Are there signs that the Portland housing market's long ride atop the nation may end any time soon?
August real estate numbers were mixed in the Portland metro area. While new listings were 4,203, 8.3% higher than August 2015, they were 3.9% less than July 2016's new listings of 4,327.
Pending sales of 3,325 fell 0.7% short of August 2015 at 3,347, although pushed 0.7% ahead of last month's 3,302 accepted offers.
Closed sales of 3,001 were 3.1% less than August 2015, at 3,098, but surged 8.1% above last month's 2,776 closed sales.
This month's feature articles include a bit of Portland history and a glimpse into its future. Lisa Dunn of
Portland Monthly writes about saving Portland's Veterans' Memorial Coliseum. Randy Gragg of Portland Monthly offers his take on making room for our growing population.
The Market Action reports for the Portland metro area as well as all Oregon areas and Southwest Washington are also available to download. It also has the summary page for the August 2016 Portland metro area home prices.
August brought more mixed real estate numbers to the Portland metro area. New listings, at 4,203, fared 8.3% better than in August 2015 (3,880) but fell 3.9% shy of the 4,327 new listings offered last month in July 2016.
Pending sales, at 3,325, fell 0.7% short of the 3,347 offers accepted last year in August 2015 but pushed 0.7% over the 3,302 offers accepted last month in July 2016.
Closed sales, at 3,001, fell 3.1% short of the 3,098 closings recorded last year in August 2015 but ended 8.1% higher compared to the 2,776 closings posted last month in July 2016.
Activity has been mixed in 2016 compared to 2015. New listings (30,646) are up 1.1%. Closed sales (21,573) are down 2.1% and pending sales (24,120) are down 2.7% for the year thus far.
Click on image to enlarge.
Average & Median Sales Prices
Median Sale Price for a Home in the Portland Metro Area was $343,200 in August 2016.
Prices continue to rise in the Portland metro area. Comparing 2016 to 2015 through August, the average sale price rose 11.2% from $353,200 to $392,600. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 12.5% from $305,000 to $343,200.
Click on image to enlarge.
Sales Price Percent Change
Average Sales Price Percent Change: 11.2% ($353,200 v. $392,600)
The Average Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016) with 12 months before (9/1/2014 - 8/31/2015).
Average Sales Price Percent Change: 9.5% ($380,400 v. $347,400)
Median Sales Price Percent Change: 10.3% ($331,000 v. $300,000)
Inventory in the Portland metro area remained steady in August at 1.9 months. Total market time increased by two days to land at 34 days. There were 5,645 active residential listings in the Portland metro area in August.
If sales continued at the same pace, every home on the market would sell in 1.9 months, well short of the six-month supply that indicates a market balanced between willing buyers and sellers. Current conditions indicate a strong seller's market, which is driving prices higher.
Cost of Residential Homes by Community
In the chart below we have extracted the most important data from the RMLS Market Action report (21 columns) and created this simple chart. Below is the chart that displays the August 2016 numbers by area or community. It includes the following:
Even as housing market activity begins its seasonal cool down, our forecast for the best year in total home sales since 2006 looks increasingly on the mark. Through the first seven months of the year, home sales - both new and existing homes - totaled 3.4 million, the highest total for this same time period since 2006. And indications from both mortgage applications and pending home sales imply, this momentum will be sustained throughout the third quarter. As such, housing remains a bright spot for the economy as the rest of the economy sputters along.
Penrith Home Loans (PHL) Penrith was formerly called Windermere Mortgage Services, and they changed their name in 2015. PHL is Northwest owned and operated and headquartered in Seattle, with offices throughout Washington and Oregon. PHL is a full service mortgage banker and direct lender. In addition, they have access to numerous other lenders which allows them to meet everyone's individual needs.
West Portland Contact: Bertha Ferran, telephone (503) 464-9215. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, West Portland Branch, 6400 SW Barnes Road, Suite 305, Portland, OR 97225.
East Portland Contact: Tanya Elder, telephone (503) 497-5367. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, Lloyd Tower Branch, 825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 120, Portland, OR 97232.
Lake Oswego Contact: Clayton Scott, telephone (503) 497-5060. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, Lake Oswego Branch, 220 "A" Avenue, Suite 200, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.
weather data for the month of August 2016. These readings are from the Portland airport.
Average Monthly Temperature for August 2016: 71.9 (2.4 degrees above normal of 69.5 degrees).
Warmest Days: 99 degrees on August 19-20
Coldest Days: 69 degrees on August 8, 9 & 31.
Most Rainfall in 24 Hours: 0.09 inches on August 8-9.
Rain Days: Four days with light rain and no days with heavy rain.
Clear/Cloudy Days for August 2016: 19 fair days, 11 partly cloudy days, and 1 cloudy day.
Average Wind Speed for August 2016: 6.4 mph.
A "water year" is defined as the 12-month period beginning October 1 of any year and continuing through September 30 of the following year. The water year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends and which includes 9 of the 12 months. Thus, the water year ending September 30, 2016 is called the 2016 water year.
The normal precipitation for a water year in downtown Portland is just under 44 inches and at the airport it is 37.04 inches. The official measurement is taken at the Portland International Airport (PDX) which is one of the driest places in the metro area.
HYDRA rainfall network is operated and maintained by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, and there are 37 gauges throughout Portland where rainfall is measured - the water year average for these 37 gauges is 42.77 inches.
On sunny days, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum
becomes a greenhouse. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with light and heat, and sunbeams catch floating motes of dust. Without the crowds from a game or concert, footfalls echo and voices ring larger than life.
"It's so bright in here," I say, stating the obvious.
"Yes, and imagine if the trees were gone," says Brian Libby, a 44-year-old architecture critic, gesturing to the London planetrees and red oaks outside. "You'd get a full view of the city, and just light and more light."
"Would people in Portland go for that?" I ask.
"Oh yeah," he shrugs. "We'd just do something like donate 10 trees for every tree cut here." It's another thing Libby-a longtime local journalist, sometime Portland Monthly contributor, and my tour guide-adds to his running tab of small touch-ups he would apply to one of his most beloved buildings.
Portland Is Growing Like Never Before.
What Should We Do Next?
Right now, almost 60 buildings at least 100 feet tall are in the pipeline for Portland's central city-including at least 15 destined to rise more than 200 feet. And those are the projects we know about. Among Portland's architects and builders, there's talk of more-many more. Then there are the 14,000-plus apartments that have sprouted since 2012, across every neighborhood. And the 1,700 new hotel rooms expected by the end of 2017. And the 11 new buildings the Goodman family aspires to grow on its downtown parking lots, five proposed at more than 400 feet tall. (For comparison, Big Pink stands just over 530 feet.)
Some call it a boom; others, another bubble soon to pop. But imagine, for a moment, that all the cranes swinging above the streets, all the new, bigger buildings rising
where little old ones once stood, the moving vans arriving from across the nation-imagine that this is Portland's new normal.