Portland Metro Area Home Prices 

Monthly Newsletters That Track Portland Metro Area Home Prices

  • Moving to Portland Monthly Newsletter  Summary report of the Portland metro area housing market to include latest home prices, sales activity, mortgage information, weather data, and more. This summary extracts information from the detailed Regional Market Listing Service (RMLS) report for a quick read of the Portland metro area housing market. The newsletter is emailed to subscribers mid-month.
  • RMLS Report of the Five County Portland Metro Area Home Prices  For those that want details about the five-county (Oregon counties) Portland metro area home prices. Published by the Regional Market Listing Service (RMLS) monthly.  You can download and save this report. Reports available from 2009 to present.
  • RMLS Report of Oregon and Southwest Washington State Home Prices  Detailed report about housing prices for all areas in Oregon and Southwest Washington (Clark County). Published by the Regional Market Listing Service (RMLS). You can download and save this report.

The above reports are usually posted by mid-month. The RMLS reports are usually released and posted on the Moving to Portland homepage website between the 13-15th of each month.  

Home Prices March 2018

New listings in the Portland metro area saw a slight gain compared to last year this March. At 3,648 for the month, new listings edged 1.2% over the 3,604 new listings offered last year in March 2017 and were 44.2% warmer than last month in February 2018 (2,530). This was the best March for new listings in the area since 2010, when 4,987 new listings were offered.

Closed sales (2,371) were 4.9% cooler than the 2,494 closings recorded in March 2017 but ended 31.3% warmer than the 1,806 closings recorded last month in February 2018. Pending sales fared similarly, cooling 4.9% from March 2017 (3,043) despite a 23.8% increase over the 2,337 offers accepted last month in February 2018.

Inventory in the Portland metro area decreased slightly to 1.6 months in March, with total market time decreasing to 55 days. There were 3,844 active residential listings in the metro area in March.

March 2018:  Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending March 31st of this year ($435,000) with the average price of homes in the twelve months ending March 2017 ($404,200) shows an increase of 7.6%. In the same comparison, the median has increased 8.8% from $353,800 to $385,000

12017 Portland Metro Area Home Median Price up 9.5% over 2016

Prices continued to rise in the Portland metro area in 2017. Comparing the entirety of 2017 to 2016, the average sale price rose 8.5% from $395,000 to $428,700. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 9.5% from $347,000 to $379,900. 
 
Activity in 2017 was a little cool compared to 2016. Below are the numbers:
  • New listings (40,805) decreased 0.8%
  • Pending sales (31,330) were down 5.7%
  • Closed sales (31,624) were down 3.6%.

Just 1.6 months’ worth of residential properties were for sale in the Portland area at normal rates of sales, according to December 2017 figures from the Regional Multiple Listings Service. The inventory of homes available for sale never got higher than 2.3 months all of 2017. As of the end of December 2017, there was a total of 3,771 active residential listings in the Portland metro area. The inventory often takes a seasonal dip in December.  Some good news:  December’s new listings in the Portland metro area jumped up to 1,700, the strongest since 2011.

The 31,624 homes sold in Portland in 2017 took an average of only 45 days to close, up from 42 days in 2016.  Below is the Portland Metro Residential Highlights for 2017 and 2016.

22017 Price Summary

The Average Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017) with 12 months before (1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016). The Median Sale Price Percent Change is calculated in the same way.

  • Average Sale Price Percent Change: +8.2% ($428,700 v. $396,300)
  • Median Sale Price Percent Change:  +9.3% ($379,900 v. $347,500)
1The Portland metro area figures above encompasses these five counties in Oregon: Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill. The Regional Market Listing Service (RMLS) report includes separate data for Southwest Washington Clark and Cowlitz counties.
2For details about the 2017 home prices in the Portland metro area you may want to view the December 2017 RMLS Market Action report.

