2017 Portland Housing Market off to a Hot Start
After a long rather slow moving days of November and December of 2016, January of 2017 is already getting hot with home buyers in Portland. All the snow isn’t cooling down the hot momentum of home buyers. Homes that have been sitting on the market over a month or two are all of sudden pending and new listings are popping up with snow on the roof. There have been some deals on the market in November and December but now those deals are being snatched up quickly. I just got involved in a bidding war on a home in Richmond neighborhood with five offers. It was unbelievable how it felt like the spring season of 2016 all over again but this time in January still with a foot of snow on the streets. The new requirement of this month’s home buying is now a four wheel drive or a set of chains on your tires.
There are lots of home buyers lurking around willing to pay top dollars on a deal. As the inventory shows up more in the next several months, buyers who weren’t quite ready or did not win bids last year will actively look again. More and more millennial home buyers will be jumping in this year. Interest rate is going up again so there is a big sense of urgency among those who are ready.
My advice for potential home buyers is same as it has been always. Get pre-approved now and get ready for another war. Prepare a touching letter. Work with a real estate agent to start looking through listings and receive important inside information. There is a ton of private information only available to agents on the MLS so if you think you can find out everything on Zillow, think again. A good agent will tell you not to buy a certain home due to issues disclosed on the MLS or other issues an agent can understand. That’s why you need an agent on your side to work this process if you are a buyer because if you go directly to the listing agent, you won’t get to sort out these homes with an agent’s help and it will only result in dual representation. If you think that will result in you buying a home cheaper because somehow you are cutting out one side of the agent commission, think again. Listing agents receive a dual commission from representing both sides unless the agent wants to give up one side of the commission he/she is already contractually entitled to. Will he/she give up the commission so you can profit as a buyer? Sellers sign a listing agreement to pay out the full commission regardless. So get a competent agent on your side when home hunting.
Inner SE / NE Portland market will be really hot again this year so if your budget is somewhat limited, look at some of these up-and-coming neighborhoods. If you are looking east of 82nd, visit Lents at SE 92nd and Foster and see the future of the neighborhood being built. There will be a high-rise urban hub in that intersection and the SE 92nd will be a new hot and hip neighborhood in a couple of years. Foster-Powell needs to catch up but it’s definitely turning into a trendy and artsy neighborhood.