Portland, Oregon Real Estate Market, December 2023 Report

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The Portland housing market is continuing to cool down with the winter season and prices are at their lowest point for the year. Buyer traffic is steadily dropping while detached home inventory remains high, negatively impacting the number of sales. These cooler market conditions will work to the advantage of motivated homebuyers before inventory drops further in December. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers and statistics that are shaping current market conditions.

Portland Home Buyer Traffic Continues to Drop

Buyer traffic has continued to decrease throughout the fall season following the regular pattern of our local real estate market, which experiences a cooling period as Fall approaches followed by slower activity for the remainder of the year. As you can see on the graph from RMLS above, current buyer traffic numbers have recently fallen within cool status for the Portland market, and we expect these numbers to continue dropping as the holiday season approaches.

Using the chart we created below, we can clearly see how these numbers impact the real estate market. The current level of buyer traffic falls just inside the cool range, and as the number of buyers continues to drop, the market will approach cold status.

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

Portland Real Estate Inventory is Plateauing

Available home inventory has risen gradually since August and is now beginning to level off. If we look at the pattern of the past two years on the Fidelity chart below, inventory began to drop in November and continued decreasing throughout the winter season. We expect to see similar market performance this year, with inventory dropping steadily until the spring of 2024. The high number of available homes has contributed to a cool real estate market, as you can see illustrated on our chart below.

Inventory as of November 21, 2023. Above chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.
Portland inventory rankingHot or Cold Market?
0 – 500On Fire (notice April of 2022)
500 – 750Hot
750 – 1,000Warm
1,000 – 1,250Lukewarm
1,250 – 1,500Cool (Currently)
1,500 – 1,750Cold
1,750 – 2,000 +Frozen (last Oct. – Dec.)

The decreasing number of active buyers on the market plus the high amount of currently available inventory creates the ideal conditions for homebuyers, who can benefit from seller competition and enjoy a wider range of homes to choose from.

The Number of Homes with Price Drops Continues to Increase

Percentage of Listings with a Price Decrease as of November 21, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

A growing number of homes on the market have been dropping in price since June. In November the percentage reached 53% of listed homes, or just over half of the inventory currently available on the market. As buyer traffic continues to wane, urgency to sell before the holidays arrive will motivate more sellers to drop their prices. In light of the predictable seasonal fluctuations of our local housing market, we can expect these price decreases to continue until the Spring.

Average Prices are Dropping (Slightly)

Price per sq. ft. as of November 21, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

While average prices for listed homes have fluctuated very little in 2023, they began a slow and steady decrease in July that will likely continue through the end of the year. These lower prices (determined by price per square foot) combined with fewer active buyers and the current high level of inventory have shifted the market to favor buyers, who may be able to benefit from seller competition to find a deal on a new home.

New Listings and Pending Sales Continue to Decline

The number of new listings on the market continued to decrease in October, closely following the pattern for listings in 2022. As you can observe in the graph above, overall listings steadily decreased from the summer months onward in both 2021 and 2022, and we expect current listings to follow this trend, continuing to drop through the month of December.

The downward trajectory of pending sales in October continued to mirror the path of sales in 2022 as well. Considering the seasonal cycles of the Portland real estate market and the usual drop in active buyers during the holiday season, we expect sales to continue to decrease until the end of the year.

While the housing market of 2023 far underperformed compared to 2021 and 2022 – at times by more than a third fewer sales during the selling season – it began to more closely align with their paths during the fall months. Persistent high interest rates combined with inflation have negatively impacted the housing market overall this year; to gain insight into how these and other factors will shape the Portland market in 2024, check out our 2024 real estate forecast.

The Right Conditions for Selling Your Home

The low numbers of active homebuyers on the market and still-high level of detached home inventory have created unfavorable conditions for those wishing to sell. Homes that are currently on the market will likely have to drop their prices to attract sellers, so if possible it is worthwhile to wait for a more advantageous opportunity to sell your home. The market slows down considerably during the holiday season, but the Spring of 2024 will inevitably reenergize the housing market as new homes are listed and buyers are motivated once again. If you are able to wait to sell your home, we would advise waiting for more ideal conditions that will come with Spring.

An Opportune Moment for Home Buyers

As we enter the holiday season with fewer prospective homebuyers and more homes available on the market than at any other time this year, conditions are working in favor of buyers. With holiday preparations underway there is less competition from potential buyers, and sellers may be more eager than ever to drop their prices in order to finalize a sale. Right now is a great opportunity to find the perfect home for sale in your favorite Portland neighborhood. Start your search at PortlandHomesForSale.com, a comprehensive search platform where you can take advantage of custom filters like “biggest price drop in the last 7 days” and discover the available homes on the market that meet your unique needs.

Put Experience on Your Side

During our decades of experience working in the Portland, Oregon real estate market, we have earned a comprehensive knowledge of market trends and how they benefit buyers and sellers. Whether you are interested in buying or selling, our top1% buyer’s or seller’s teams will provide top-notch customer service while charging lower-than-average commission rates. Give us a call today at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on this site. Let us be a part of your success story.

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