Moving to Portland
September 2016 Newsletter


Shelli Gowdy 
Real Estate Broker 
Windermere Stellar
Susan Marthens 
Principal Real Estate Broker 
Windermere Stellar
September 2016:  Some Clouds Blew into Portland Metro Area Housing Market  

To paraphrase the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS): "Some clouds blew into the real estate market in September, casting shadows over sale prices, new listings and pending and closed sales."

In its latest Market Action Report, RMLS noted that, while the 3,673 new listings in September was a jump of more than 7 percent over the same month last year, they were down 12.6 percent from August. Pending sales were also down nearly 4 percent from last September and more than 14 percent from August.  

Featured Stories

This month's feature articles include a story that was published recently in The Oregonian entitled, "What it costs to buy a home in Oregon's top-ranked school districts."
The second story is about Oregon Public Radio's (OPB)  Think Out Loud program that was born from the desire to create a space in Oregon and southwestern Washington for a civil, engaged, far-ranging dialogue informed first and foremost by experience. On the air and online, the show strives to be a show on which listening to each other is more important than talking at each other.
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Below information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for September 2016

Market Action Reports 
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 September 2016 Portland metro area home prices.
September 2016 Real Estate Highlights
The Portland metro area saw some clouds roll into real estate activity this September. New listings (3,673) fared 7.3% better than in September 2015 (3,424) but were 12.6% cooler than in August 2016 (4,203).  This was the best September for new listings in the Portland metro region since 2008, when 4,200 were offered for the month. 

Pending sales (2,857) fell 3.8% short of September of last year (2,971) and 14.1% short of the 3,325 offers accepted last month in August 2016.

Closed sales, at 2,823, were similarly 6.2% cooler compared to September 2015 (3,010) and 5.9% cooler compared to August 2016 (3,001).
Click on image   to enlarge.
Average & Median Sales Prices
Median Sale Price for a Home in the Portland Metro Area was $350,300 in September 2016.

Prices continue to rise in the Portland metro area. Comparing 2016 to 2015 through September, the average sale price rose 11.4% from $352,500 to $392,600. 

In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 13.1% from $305,000 to $345,000..

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 (10/1/2015 - 9/30/2016) with 12 months before (10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015).
  • Average Sales Price Percent Change: 10.4% ($384,400 v. $348,300)
  • Median Sales Price Percent Change:  12.0% ($336,000 v. $300,000) 

Inventory in the Portland metro area increased just slightly in September to 2.0 months. Total market time increased by one day, climbing to 35 days. There were 5,614 active residential listings in the Portland metro area in September.  
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 September 2016 numbers by area or community. It includes the following:
  • Number of closed sales.
  • Average price of homes sold.
  • Year-to-date average price.
  • Year-to-date median price.
  • Average sales price percent change.

Click on image to enlarge or  click   here  
 to view the report (pdf).
Freddie Mac released the results of its  Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS ® last Thursday, showing average fixed mortgage rates slipping from last week's spike and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage easing back to its summertime range below 3.5 percent.
News Facts
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.47 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending October 27, 2016, down 5 basis points from 3.52 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.76 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.78 percent with an average 0.5 point, down slightly from last week when they averaged 2.79 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.98 percent.
The Portland Business Journal reported that banks and real estate lenders funded $23 billion in mortgages, refinances and home improvement loans in the Portland area in 2015, according to new federal data, the latest sign of the city's sizzling housing market.

That's a 50 percent increase from the $15.3 billion in mortgages banks made in 2014.

Penrith Home Loans 
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.
Monthly Weather Summary
Below is the National Weather Service 
weather data for the month of September 2016. These readings are from the Portland airport. 
  • Average Monthly Temperature for September 2016:   63.3 (1.2 degrees below normal of 64.5 degrees).
  • Warmest Day:  89 degrees on September 11.
  • Coldest Day:  45 degrees on September 27.
  • Most Rainfall in 24 Hours: 0.88 inches on September 17.
  • Rain Days: Ten days with light rain and one day with heavy rain.
  • Clear/Cloudy Days for September 2016:  10 fair days, 16 partly cloudy days, and four cloudy day.
  • Average Wind Speed for September 2016:  4.9 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. 
The HYDRA rainfall network is operated and maintained by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, and there are about 40 gauges throughout Portland where rainfall is measured - the water year average for these gauges is 42.77 inches. During the first month (October) of the 2017 water year we had 9.55 inches of rain.

October will go down in the record books with the most days of rain the month has seen in several parts of Oregon, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday (October 30, 2016) marked 27 October days with measurable rain in the Portland area, and Halloween made it 28. The previous record was 23 days in 1947 and 1950. A fraction of an inch more rain in October would have set that record also. 

