Top 5 Portland Real Estate News Stories: First Half 2019
We’re already halfway through 2019 which means it’s time to take a quick look back at some of the top Portland real estate market news stories. From slow growth to fast-moving fraudsters, here’s our guide to what Portland home buyers and sellers should know about real estate in and around Portland.
- Growth has slowed. After years of median home price increases in the high single and even some double digits, Portland’s real estate market has stabilized a bit. As of this April, the median home price has grown just 1.2% this year, with prices falling in some market sectors. It’s not an alarming change for those who have been in the real estate business for a long time, but it was surprising to see such a quick slowdown after the headline-grabbing buyer frenzy we saw just three years ago in Portland. To get a great overview of what’s been driving the Portland real estate market over the past ten years, check out our blog post.
- Rents went down. Anyone who has rented for any length of time knows the mantra, “The only constant is change.” Four years ago in Portland, the mayor declared a “housing state of emergency” while watching rents increase by 6 or 7 percent every year. Since then, about 15,000 new apartment have been built, according to KOIN News. Last year, rents actually went down by 2.7%, and renters enjoyed a higher vacancy rate. Those who would rather not wait for the tides to change again can still take advantage of low mortgage rates and first-time homebuyer incentives to leave the rental game for good.
- School performance influencing real estate values. Thanks to the internet, it’s now easier than ever to access school performance data — and home buyers are going nuts for it. The website GreatSchools.com is the #1 source for this data, but the organization has been criticized for ranking schools too simply on a 1-10 scale, relying mostly on test scores to do it. Still, the National Association of Realtors found that homes near schools given a 9 or 10 on Greatschools tend to sell for a lot more. For more in-depth coverage of this trend, check out our blog post.
- Stephen FitzMaurice Team: Top 1% Agents Data on schools might be a double-edged sword, but data on real estate agents is always a good thing. This year, we’re impressed by the work of Homelight, a startup that crunches the numbers on real estate agents’ sales records. Last year, Homelight’s rankings put our team in the Top 1% in the United States on both the buying and selling end of the transaction. The award we’re most proud of, though, is “Top 1% Negotiator”: further proof that we go to bat for our clients and get them the best possible deal whether they’re buying or selling a home.
- Wire Fraud is on the Rise. Email scams are nothing new, but what is new is the level of professionalism that scammers have risen to in order to get their hands on home buyers’ money. Local news sources reported on some of those scams this year, and we just want to reiterate the take-away point: Don’t trust emails asking you to wire money, even if they look like they came from your title company or real estate agent. Always call to verify. (More tips here.)