Portland Homes for Sale: Prices Rise, Inventory Plunges, Both Favoring Sellers

Despite a roller-coaster stock market, lingering pandemic and uncertainty caused by natural and made disasters, the real estate market continues to connect buyers to sellers (Eastman 1). In August, 3,149 Portland residential properties switched hands, according to the latest report by RMLS. Somehow, above all of the drama and contingency, real estate still progressed onward in the past month.

The low number of homes for sale continues to trouble home shoppers and favor sellers. As a result of the few houses on the market, the median sale price rose to $449,000, a 0.9% increase from the month of July.

Inventory of homes for sale in August scarcely rose, to 1.3 months, compared to July’s 1.2 months. “Basement-level inventory in a state with the largest housing shortage in the nation is offering buyers the fewest choices in years” (Eastman 5).

The coronavirus lessened the number of homes for sale in the Portland metro area and across the country. The number of Portland listings in August plummeted 8.3% (3,385) compared to July (4,236). When examining the first eight months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, new listings (27,379) declined by 10.1%.

The most influential factor of not selling was the concern of not finding another home.

The majority of sellers also served as buyers, so as new listings hit the market, another buyer is also added. As for the issues in inventory, previously vacant homes that acted as second homes and rentals have been reoccupied by their owners, taking them off the market. With inventory still at a low though, prices have been bumped up for homes.

“Buyers who haven’t lost their source of income and have acceptable debt-to-income ratios are cashing in on mortgage rates in the historically low 2.9% range, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac” (Eastman 17).

3,679 pending Portland homes increased 1.1% in August compared to July but skyrocketed 26.2% from the 2,929 offers in August 2019.

The deadly wildfires that wrecked Oregon properties in early September took a consequential impact on home sales too. Thousands of people were left relocated from their homes, living in temporary housing and mobile home parks. While the market was already desperate for inventory before the fire, with properties damaged and destroyed, the situation has only worsened. The cost to rebuild later resulted in higher asking prices. The fires delayed transactions that were able to continue during the pandemic, and homeowners became timid to list their homes. People are desperate for housing, so if you put your house on the market with a reasonable asking price, you will be bombarded with offers.


Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.