Portland Real Estate Market, April 2023 Report

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As we move into April 2023 after a period of market stabilization, we can anticipate that the Portland housing market will start to warm up as more new homes are listed and buyers become more active. Inventory has been declining since the start of the year and home sales have been rising to meet the supply, and with the market reinvigoration that comes with Spring, we can reasonably expect sales to continue in an upward trajectory.

Portland Inventory Has Likely Bottomed-Out and Will Rise in April

We are currently positioned on the brink of a wave of new home listings typical of the Spring housing market, so inventory should start climbing as well. But despite an increase in inventory, if the number of buyers continue to outpace the number of homes available on the market, we should expect a strong seller’s market for the next few months. At the same time, due to high mortgage rates the market remains cooler overall in 2023, with the numbers of new listings and both pending and closed sales trending far below figures in the early months of 2022.

Inventory as of March 22, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

Because buyer traffic tends to exceed inventory in the beginning of the year, but especially as we approach the spring season, spring is reliably the best time of year to sell a home in Portland. We have been studying the local real estate market for decades with the help of daily inventory counts and weekly buyer traffic reports, enabling us to confidently predict seasonal trends. While spring is still the best season for sellers, when the real estate market is cooler as it is now, the peak selling season can be shortened by several months. By contrast, in a hotter market, favorable conditions for sellers can last the entire summer.

A typical selling season in Portland reaches the height of productivity in March and April, with favorable activity usually lasting through May. With the somewhat sluggish start to the current season, we may see this year’s ideal selling market shift to April and May. The market usually tends to balance out by June, and with our cooler market forecast this will likely be the case, followed by the transition to a buyer’s market by July.

In short, the spring seller’s market will be abbreviated in 2023, with buyers dropping out as early as June, and most certainly by July, leading to inevitable price drops in the summer. In this current market we’re seeing price stabilization, with signs of increasing prices as we move further into spring.

There are Less Price Drops as We Enter Spring

Percentage of Listings with a Price Decrease as of March 22, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

When looking at all the homes active for sale on the market right now, a little over 40% have had a price drop at some point. That number will keep dropping as we enter the spring season, and then likely increase again in the late summer and fall.

Home Prices have Stabilized, and Might Increase (a tiny bit) this Spring before Falling in the Fall

Price per sq. ft. as of March 22, 2023. Chart courtesy of Fidelity National Title.

Last month we saw a slight increase in pricing per square foot, and prices are now beginning to plateau.

Portland Real Estate Inventory is in Transition

There is an annual cycle in the Portland housing market, and as you can see above, the pattern over the past three years helps us to confidently predict that buyer activity will begin to warm up as we move from March to April in alignment with the seasonal transition to warmer temperatures. Drops in inventory tend to level out in March, when homeowners begin listing more homes on the market, followed by a surge of new homebuyers beginning to compete for available inventory. Right now we are positioned for a shift toward a productive market in the spring, as both seller and buyer activity increases.

The Best Time to Sell Your Home

Spring is always the best time of year to sell a home in Portland, so if you are ready to list your home it would be wise to act now to take advantage of favorable market conditions. Also with the shorter selling season we are anticipating this year, the best move is to act quickly before the market shifts to favor buyers in a few months, when home prices will predictably drop throughout the summer and continue to lower for the rest of the year.

Sell Now, Buy Later

Since selling a home will likely be more challenging than buying a home in 2023, the best approach is to use market conditions to your advantage. Now is the time for sellers to make an ideal profit by leveraging the high buyer demand that naturally occurs in the spring.

And when selling your home, our advice is to extend your stay in your current home long enough to take advantage of the more favorable buying conditions of the fall season. One opportunity home sellers may not be aware of is the option to negotiate up to a 45 day close without impacting the buyer’s loan terms. You can also add on a 60-day “rent back”, which is a short-term lease allowing the owner to live in the home 60 days past closing (the point when you receive the seller’s payment). The short-term lease back is often agreeable to both parties because it does not interfere with the buyer’s loan terms. We often negotiate the two together on behalf of sellers so that when they accept an offer (go pending), they are allowed to remain in the home another 105 days, giving them over three months to search for their new home before moving out. This arrangement provides our clients with the ideal scenario of taking advantage of both the best selling and buying seasons. We highly recommend this rewarding approach to selling before buying whenever possible.

How the Market Affects Home Buyers

We also recommend that prospective home buyers act quickly in this current housing market. The sellers market we’re anticipating has not yet gained full strength and there are always homeowners who are eager to finalize a sale. It would also be good to take advantage of stable prices before they begin to increase dramatically due to buyer competition.

If you choose to wait a few months, the market will likely favor buyers by July of 2023 and this buyer’s market will continue for the rest of the year. While this year’s housing market favors buyers overall, with the advantage of time and more competitive pricing, you can’t always predict the moment you will come across the perfect home, and acting fast may prove more valuable than waiting for perfect market conditions.

Work with a Top Realtor

Many real estate agents do not follow the market closely and are forced to react to its fluctuations rather than actively anticipating them. An experienced Realtor understands the housing market cycle and its variables and has the ability to translate market conditions and make reasonable predictions. We are a top selling and buying team with the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the Portland housing market with ease. If you want to have the best possible experience buying or selling your home, give our team a call today at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on this site. We want to be a part of your success story.

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