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Portland Real Estate Update By Rob Levy

Portland Real Estate Update May '17

rch Residential Highlights
The Portland metro area had
a sunny month for new listings
this March. At 3,604, new listings
outpaced March 2016 (3,409) by
5.7% and February 2017 (2,521) by
43.0%. This was the strongest March 
for new listings in the area since 
2010, when 4,987 were offered for
the month.
Pending sales (3,043) warmed
28.5% over last month in February
2017 (2,369) but fell 1.1% short of 
the 3,076 offers accepted during this month last year in March 2016.  Closed sales, at 2,494, similarly
outpaced February 2017 (1,669) by
49.4% but still ended 2.8% cooler
than in March 2016 when 2,565
closings were recorded for the
Total market time decreased by
four days this March, ending at 58
days. Inventory decreased as well,
ending at 1.3 months. There were
3,313 active residential listings in
the Portland metro area this March.
Average and Median Sale Prices
Comparing the average price of
homes sold in the twelve months
ending March 31st of this year
($404,300) with the average price
of homes in the twelve months
ending March 2016 ($361,100)
shows an increase of 12.0%. In the
same comparison, the median has
increased 12.2% from $315,000 to

The Portland metro area saw some mixed real estate activity this April, while the year to date still remains cooler compared to 2016.  New listings, at 3,759, fared 4.3% better than last month in March 2017 (3,604), but fell 7.9% short of the 4,082 new listings offered last year in April 2016.  Similarly, pending sales (3,088) were 10.0% cooler than in April 2016 (3,432) but showed a modest 1.5% gain over last month in March 2017 (3,043).  Closed sales, at 2,219, fell 11.0% short compared to last month’s 2,494 closings and 15% short compared to the 2,611 closings recorded last year in April 2016.  Inventory crawled upward in April, ending at 1.7 months. Total market time decreased by four days, ending at 42 days. There were 3,753 active residential listings in the Portland metro area in April.  

Comparing the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending April 30th of this year ($406,500) with the average price of homes in the twelve months ending April 2016 ($365,200) shows an increase of 11.3%. In the same comparison, the median has increased 11.6% from $318,500 to $355,500.


Our home of the month is a condo off Macadam just south of the south waterfront in the coveted RiverPoint condo community.  This fabulous home is two bedrooms plus a den, and overlooks the river, downtown and Mt Hood, and its on the ground floor with a two car garage!  Check it out here at

Homeowners Net Worth is 45x Greater than a Renter

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You Homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments: “Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math should not be overlooked.” reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). In a Forbes article, NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted that by the end of 2016, the net worth gap would widen even further to 45 times greater. The graph on the left demonstrates the results of the Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction.

Myth: You Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home

Gone are the days of 20% down or no loan, but recent surveys reveal that many Americans are not aware that programs exist to put down less. Fannie Mae’s article, “What Consumers (Don’t) Know About Mortgage Qualification Criteria,” revealed that “only 5 to 16 percent of respondents know the correct ranges for key mortgage qualification criteria.” The survey results revealed that consumers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan; 76% of respondents either don’t know (40%) or are misinformed (36%) You Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home Myth 2: about the minimum down payment required. Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, but many programs actually let buyers put down as little as 3%. On the right are the results of a Digital Risk survey of Millennials who recently purchased homes.  Since Millennials make up the largest share of first-time buyers, it should come as no surprise that 97% of this generation financed their home purchase, compared to 86% of all buyers. What may come as a surprise to many who have not yet purchased, however, is that 16% of those who financed their home put 0% down! 61% of Millennials who purchased a home in 2016 put down 10% or less! According to data from the last 12 months of Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, the average down payment for a Millennial was 10%. Your dream home could be within your reach much sooner than you ever thought if you only need to save up 3-10% instead of the 20% that you may have thought you needed!