What it Costs to Buy a Home in Oregon's Top-Ranked School Districts

There are more than 600 public and private schools in the Portland metro area. Which ones are best for your children?

Parents know. They might select a seat in a classroom based on the school district's achievement scores and enrichment programs. Or the tipping point may be extracurricular offerings, from technology to sports.

Often, parents move into an area specifically because of the schools. Neighbors might be there, too, because homes for sale in well-regarded school districts are viewed more often, sell faster and are valued higher on average than those in below-average school districts, according to real estate research.

Recently compared its nationwide residential listings database to school ratings from to see how much of a premium buyers place on school quality.

The report found that "homes within the boundaries of the higher rated public school districts are, on average, 49 percent more expensive - at $400,000 - than the national median list price of $269,000 and 77 percent more expensive than schools located within the boundaries of lower ranked districts with a median of $225,000."

Parents squeeze their finances and sacrifice a shorter commute, extra bedroom and other perks to live in a preferred school district, according to the report.

In this week's real estate gallery, we show you what it costs to buy a home in Oregon's highest-ranking school districts as determined by  Niche, an online database referred by real estate agents that considers test scores, teacher quality, graduation rates, and student and parent reviews.

According to Niche, out of  197 school districts in Oregon, the top are the  Lake Oswego School DistrictRiverdale School District in Southwest Portland and the  West Linn-Wilsonville School District.

We combed through real estate listings to find homes in a range of prices, sizes and styles, from condos to mansions, within these school districts' boundaries.

Lake Oswego School District's median home list price is $749,000. We found homes ranging from a $15-million, lakefront mansion at  1500 Northshore Road, to a $347,875, three-bedroom ranch house at  13516 SW 62nd Ave., a rare Portland address within the coveted district's boundaries, that sold in July for $347,875.

Riverdale School District in Southwest Portland's Dunthorpe has a median list price of $1.5 million. We found homes in a range from $3,450,000 mansion at  1710 SW Military Road to a five-bedroom house at  01250 SW Radcliffe Road that sold in August for $880,000.

In the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, the median list price for West Linn is $618,000 and Wilsonville is $460,000. We found an $18 million mansion at  1707 SW Schaeffer Road in West Linn and a $399,000 townhouse at  3086 Club House Court with a pending sale.

As you can see, the lower priced homes in the districts sell fast.

If you're in the market, do your homework: Buyers can still land the right home in competitive school districts if they know the seasonality patterns and start their search early in that cycle, according to local experts and  

Source:  "What it costs to buy a home in Oregon's top-ranked school districts" , by Janet Eastman, October 17, 2016.  The Oregonian/OregonLive 

Oregon Public Radio: Road Trips

Tune in to Oregon Public Radio (91.5 FM in the metro area) at noon (PST) to Think Out Loud's radio road trip series:  and enjoy conversations with  wanderers, tourists and residents along Oregon's back roads and highways.

Think Out Loud was born from the desire to create a space in Oregon and southwestern Washington for a civil, engaged, far-ranging dialogue informed first and foremost by experience. On the air and online, the show strives to be a show on which listening to each other is more important than talking at each other. Think Out Loud covers a variety of topics every day; the road trips are presented periodically.

The show also repeats at 8 PM on FM 91.5. If you miss it you can go to the OPB website and listen to the program anytime. We can't guarantee that every Road Trip is going to be interesting but most will hold your attention.

Below  are some shows you may want to consider listening to.

Oregon Route 82 arcs from La Grande to Joseph, around the north side of the Wallowa Mountains. The landscapes are breathtaking - tall peaks and rolling farmland. Think Out Loud recently traveled the highway, talking with ranchers, small business owners, life-long residents and visitors.     Listen...

Elk, Butterflies And (Carved) Bears In Southwest Oregon

Oregon Route 38 is a sleepy stretch of road cutting from Interstate 5 out to the coastal town of Reedsport. The area is home to a burgeoning wine sc e ne, tranquil vistas along the Umpqua River and quiet retirement communities.

We recently took a drive along Route 38, meeting longtime residents, a few new arrivals and some folks who were just passing through. We talked to high schoolers and retirees, people who came to the area to settle down, those who've stuck around despite never imagining they'd stay, people making their dreams come true - and those hoping for something more.   Listen...

Simon Winchester On The Pacific

For his latest book of nonfiction, Simon Winchester has taken on nearly 64 million square miles. " Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers" is divided into 10 chapters encompassing singular events in the ocean's history, including nuclear testing at the Bikini Atoll, and the invention of surfing.   Listen...
 Wishing you a wonderful autumn,

Susan and Shelli
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