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Portland has plenty going for it that keeps it a popular destination among relocators: beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery, a bike-friendly culture, a vibrant microbrewery and culinary scene and more. And while many major West Coast cities have experienced population declines as people moved to more affordable areas, the greater Portland metro area is actually on the rise thanks to suburban population growth.
Whether you currently reside in the City of Roses or are pondering a relocation to this lively city, here’s what you’ll need to know about the Portland housing market.
Portland housing market overview
The Portland real estate market has weathered the storm over the past year, which saw mortgage interest rates soar and many buyers postpone plans to purchase. While sales and prices are down from their pandemic peaks, as they are in most places across the country, the market is still robust, with homes receiving multiple offers and selling relatively quickly, according to Redfin data. In addition, while Portland’s median home price of $502,000 is much higher than the national average, it’s still significantly cheaper than its popular Pacific Northwest neighbor, Seattle, where the median price is a sky-high $768,832.
As is the case in any big city, housing market conditions will differ across Portland’s many neighborhoods. For example, according to Realtor.com, the median sale price in Southwest Hills is $1.1 million, while in Centennial it’s just $395,000. That’s why it’s best to consult closely with a local real estate agent who has experience with the specific Portland area you’re interested in.
Portland housing trends and stats
- As of March 2023, Portland’s median home price was $502,000, per Redfin.
- That’s an 8.7 percent decrease since the same time last year, but it’s still well above the nationwide median price of $375,7000.
- Portland homes take around 20 days to sell, a relatively short turnaround but much longer than the six days they spent on market in March 2022.
- The sale-to-list ratio is 100.2 percent, meaning homes tend to sell for just above asking price. Particularly desirable homes can sell for around 3 percent above ask, Redfin says.
- Closing costs in Oregon run about 0.9 percent of a home’s sale price, according to ClosingCorp data. That makes it one of the cheapest states for closing costs in the country.
Should you buy or sell in the Portland housing market?
Determining if it’s an ideal time to purchase or sell a property in Portland will depend on several different factors. Here are some things for buyers and sellers to consider.
If you’re a home seller
The good news for Portland sellers is that this metro remains primarily a seller’s market. In other words, more people are looking to purchase a home than there are homes for sale. “For those selling, since there is a lack of inventory, any listing should get attraction from buyers, says Terry Sprague, CEO and owner/broker of local firm LUXE Forbes Global Properties. “Although it’s key to price your home properly according to the market,” he adds.
Home prices may be down slightly, but they are still high. So keep in mind that mortgage interest rates are also high, which makes the market less affordable for buyers. Working closely with a local real estate agent who knows the pricing trends in your neighborhood well may give you a better chance of selling your home more quickly and for a higher profit.
If you’re a homebuyer
The combination of high home prices and high mortgage rates can push buying out of reach for many people. But keep in mind that prices here are actually on the downswing: March’s median of $502,000, while higher than the national median price, is a considerable drop from May 2022’s $585,000, for example. So it’s not necessarily a bad time to buy. In addition, Redfin’s March data shows that more than a quarter of Portland homes — 26.2 percent — dropped their prices before selling.
Bankrate’s home-affordability calculator can help you crunch the numbers when determining your homebuying budget. Getting preapproved for a mortgage will also provide you with a good idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home in Portland. It will let sellers know you’re a serious, qualified buyer as well, which can carry a lot of weight if a home has multiple offers.
Portland housing market predictions
Forecasting where the real estate market is headed can be tricky. Considering Portland’s continued limited housing supply, it’s a relatively safe bet that home prices will remain high and sellers will stay in the driver’s seat for at least a while. Things may be slowing down, but the market is not not going to crash.
Find a Portland real estate agent
Given the ongoing changes in the Portland and national housing markets, having the support of a skilled real estate agent is crucial. Seek out an agent who knows your area and its local market dynamics thoroughly. Ask friends and family for referrals, look online and walk or drive through the neighborhoods you’re interested in looking at “for sale” and “sold” signs. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, an agent can aid you in navigating the journey more efficiently.
Yes — per Redfin data, Portland home prices decreased 8.7 percent from March 2022 to March 2023. However, the city’s median sale price of $502,000 is still quite a bit higher than the National Association of Realtors’ nationwide median of $375,700.
Home prices in Portland are declining, with an 8.7 percent decrease since last year, so price tags for buyers are cheaper now than they were this time last year. On the other hand, mortgage rates are higher, which decreases your buying power if you plan to finance the purchase. On the whole, the decision to purchase a house should depend on your personal and financial situation — if you have a stable income and lifestyle, a high credit score and enough savings to cover a down payment, then it could be a good time to buy regardless of current market conditions.