Single Level Homes Sell Faster and for More in Portland – 2020 Report

single level home portland real estate ranch

Portland homes come in a dazzling array of styles and layouts, from historic Craftsman bungalows to zero-energy modern homes. But recent sales data makes it pretty clear that Portland home buyers have an architectural favorite: It’s the humble single-level home, also known as ranch style.

Singe Level Homes Sell for 19% More per Sq. Ft.

According to the most recent RMLS statistics (June 2020), single level homes sold for an average of $289 per square foot, compared to just $235 per square foot for homes with two stories or more (looking at all home sales under 1 million in the previous four months).

Single Level Homes Sell 25% Faster

Single-level homes also sold more quickly than multi-levels: 36 days on the Portland real estate market compared to 48.

Put another way, in the last four months in Portland, single level homes sold for 19% more and 25% faster. And while this is only the latest data, this trend has been noted by local real estate agents for the last few years. Why the run on ranch-style and other single level homes? It all has to do with shifting home buyer needs and a trend toward long-term home ownership. 

Accessible Homes Get Buyer’s Attention

“Accessibility” is the key word that has moved Portland single-level and ranch-style homes to the top of the market. As more home buyers seek to age in place or accommodate aging parents, they are looking for homes without stairs, with open floor plans and a master suite on the main floor. Even better if the home has universal design features like “curbless” showers without a threshold or tub to step over. Which homes are more likely to offer these accessibility features? You got it – the ranch-style.

Another important aspect of this trend is that it is very forward-looking. It’s about aging in place and anticipating needs a decade or more down the road. Portland homeowners are hanging on to their homes for an average of nine years or more, according to a report published by real estate research firm ATTOM. Single-level homes allow home buyers to be prepared for anything, whether it’s caring for a family member or giving themselves the space and flexibility to age at home without having to move. 

Single level vs Ranch style

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but in fact a ranch style home isn’t always single level. Multiple levels can be found in split-level and raised-ranch style homes. While these homes are not as difficult to get around as homes with multiple stories (longer flights of stairs), buyers should be aware of what terminology is being used in real estate listings. And share with your real estate agent any mobility issues that will affect your home-buying decision.

While we’re on the subject of semantics, single-level homes are not always “ranch”, either. Architects consider 1940-1970 to be the peak years of ranch-style homes, which are distinguished by their open floor plans and long, gently sloping or flat rooflines. They often sprawl in an L- or U-shaped configuration, taking advantage of large lots. Single level homes also come in other architectural styles, such as craftsman or midcentury modern, but they might lack the open floor plan or ease of access (particularly in the entryway) that have made ranch-style homes the most desirable in Portland. 

Looking for the perfect ranch style or single level home in Portland? Do you have one to sell? Contact our top agent team – we have the real estate solution for you. 

June 12, 2020

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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