Portland, Oregon Real Estate Market, May 2024 Report

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The high level of home buyer traffic we saw early in Spring is beginning to wane a little due to the recent increase in mortgage rates (yet numbers still remain high) while home inventory is starting to climb. These market shifts have stabilized prices, which may begin to decrease in the coming weeks if these two trends persist. Conditions remain ideal for sellers who are able to list their homes before the end of the season, and home buyers will begin to find more opportunities as a greater number of homes are added to the market as we move into the summer.

Below we will unpack the factors that play the greatest role in the current state of the housing market in Portland, Oregon.

Portland Home Buyer Traffic has Decreased Slightly

The number of new buyers entering the housing market has been climbing since the beginning of the year, and numbers have continued to grow steadily through the Spring season despite a small dip in March. After reaching a peak at the beginning of April, traffic has now declined slightly but remains higher than levels during this time last year as shown on the below graph from RMLS. Spring is the most active time of year in the Portland housing market when we see the largest numbers of active home buyers, and we expect traffic will continue to remain high through the end of the season.

Buyer traffic numbers are one of the most important indicators of real estate market activity and reveal whether the market is currently slow (or cold) or highly active (hot). The chart we created below reveals how these traffic levels impact the current state of the housing market. The number of active buyers reached a peak in April that brought the market to a warm state, and have now decreased slightly to fall within upper lukewarm status.

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

Portland Real Estate Inventory is Starting to Increase

The available inventory of homes on the market reached a low for the year in February and has been steadily increasing as more sellers began listing their homes in the Spring. The chart from Fidelity below demonstrates the seasonal pattern of home inventory in our local housing market, with inventory starting to increase during the Spring months each year. The current level of home inventory remains low, maintaining the warm market status we reported on last month, but is beginning to increase slightly. We can expect higher numbers of homes to become available throughout the Spring and into the Summer months.

Inventory as of April 23, 2024. 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 (Currently)
1,000 – 1,250Lukewarm
1,250 – 1,500Cool
1,500 – 1,750Cold
1,750 – 2,000 +Frozen (last Oct. – Dec.)

The Portland real estate market operates on a seasonal cycle, with Spring being the most opportune time of the year to sell a home. Right now sellers can benefit from both a high amount of motivated home buyers and a low supply of homes to compete with, so we would advise listing your home on the market as soon as possible to take advantage of these ideal conditions.

The Number of Homes with Price Drops Remains Steady

Percentage of Listings with a Price Decrease as of April 23, 2024. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

In April, the amount of listed homes that have undergone price decreases remains at the same level as our last report – 33%. The still-high number of active homebuyers combined with low available home inventory is working in favor of sellers to keep competition and prices high. However, we are seeing signs that the market is beginning to slow, including a slight reduction in buyer traffic and a small increase in home inventory. These factors will eventually lead to downward pressure on prices if they continue as we expect them to over the next several months.

Average Prices are Plateauing

Price per sq. ft. as of April 23, 2024. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

While home prices (calculated by price per square foot) have steadily risen since the beginning of this year, since early March they have remained relatively constant. As demonstrated on the chart above, prices rose above those at the same time last year but came short of the prices we saw in April of 2022. If the trend of decreasing numbers of active home buyers combined with a growing pool of listed homes continues, we should see average prices begin dropping in the near future.

New Listings and Pending Sales Increased

The number of new home listings on the market has been increasing since January, coming in just under the level in March of last year, as shown on the graph from RMLS above. Due to the predictable seasonal nature of our local real estate market, we can expect home inventory to continue to grow throughout the remainder of Spring.

Pending sales grew from February to March at a rate nearly identical to the same time period in 2023, and ultimately rose slightly higher. We expect to see the greatest number of home sales for the year during the months of Spring, when buyers in our area are typically the most active. Based on the pattern of recent years, we can expect sales to continue to increase through the end of Spring.

The factors that had an impact on the housing market nationwide – high interest rates and inflation – also worked to suppress market performance in the Portland metro area in 2023. To learn more about their continued influence on this year’s housing market, check out our 2024 forecast.

The Best Time to Sell Your Home

We have been working in and studying our local housing market for decades, which has gained us the expertise to pinpoint the ideal time to sell a home in the Portland area. Each year in the Spring, important market variables come together to create the most favorable conditions for sellers. The timing is currently ideal for sellers, and will remain so at least through the month of May. We advise selling while a high number of buyers are still active, which translates to competition that keeps prices high.

Timing for Home Buyers

The increase in new home listings on the market is beneficial for prospective home buyers, offering greater choice. And combined with a recent drop in buyer traffic, the growing market inventory also reduces competition for available homes. If you are interested in buying a home, now is a good time to begin searching for available properties in your desired neighborhood. PortlandHomesForSale.com is a great resource that offers the ability to infinitely customize your search with unique filters, such as: “biggest price drop in the last 7 days“.

Work With a Top Real Estate Team

In our 20 years of experience in the Portland metro area, we have gained a thorough understanding of our local real estate market – and we can put that knowledge to work for you. Whether you are looking to buy or sell this year, our top 1% buyer’s or seller’s teams can help with our unbeatable customer service – all while charging a lower-than-average commission rate. Give us a call today at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on this site. We’d love to be on your team.

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