Hot Portland Housing Market Trickles Down to More Affordable Areas

Beaverton Central Station

Portland’s notoriously hot real estate market is finally slowing down in top tier markets.  The level of price appreciation and the competition over the last few years seems to have reached a point of cooling down to buyer’s markets in some inner city neighborhoods and surrounding metro markets including Happy Valley, Lake Oswego and West Linn.  However, this doesn’t mean buying an affordable home is easy in the Portland metro market as the wave of hot market frenzy is trickling down to more affordable suburbs and Portland neighborhoods.  The rush is not over.  Housing market is still very hot in places like Beaverton, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, and in nice suburbs where many single family houses sell for under $400K.  East Portland and North Portland are both hot too.  St. Johns homes fly out like hot cakes and there are not enough listings.  Lents has been a hot bed for home sales as the neighborhood is still very affordable with developments underway in Lents Town Center.  East of I-205 has been very hot with competition where lots of decent 3 bedroom houses sell for under 300K.

So yes, Portland market is slowing down in expensive areas but in more affordable areas, it’s still hot.  In a hot market, working with a buyer’s agent is important so that you can either swoop the deal at a good price as soon as it hits the market or win the bidding war.  If the deal is too good, you will still have to fight a bidding war anywhere including those neighborhoods that are getting cold.  Cooling down only means that there is not much room for appreciation due to not enough demand for high priced real estate in the market.  It doesn’t mean people don’t want to live there anymore.  They very much do if a good deal comes along.

If you are selling your house, your listing agent must understand the climate of your local market so you can prepare for how long it takes to sell your home and also price in a way that you can maximize your return without having to wait for too long.  When a home sits on a market too long, you are going to get low ball offers if at all.  It’s important to cook at comparables of recently sold homes in your neighborhood and what’s currently on the market.  Compare those inventories to your own home in an objective way to price it.  Work with a good listing agent.

Where is our market headed for the future?  My best guess is that there is still decent appreciation to gain in currently hot markets and not so much in the cold markets.  Zillow still predicts 4-6% appreciation for next year for hot markets.  That’s still not 10-15% increase we’ve had in 2015 and 2016 so that train is slowing down overall.  The good news for buyers is that the mortgage rates are still somewhat low and buying still beats renting if you are stable enough.  Rent is still going up on the other hand.

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