Portland, Oregon Real Estate Market, June 2023 Report

The spring housing market likely hit its final peak in May as buyer traffic grew and inventory remained low. June will likely be a slightly slower month than May as inventory starts to climb. So far this year is staying within normal season cycles where the spring is the best time to sell and the fall is the best time to buy. June will still be a good month to sell, just not as strong for sellers as May.

Housing Inventory is Low while Buyer Traffic is High

Traffic from our last report was hovering in the 19,000 a week range, and has since increased to the 20,000 range in May.

Buyer Traffic has Warmed up

Above are weekly buyer traffic reports generated by RMLS for the months of January and April-May 2023. Because it is difficult to put these numbers into context, we created this reference chart which translates the decades of data we have culled from local buyer traffic reports:

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

If you compare the numbers from the January report to the above chart, you can see that buyer traffic was cool at the start of the year. It became lukewarm in April, but by the end of the month traffic had warmed up and continued to increase in May.

And as you can see on the chart below, the inventory of available detached homes dropped even further since our last market report, but has started to climb again recently.

Inventory as of May 17, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.
Portland inventory rankingHot or Cold?
0 – 500On Fire (notice April of last year)
500 – 750Hot (currently)
750 – 1,000Warm
1,000 – 1,250Lukewarm
1,250 – 1,500Cool
1,500 – 1,750Cold
1,750 – 2,000 +Frozen (last Oct. – Dec.)

For sellers, the time to act is now, while buyers are actively searching for homes and prices are more competitive. Prime selling conditions are not likely to last into summer due to this year’s cooler real estate market, but homeowners who are ready to act can still benefit from this current seller’s market.

We have been staying up-to-date with Portland’s housing market trends through daily and weekly statistics for twenty years, allowing us to understand and predict its yearly cycles. We are still experiencing the effects of the reliable seller’s market that occurs every spring, when more homes become available and a steady stream of new buyers enter the market. This of course creates competition for available inventory, which then leads to the drop in inventory we’re now seeing. The housing market is currently energized, and this moment is likely to be the peak of the selling season of the entire year. With many factors predicting a cooler market overall this year, we expect that the market will begin to balance out by the end of June, and finally give way to a slower market by July.

Few Homes are Experiencing Price Decreases

Percentage of Listings with a Price Decrease as of May 17, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

The number of homes with price decreases has dropped from just above 40% in our last report to around 35%. This tells us that the market is strong and many sellers are currently receiving their asking price on the sale of their home.

Home Prices are Slightly on the Rise

Price per sq. ft. as of May 17, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

Home prices, calculated by their price per square foot, are continuing to rise as buyers compete for a limited number of homes. This upward pricing trend may begin to level out as we approach the summer months.

Portland Real Estate Inventory is Rising Slightly

We’re seeing a pattern from March to April in terms of new listings and pending sales that is parallel to 2022, but with a smaller increase in inventory and slightly higher sales, only these numbers are far lower than levels in 2021 and 2022, as you can see in the chart above. As we’ve expected, high mortgage rates and inflation are continuing to suppress the housing market, so while the market is currently active, these factors are causing it to underperform compared to recent years. New listings may continue to increase slightly as we finish out the spring season, while sales begin to level off toward the end of June.

The Best Season for Selling Your Home

This is the season for sellers, and due to an overall cooler housing market, it may be coming to an end as summer approaches. But with current lower inventory levels and higher numbers of motivated buyers, if you are able, it would be beneficial to list your home and take advantage of these ideal market conditions that we may not see again until next spring.

Sell Now, Buy Later

If you are fortunate to take advantage of this hot seller’s market and sell your home, the next step in an ideal selling scenario is to negotiate up to a 45-day close. This allows you to stay in your current home for an extended period while you prepare to buy your next home and the market begins to shift to favor buyers. This typically happens in the Fall, when there is less competition and prices begin to drop. This 45-day close has no impact on the buyer’s loan terms and is often agreeable to both parties. You also have the option to add a 60-day “rent back” lease, which allows the seller to live in the home for 60 days after closing (the day you receive payment from the seller). We often negotiate this combo on our clients’ behalf when they accept an offer (giving them a total of over three months to search for a home) so that they can take advantage of this strategy to both sell and buy at the most ideal times of the year.

How the Market Affects Home Buyers

This time of year is often when home shoppers are motivated by fresh house listings and warmer weather, and it may still be possible to find an affordable home in this current seller’s market due to cooler market conditions this year.

If you decide to wait due to current higher prices, the market should begin to balance near the end of June, and buying conditions may start to become favorable again by July, as the number of buyers begins to taper off and prices start to lower (which should continue throughout the rest of the year). And as always, any time can be the best time to buy if you have found the perfect home.

Work with a Top Realtor

We have 20 years of real estate experience in the Portland metro area and a comprehensive knowledge of market trends and how they benefit buyers and sellers. Whether you are looking to buy or sell this year, our top buyer’s or seller’s teams can help! 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.

May 26, 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.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.