Home Showings Down 60% in March, 2020: Portland Real Estate Market

portland real estate market showings

Okay I know this should come as no surprise, but a lot of home buyers are staying home. This means a number of things and one thing it doesn’t necessarily mean is a Portland Real Estate Market Crash. First, and most importantly, we also need to know how many fewer homes have hit the market. Boots on the ground, it feels like 20% less homes to 40%. Less homes are going live on the real estate market in Portland, but I won’t have the full data for about 2 more weeks when the RMLS puts out their monthly market report (sign up at the link). If there are 60% less homes for sale (it could be that drastic) and 60% less buyer’s to purchase them, that will keep the Great Real Estate Balance (basic supply vs. demand). Of course, whenever there are more homes for sale than buyers, prices go down. More buyers than homes for sale, prices go up. When there is a balance – things stay the same and everything sells at a reasonable pace. The last real estate market crash of 2008-9 had for example, practically no buyers and tons of inventory. If the market keeps a balance of buyers and sellers, then sales will be stable.

The market is changing weekly right now. See our most up-to-date Portland real estate market information here.

It is down 32.8% in one week, but down about 60% in showings from March 2019 numbers.

Three Reasons why a sudden 60% Drop in Showings isn’t the End of the 2020 Portland Real Estate Market

1. More Home Buyers are shopping for homes virtually.

I don’t have exact numbers on that, but we are seeing an increase in traffic on all our 3D tours.

Explanation: for more than a year already (thank goodness) my team has put a 3D virtual walk through (like Google street view, only better) on every home we put up for sale. This means a buyer can walk down the hall, go in and out of rooms as they like. Our 3D tours can be accessed on every major real estate website, whether the home buyer is searching on Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, Homes.com, etc. We charge a max. of 4.25% commission to sell and pay more to feature our homes online, place them on multiple MLS systems, provide pro. photos 3D tours and more.

So while the home visit numbers have plummeted 60% from what they were in March of 2019, there has been an increase in virtual tours of homes (how much I don’t know – yet). Also home buyers haven’t had a long time to adjust to the new social distancing rules, but as word gets out that they can buy a home with 100% social distancing, they may be more willing to tour homes in person, or even better – virtually.

Every home we sell comes with a 3D walk through tour including this gem.

2. The buyers that are visiting are more serious.

Lookie-loos are all gone. No one is touring homes for fun right now (at least I hope not). But we’ve definitely felt it, all the buyers that are still touring homes are seeing less properties. They are being more careful in their online search and only visiting homes that match their criteria. It used to be they’d pick a few and tell their agent to add some, happy just to tour around all day and see what is what. Now, home buyers are really digging into the information online and checking things out carefully before deciding to see a home. That results in less showings, but more effective showings!

3. A bright spot might be coming for the Portland Real Estate Market

It is much harder than usual to predict the future of the Portland real estate market when there is a major global crisis. However, here is one very possible potential future: whenever the restrictions finally loosen up and buyers enter the Portland real estate market again for a wide variety of powerful motivators that will not go away , they will find next to no available inventory AND fantastic mortgage interest rates – plus potential government grants and support to purchase.

March 30, 2020

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.