In the appraisal process, a real estate appraiser is usually most focused on the specific
subdivision, neighborhood (or market
area), and property type.
In doing so, appraisers typically deal with micro, and not macro, economic systems.
For example, the market for a million dollar home in Portland is likely different than the market for an entry priced property.
Consequently, an appraiser will typically examine statistics for similar-sized properties to develop an opinion of market segment health.
For this blog post however, let’s take the big view and look at what is happening in the overall Portland market.
The following are some of my favorite sources for gathering information about the Portland real estate market.
Case-Shiller Portland Home Price Index
is a monthly index that is calculated based on verified arm’s length transactions of twice sold single-family homes (repeat sales of the same property) in three different price tiers.
The index is a strong measure of price change for a market because it is not skewed by more low priced homes being sold in one year and more high priced homes being sold another year.
The drawback of Case-Shiller is that the data lags by three months.
The most recent Case-Shiller Portland Home Price Index is for June of 2015 and was published August 25, 2015.
The index is currently at 182.14, which is nearly back to the 186.51 peak reached in July of 2007 before the housing collapse.
The index shows that prices have increased by 7.81% from last year, 1.54% from the previous month, and 4.74% in the prior three months.
In an earlier blog post I examined the seasonal
trends in the Case-Shiller Index.
Based on the analysis of that blog, and what I know about the Portland market, I expect the Case-Shiller Index to increase in August and September before the seasonal price drop occurs from October through January.
Market Metro Portland Action Report is a monthly report put out by Portland’s only multiple listing service. The report features overall statistics including inventory, pending volume, total market time, and median prices.
The most recent Metro Portland Report is for August 2015 and was distributed September 13, 2015.
The report shows that inventory has been down every month since July 2014 when compared to the same month in the prior year.
Inventory seasonally went up slightly last month from 1.7 to 1.9 months.
The report shows that pending sales seasonally declined in August, but are up 24% for the year.
Total Market Time:
At only 40 days, the average total market time for sales in Portland is now at its lowest level in three years.
The report shows that median home prices were down 0.5% for the month, but up 7% for the year.
Portland State University Center for Real Estate Quarterly
is a comprehensive quarterly report put out by PSU graduate students.
The report is supported by the Oregon Association of Realtors (OAR) and the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS).
The most recent Residential Market Analysis is for May 2015.
Highlights include trends in local permitting, sales of new and existing homes, and sales to list price ratios for existing homes.
Building permits for new private housing in Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro MSA declined in the past quarter, but have been on an upward trend since 2009.
Even so, building permits are only about half of the levels seen in the three years leading up to 2007.
Sales of new homes in Metropolitan Portland picked up most in 2013, and have slowly increased since then, but remain not even close to the levels seen prior to 2007, despite a historically
Sales of existing homes in Metropolitan Portland are quite strong and are now close to levels seen in the three years leading up to 2007.
The ratio of sales price to list price for existing homes in Metropolitan Portland has been hovering at or near 99% since 2012.
Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains a
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Economy at a Glance
page that includes employment, salary, and Consumer Price Index statistics.
Unemployment in Portland
for July of 2015 is currently at 5.8% and had been trending downward, except for a bump up in the past quarter.
Salary in Portland
for July 2015 is up 4% from one year prior, but shows only a 7% increase from July 2007.
Consumer Price Index in Portland
is up 1% in 2015 compared to the first half of 2014. However, prices are up 18% from the first half of 2007.
Housing Affordability Index
produced by the National Association of Realtors measures the median family income in relation to the median priced home.
A value of 100 means that the median family has 100% of the income to afford the median home loan.
The higher the index, the more affordable the home.
In 2011 the index for Portland was 155.5% and by 2014 it dropped to 134.7%.
Portland is still affordable, but not by the margins of just a few years ago.
The consensus is that the Portland single family housing market is clearly strong with increasing prices, low inventory, and
bidding wars for some properties and areas. The increasing prices appear to be riding atop favorable economic trends in employment and wage growth fundamentals.
The problem is that recent price increases are outpacing wage growth and affordability.
The current trend does not appear to be a bubble that will burst anytime soon, but it is unsustainable in the long term.
This is especially true if interest rates rise without corresponding increases in wages.
My hope is that in 2016 there is continued good news for Portland in terms of wage increases, that housing inventory returns to more historically-normal levels with additional new construction, and that home price increases are modest.
Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the conversation?
Let me know in the comments below.
If you find this information interesting or useful, please
to this blog and like A Quality Appraisal, LLC on Facebook.
Also, please support us by making Portland real estate appraisal related comments on our blogs and YouTube
If you need Portland, Oregon area residential real estate appraisal services for any reason, please
request appraisal fee quote
or book us to speak
at your next event. We will do everything possible to assist you.
Thanks for reading,
Gary F. Kristensen
I receive emails regularly from Portland area real estate agent colleagues saying, “Now is a great time to buy or sell real estate”. This even happened at the end of the housing
bubble as the market was collapsing; buyers were advised to jump in to get the deals and low interest rates while they last. I respect my real estate agent colleagues and I refer my clients to agents often for things that I cannot or should not answer as an
appraiser. However, it is fair to ask if now is really a great time to buy or sell real estate.
Hindsight and the S&P Case-Shiller Portland Home Price Index (CSPI) statistics show that if you took that advice and purchased a $300,000 home in December of 2007, your home
would have been worth around $218,000 just four years later (if your property matched the overall market performance).
If a trend line is added to the CSPI data, one can see where the market should be now as though the housing bubble never happened. In general and based only on this data,
autumn 2013 is indeed a good time to buy as prices are about eight percent below where they would be given normal market gains. However, submarkets vary from the overall market and should be analyzed in context with a particular property to help make better
My point is that most Portland area real estate agents are caring professionals; but because agents work on commission, their natural bias is toward a motivation to sell.
If you pay an agent five percent of your home value to sell your house, why shouldn’t you consider paying an appraiser around just $500 for an independent opinion? You can and should still listen to your agent. However, arming oneself with an independent appraisal
provides you with important facts and information when you need them most and is an effective negotiating and marketing tool.
If you found this information interesting or useful, please consider sharing it with others and subscribing to my blog. If you need Greater Portland Area residential real
estate appraisal or home valuation services for any reason, please contact us,
we’re excited to assist you.
Recently I finished an appraisal in Arbor Parc. This is a subdivision of newer 1,500 sq. ft. Townhomes in the Bethany area (near Beaverton and NW of Cedar Mill) of Portland, Oregon. The following are some
market statistics for Townhomes in Arbor Parc (ending 8/2010) using sales from the
Total Solutions 1004MC software:
Use this information at your own risk. This data lacks the context and other supporting figures that are supplied in appraisal reports. If you’re interested in the real estate market for your property type
and neighborhood, let me know.
Thanks for reading,