Portland Real Estate Market is Cooling

portland real estate market cooling

Yes, you’re right! The Portland real estate market is cooling. Every month minus January in 2017 was slower than the corresponding month in the 2016 housing market.

Despite homes taking longer to sell across the board in the Portland metro, we still saw price increases across the board from 2016, ranging from 6% to 10% (RMLS Market Action Report). This does not take into account the slowest months of the Portland real estate market still to come: November and December. We typically see price drops (and are seeing them now) in this late fall early winter season.

The Portland real estate market saw price appreciations from 10% to 14% in 2016. In 2017 the average appreciation will be less than 10%. Most analysts are predicting around 5% average appreciation in 2018. There are a number of reasons for this. Read my comprehensive 2018 Portland real estate market forecast for more.

Five things to consider in a cooling Portland housing market

1. Price it right! In any market, and I mean any real estate market – price is king. The right price will sell any home quickly. This is only more true in a cooling Portland real estate market. You cannot put up whatever price you want! Homes priced too high will be overlooked, skipped entirely. Be sure your real estate agent has their finger on the market and prices it right to begin with. Also, listen! Don’t pick the agent that gives you the highest price, pick the real estate agent that gives you the best data to support the price they are recommending.

2. Be patient. Homes are taking longer to sell. The “instant” Portland home sale is declining and bidding wars are no longer the norm. Selling your home can be a major life event and so now it is important to plan for more market time. Try not to put yourself in a bind if the home does not sell immediately.

3. Don’t panic. Even though the market is cooling price appreciation is still occurring and expected to occur for the foreseeable future. In other words, your home is a good Portland investment. If you haven’t looked around lately at rental prices, you might be shocked at how high they are! Even in a zero appreciation market (which I don’t expect to happen anytime soon) you will still be further ahead as a homeowner paying toward the principle of your loan, then as a renter.

4. Get ready to buy. The best time to purchase a home or an investment property is not while the market is scorching hot. The best time to buy is when the market is at its worst. In other words, the tougher things get in the Portland real estate market, the more you should consider buying in. Virtually everyone who was able to purchase a home in the greater Portland metro market in 2010 has experienced a true financial windfall, because they purchased their home or an investment property at the best possible time. A cooling market can mean financial opportunity.

5. Pick the best agent. When everything sells at the drop of a hat folks tend to hire whatever real estate agent is closest to hand. Homeowners may not think it really matters which agent they choose. Of course, I’d argue it matters in every season, but even more so in a tougher market. Pick an agent with an amazing marketing plan and a proven track record, one that has already been through a downturn or two. There are many great agents out there. Of course, I’d be honored if you checked out my marketing plan, record, and experience.

October 30, 2017

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.