2019 Portland Real Estate Market Still Hot in March
RMLS market data is out and it turned out that the March real estate market in Portland is still HOT. It did slow down a little bit but not much. Prices are staying where they were last year but the demand for housing is still very strong. Our housing market is proving resilience with fundamentals that are favorable to home buyers. How long will it last? It depends on the mortgage rates.
Real Estate Market Data
In March 2019, the Portland median sold price is $419,450 overall. Detached single family homes had a sold median price of $444,500, up $500 from March 2018. The median for condos and townhouses is $349,500, down $500 from March 2018. Overall, it takes about a week longer to sell a home in Portland right now from 12 months ago but as of March, more homes are selling than 12 months ago.
Supply is still low compared to the high demand for housing. For detached single family homes, there was only two months of inventory and 2.5 months of inventory for all types of housing including condos and townhouses. Six months of inventory is considered normal.
Market Conditions for Different Areas and Asset Classes
From what I have seen from my activities in March, houses priced in the $300 to 450K ranch have been selling quickly especially in the west side of the Portland metro. The market has been really hot in SW Portland, Beaverton, and Hillsboro for houses in that price range. In the east side, houses in that price range tend to be in the east of 205 and they are a bit slower. Houses over $600K have been sitting on the market a lot longer. The higher end market in SW Portland neighborhoods close to downtown such as Southwest Hills have been somewhat slower compared to the higher end market in the east side neighborhoods such as Alameda and Irvington. There are still many buyers in the high-end east side neighborhoods looking to snatch up the right deal.
Mortgage rates are still very low as of now, which gives home buyers more purchasing power. I have been reading various economic and financial news lately and it seems that the rates will probably stay low for a while as the overall economy is slowing. Job market on the other hand is still very healthy.
Forecast Factors for Fall and Winter Market
Assuming the mortgage rates stay low throughout the spring, summer, and fall, it will be interesting to see the housing market after August. Last year, mortgage rates shot up after spring and there was a significant housing market slowdown in the third and fourth quarter of 2018 with rates reaching 5%. Housing market does normally slow down after July but with this type of rate, the slowdown was more significant with less buyers willing to buy in that conditions. If the mortgage rate stays low all year in 2019, the Portland metro real estate market may be hotter in the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year. We will just have to see what happens.
If you are looking to buy or sell this year, depending on the area, price range, and property type, you will have a different level of leverage in the market. It is important to talk to a good real estate agent to understand the specific market condition for the type you will be transacting and come up with the best strategy.
Enjoy the rest of April and I will be back in the beginning of May with the real estate market report for April 2019.