Portland Real Estate Market – 1st Half 2019 Update

portland real estate market summer

If you’ve been following Portland real estate market news lately, the stories are conflicting. Prices are up, prices are down. Homes are selling fast, the housing market is cooling off. It can be hard to get a good read on what is happening based off various market news reports looking at one small real estate segment or another. It is important to look at the Portland real estate market as a whole, and then break it down into the smaller parts. Quick note, this article is focused on the Portland residential market, not commercial or rental.

Portland Real Estate Prices are Stable Now and will Drop Soon

Overall Portland real estate market prices in 2019 are up a mere 0.7 percent, less than 1% increase for the year (according to the latest Market Action Report from RMLS). This is even with the lower mortgage rates that hit this summer (under 4%). Typically Portland housing prices increase in the first six months of the year and decrease in the last six. Since 2012 home prices increased significantly more in the first half of the year and decreased only a little in the back half – resulting in an overall Portland housing price increase. However with the first half of 2019 past us and a measly increase of not even 1% in home prices, I’m telling you, the overall 2019 Portland real estate market overall will be flat, a zero, or even a bit negative, by the end of this year.

Real Estate Inventory is Up and Sales are Down (a little).

From 2016 to 2017 inventory went up and sales (the amount of available home buyers) went down. That was the first year inventory increased and sales decreased since 2011. It happened again in 2018. It is happening again in 2019. There is an overall cooling trend in the Portland real estate market that started from the hottest of the hot in 2016 and each year since then the housing market has backed off with lower and lower home price appreciation until today, hitting a mere less than 1% increase in what is seasonally the hottest part of the Portland real estate year, and potentially for the first year since 2008 having an overall negative price increase by the end of the year.

Real Estate Inventory is about to Drastically Increase and then Stabilize.

It happens every year. In Portland housing inventory peaks in August and September. Most of the summer home buyers buy early – in June and July. Also arguably the best time of the year to sell a home in Portland – every year – is March through May, the spring season. In the spring market homebuyers are out in force and inventory is low to medium resulting in quick home sales and a lot of multiple offer situations. Bottom line, August and September are not the best months to sell a home. Home sales will still happen and in the hotter real estate segments (I’ll say more about that in a minute), there will even be the occasional multiple offer situation. After we get through the school swing in September, from late Sept. to late November the Portland housing market will stabilize again. Inventory will drop off as home sellers sell or give up. A new crop of fall Portland home buyers will emerge. The fall Portland real estate market is pretty decent for both home buyers and sellers.

How you will experience the Portland Market depends on your Price Point.

Home sellers under 300K will still see significant price increases this year, quick home sales, and many multiple offer situations. Each home and neighborhood is different and anyone can price a home too high. However, the general market trend for these lower-priced homes will be very positive this year and likely for years to come. This also means that homebuyers in this price range will feel like the Portland real estate market is out of control and very difficult.

Home sellers in the 300K to 500K range will see mixed results depending on the neighborhood. Desirable neighborhoods with lots of amenities, shops, parks, and restaurants – with homes in these price ranges, will move quick. Same goes for any homes in this price range in highly rated school districts. See our article on how school rating affect home values in Portland here.

Homes above 500K will also see mixed results depending on the desirability of their respective neighborhoods, but overall will not see significant price increases. If they see any at all, it will be very minor.

Homes above 700K will decrease in value, the only exception to this (and there are a few) will be in the best of the best areas for amenities and school ratings. This trend only gets more pronounced the higher you go in price.

Portland Condo Market

Condos are your best buy in Portland right now. See my full 2019 Portland condo market report here. They are in a world of their own right now.

Work with an Experienced, Highly Rated Real Estate Agent.

No matter the real estate market conditions, it is advisable to work with someone who is experienced and highly rated. Whether you are buying or selling soon in the Portland real estate market, we’d love to talk with you today.

July 15, 2019

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.