is the needed housing to come from?

Enter the apartment developers. In 2012, 21 new apartment projects will open around the Portland area, according to a recent report in the Portland Business Journal. Those projects will alleviate the tight the rental market in the city, which saw vacancy rates fall from 5.6 percent in 2009 to 3.6 percent last year. Many of these new apartment buildings are selling out of units before they even open – no move-in specials needed in this city!

Will the flux of new apartments slow down the rate of home sales in Portland, which is just beginning to climb again? Not likely. Let’s look at those real estate market numbers a bit more closely.

According to the RMLS Market Action Report for February 2012, homes in Portland sold for an average price of $255,100 last month, up 4.3 percent from a year ago and 2.4 percent since January. The median sales price for Portland homes, which is usually a more accurate indicator of where the market is going, fell 1.3 percent overall in the past year but increased 1.7 percent since January. In other words, it’s still a buyer’s market, but things are looking better for sellers.

Buyers do still have to cope with a limited selection, perhaps the reason that the rental market remains packed. The number of active residential listings in Portland has been declining since July 2011, and is now down to a little over 8,000. Only 2,500 are new listings this month.

February is not historically the greatest month for home sales, but the RMLS report shows that the number of closed sales this month is up over February of 2009, 2010 and 2011. Let’s hope that this trend continues through the spring and summer.

Now that Portland home prices seem to be recovering a bit, more homes may start to enter the market. For those who haven’t already leased a shiny new apartment, this spring may be a very good time to talk to your Portland Realtor about buying a new home.

March 20, 2012

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.