Based on the latest data from Movoto Real Estate, now is a decent time–but maybe not the ideal moment–to look at selling or purchasing a home in Portland. Local housing trends show that The City of Roses is currently in a fairly healthy state, with total inventory down as price per square foot remains stable.
This is drastically different from 2010, when the market had more than twice the inventory of what it stands at now. Coupled with a lower median list price, the 2010 inventory meant more options available at a lower price for Portland homes.
Going Down, Down, Down
Portland’s total housing inventory dropped 54 percent from where it was two years ago, and 34 percent from last September.
Today inventory rests at just over 2,600, while in 2010 that number was up to 5,696. In September 2011 Portland’s inventory was just below 4,000, with 3,980 properties on market.
This drastic decrease in total inventory occurs alongside a steadily rising median list price and a generally stable median price per square foot, suggesting that demand is slightly weaker than usual.
But Prices Aren’t Climbing Up
The median list price has increased 11 percent since September 2010, when the average home was priced at $279,950. Today the median list price is $309,900, up 3 percent from a month ago when it was at an even $300,000.
Not surprisingly the median list price in Portland is almost $50,000 higher than the median list price for the entire state. Home sellers in the city could benefit from this listing price trend if it continues to increase as inventory continues to fall, as long as the demand from buyers exists.
Yet median price per square foot has dropped only one percent from 2010, down from $165 per square foot to $163 per square foot. This can either mean that homes on market are running at a larger size but selling for less, or that the only properties still for sale are those that would fall under the “luxury” category.
The lack of change for median price per square foot, when analyzed with the falling inventory, suggests a less-than-stellar market for sellers. If demand increases and drives the median price per square foot up, however, that will provide home sellers with a good opportunity to put their properties on the market.
Two years ago the median house size was 1,746 square feet, while today this number has expanded by 16 percent to 2,022 square feet. The mostly unchanged median price per square foot compared to the increase in median size indicates that Portland home buyers are getting more space for the same median price per square foot as 2010.
A Market with Possibilities
Another slight inclination that the city is shifting for the benefit of sellers is the drop in median days on market. Today this number sits at 60 days, whereas one year ago homes remained on market for an average of 82 days–that’s a significant 27-percent drop.
The downward trend for days on market is sizable considering there is a very small amount of more reasonably priced distressed properties available.
Foreclosures and short sales make up only a modest portion of Portland’s market, with the percentage of distressed properties dropping slightly in the past two years from 5 percent to 2 percent.
The combination of a stable median price per square foot, a decline in total inventory, and a low percentage of distressed properties suggests that Portland’s housing market is virtually in an in-between moment–with the potential to swing either way to benefit buyers or sellers.
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