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Portland’s residential market feels a late-summer chill

Summer’s not officially over yet, but a slight chill has visited Portland’s residential real estate market, at least according to the latest numbers from theRegional Multiple Listing Service.

In its latest Market Action Report, RMLS noted that the average sale price slipped from $407,100 in July to $400,100 in August. Median price also dropped $2,000 to $353,000 in August. The month saw homes sitting on the market for an average of 34 days, a slight uptick from the 32-day market times seen in July, and the 4,203 new listings in August were a drop of about 170 compared to July.

The month-to-month numbers only show part of the picture, however. Year-to-date’s average sale price of $392,600 was up nearly $30,000 over the same timeframe last year. New listings were also up slightly for the year — about 330 compared to last year. Down for the year so far: pending sales (-2.7 percent), closed sales (-2.1 percent) and total market time (-26.9 percent).

Israel Hill, managing broker of John L. Scott Portland Northeast, has seen some of the latest trends unfolding in his neck of the woods.

“We are seeing more price drops in areas where sellers have been overly aggressive on their pricing,” he said. “Homes priced right still sell in the first weekend but more and more homes are staying on the market past the first weekend.”

The continued crunch in Portland’s real estate market has also put the pinch on appraisers, who are in high demand but short in number. That’s led to longer closing times and higher appraisal fees.

“There’s a shortage of appraisers in Oregon right now and I see it getting worse,” said Brigitte Pascutoi, managing broker, John L. Scott Real Estate Portland Sunset Corridor: “Many appraisers are raising their prices. They can call the shots because they are so busy . . . Some appraisals are taking two months . . . We recommend that buyers order their appraisals right away.”

By Jon Bell at Portland Business Journal

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