Portland Real Estate Market Report December 2021

The Portland real estate market typically experiences a cooling down in winter every year, and so it has been true in 2021. But exceptionally low inventory is keeping the winter Portland 2021 real estate market, at least slightly, in the seller’s favor.

December’s Portland Real Estate Market 2021

Today’s Portland real estate market is defined by price drops, increased market time, low buyer traffic, even lower inventory, and steadily increasing prices – all at the same time.

Looking at the chart below, notice over one third of homes on the Portland real estate market have had a recent price drop. Average days on market is much higher than summer or spring (was hovering around 20-30 days) at a whopping 42 median days on market. The real estate market is much friendlier to buyers now than it was at any time in 2021. These seasonal price drops and longer days on market is typically due to homes that have been lingering on the market for a while now, either because they started too high in price or they are undesirable for one reason or another (bad location, layout, or condition).

However, also notice the plummeting inventory that is typical this time of year. Inventory low enough that some buyers are still experiencing bidding wars (not nearly as many in the spring or summer) when new enticing homes hit the market. This plummeting inventory is keeping price per sq. ft. rising.

Image from Fidelity National Title

Weekly Buyer Traffic Report Experiencing Seasonal Norms.

From the perspective of lockbox activity in Oregon (the chart below represents weekly home buyer traffic), the graph below, shows that we’re in the same place we were a year ago. You’ll notice the Thanksgiving drop we just passed and the likely upcoming Christmas drop as was seen in 2020 (and every year prior).

Courtesy of RMLS.

Average Days on the Real Estate Market in Portland

According to Realtor.com, nationally, homes spent 45 days on the market during the fall of 2021. That’s a decrease of 8 days from 2020 and 21 days from 2019.

Here in the Portland metro area, it was even less, with significant drops from this time in 2020. According to the most recent RMLS report, total market time increased to 27 days, with averages shown in the graph below. However, that recently bloomed to 42 day median average in December as we’ve shown above.

Image from RMLS Market Action Report

Outlook for Portland Real Estate Market for 2022

Realtor.com predicts that 2022 will be a “Whirlwind Year” in national real estate with prices increasing only 2.9%, existing home sales to be up 6.6%, and existing home for-sale inventory to be up .6%.

While we’re still seeing the annual cycle of warming in the market during spring and summer and cooling in fall and winter, we can expect an even bigger return to normalcy in 2022 here in Portland. Read more about my early 2022 Portland Real Estate Forecast. Stay tuned for our final 2022 real estate market forecast coming soon.

Looking to Buy or Sell a Home?

After helping Portlanders buy and sell homes for close to two decades now, we’ve see it all. Give our top 1% buyers team a call or get in touch with our top 1% sellers team. We’d love to help you find what you’re looking for.

December 17, 2021

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.

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