Portland, Oregon Real Estate Market, August 2023 Report

June’s balanced market led to growing inventory and a decline in buyer activity in July, creating the conditions that will lead to a buyer’s market as soon as mid-August, but likely in September. A relatively reasonable rate of housing inventory and a decent amount of buyers means sellers can still enjoy the last lingering effects of the spring market – which is reliably the most active selling season of the year. We expect inventory to continue climbing in August and September as the number of active buyers continues to decrease, shifting the market to favor home buyers as fall approaches.

Portland Home Buyer Traffic is Down from Spring, but Steady this Summer

In the two buyer traffic reports generated by RMLS shown above, dropped dramatically by 10.8% in the first week of July. This was only due to the July 4th holiday as you can see traffic bumped up the following week.

Putting these two latest weeks worth of numbers together, we find home buyer traffic to be currently lukewarm and likely to slow further in August.

Oregon weekly home buyer trafficHot or Cold?
0 – 5,000Frozen
5,000 – 10,000Cold
10,000 – 15,000Cool
15,000 – 20,000Lukewarm
20,000 – 25,000Warm
25,000 +Hot

Current Portland Real Estate Inventory

The available inventory of detached homes continues to grow, as we can see on the chart below. In keeping with predictable seasonal patterns, inventory should steadily rise into the fall season (as active buyers drop off and new homes are added) before peaking towards the end of the year.

Inventory as of July 20, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.
Portland inventory rankingHot or Cold?
0 – 500On Fire (notice April of last year)
500 – 750Hot
750 – 1,000Warm (Currently)
1,000 – 1,250Lukewarm (will hit lukewarm by end of Aug. or before)
1,250 – 1,500Cool
1,500 – 1,750Cold
1,750 – 2,000 +Frozen (last Oct. – Dec.)

This year’s housing market is shaping up to be cooler than previous years, which means we are experiencing a shorter selling season – in hotter markets, ideal selling conditions can last well into the late summer and early fall.

More Homes are Dropping in Price

Percentage of Listings with a Price Decrease as of July 20, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

As you can see on the chart above, the percentage of homes on the market with a price decrease is beginning to rise. After a lull last month when numbers remained about the same, nearly 37% of homes have had to lower their prices, versus just under 34% in June.

Average Prices are Holding Steady for Now

Price per sq. ft. as of July 20, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

Prices have remained consistent over the last several months as buyers have been active while inventory continues to rise. The decline in homebuyers we are now seeing should lead to downward pricing pressure, especially as available inventory increases.

New Listings are Up, Pending Sales are Down

The number of new home listings continued to increase slightly and may have reached its peak as it did in June of 2021 and 2022 when the number began to decline. Overall home inventory should continue to rise into the fall season as the market slows and homes begin to sit on the market longer.

The number of pending sales has dropped slightly, again consistent with the pattern of the last two years. We expect sales to continue to taper off as the market shifts to favor buyers in the months ahead. Both of the charts above visually illustrate the reality of this year’s cooler housing market compared to the last two years, as the market followed a similar pattern but underperformed in comparison.

When to Sell Your Home

It is advisable to start right away or wait for the more favorable conditions in the spring, when the market consistently performs better for sellers. When pricing in the late summer and fall, it is important to be relatively aggressive as many of the homes for sale you see online will not sell at all. Pricing become more important when there is a lot of inventory for home buyers to choose from.

How the Market Affects Home Buyers

Prices are beginning to drop slightly, and the increase in inventory signals more opportunity for buyers to compare and potentially take advantage of lower prices. If you are home shopping, we should see prices dropping even further as the market turns to favor buyers even more over the next few months. At the same time, we always recommend watching for opportunities in your desired Portland neighborhood no matter the season.

Work with a Top Realtor

Whether you are shopping for your first home or getting ready to sell, our top 1% home buyer’s and seller’s teams are prepared to help you every step of the way. Whether using our extensive knowledge of Portland real estate to help you pinpoint your perfect new home, or using our optimized marketing strategy to give your home the best possible exposure, we provide top-notch customer service. Call 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on this site. We’d love to be on your team.

July 24, 2023

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.

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