City of Portland Prices

All areas in the City of Portland (Northwest, Southwest, North, Northeast, and Southeast) all showed increases in both average price and median price in 2017. Here are the numbers:

  • Northwest and Southwest  In West Portland (Includes Southwest and Northwest Portland and parts of eastern Washington County), the average price was $591,000 in 2017, $563,400 in 2016, $495,100 in 2015, $470,200 in 2014, $444,300 in 2013, $412,300 in 2012, $384,800 in 2011 and $410,200 in 2010. The average sales price change was 3.2% in 2017.
  • North Portland   The average price was $402,800 and median price $390,000 in 2017 and the average sales price percent change was 5.9%. The average price was $380,600 and median price $366,000 in 2016 and the average sales price percent change was 13.6% (the 3rd largest gain in the metro area). The average price was $335,000 and median price $319,600 in 2015 and the average sales price percent change was 14.8%. The average price was $291,300 and median price $278,000 in 2014. The average sales price percent change was 10% in 2014. The average price was $266,800 and the median price was $250,000 in 2013. In 2012 the average price was $229,000 and the median price $220,000. The average sales price percent change in 2013 was 16.2%, the third highest of any area.  
  • Northeast Portland   The average price was $451,500 and median price $400,000 in 2017 and the average sales price percent change was 8.1%. The average price was $418,000 and median price $375,000 in 2016 and the average sales price percent change was 10.8% The average price was $376,700 and median price $329,400 in 2015 and the average sales price percent change was 8.3%. The average price was $348,800 and the median price was $306,000 in 2014. The average price was $326,700 and the median price was $282,000 in 2013 — the average sales price change was 13.5%. The average price was $288,000 and the median price was $250,000 in 2012 — the average price increased 8.0% over 2011. The average price was $266,900 and the median price was $229,000 in 2011 and that was a decrease of -5.8% from 2010.
  • Southeast Portland  The average price was $396,100 and median price $349,900 in 2017 and the average sales price percent change was 8.7%.  The average price was $364,600 and median price $320,000 in 2016 and the average sales price percent change was 10.5%. The average price was $330,100 and median price $283,000 in 2015 and the average sales price percent change was 9.0%. In 2014 the average price was $303,900 and the median price was $260,000 — the average sales price change was 13.6% (highest of all areas in the Portland metro area). The average price was $269,900 and the median price was $235,000 in 2013 — the average sales price change was 16.9%. The average price was $230,800 and the median price was $196,000 in 2012 — the average price increased 7.4% over 2011. The Average price was $214,700 and the median price was $181,500 in 2011 and that was a decrease of -9.7% from 2010.

Suburban Communities

In Lake Oswego and West Linn, the average price was $672,800 in 2017 — the highest price of any community in the metro area. Discounting the two outlying counties (Columbia and Yamhill) as well as the Mt. Hood area because of the small number of transactions, the Hillsboro/Forest Grove communities were the biggest gainers in price (11.8%) for 2017. The median price of homes sold for these communities in 2017 was $350,000.  The only other communities with double-digit price increases were Gresham/Troutdale with a gain of 10.4%. The median price of homes sold in 2017 in Gresham/Troutdale was $315,000.________________

Residential Detailed Home Prices for End of The Year 

Below are the detailed reports by year for the metro area communities to include the City of Portland. The reports show both the end of the year (see Year-To-Date columns) as well as the December numbers. Note that “W Portland” includes Northwest and Southwest Portland.

Note these items in the reports:

  1. Percent change is the number of pending sales this year compared to last year. For example in the 2017 report, The Current Month section compares December 2017 with December 2016. The Year-To-Date section compares 2017 year-to-date statistics through December with 2016 year-to-date statistics through December.
  2. Percent change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months. For example in the 2027 report, (1/1/17-12/31/17) with 12 months before (1/1/16-12/31/16). 
  3. Total Market Time is the number of days from when a property is listed to when an offer is accepted on that same property. If a property is re-listed within 31 days, Total Market Time continues to accrue; however, it does not include the time that it was off the market.

Bidding Wars Continue in 2017

In Portland’s frenzied real estate market, modest homes are entered in bidding wars. In 2016 many residential properties were going quickly for more than the asking price. The trend continues in 2017, with many homes selling in days and for more than what the owners hoped for. Here’s an example: A midcentury modern at 12003 SE Flavel Street in Portland sold on April 28, 2017, for $482,500, 22.2 percent over the list price. Here are some of the Portland homes that sold for the most over asking price this year.

Metro Area Median and Average Home Prices 2007-2017

  • Metro Area Median Home Price—►  $379,900 in 2017, $347,000 in 2016, $308,000 in 2015, $285,500 in 2014, $265,000 in 2013, $235,000 in 2012, $221,000 in 2011, $239,900 in 2010, $247,000 in 2009, $278,000 in 2008, and $290,000 in 2007.
  • Metro Area Average Home Price—►  $428,700 in 2017, $395,000 in 2016, $354,500 in 2015, $333,000 in 2014, $310,600 in 2013, $275,000 in 2012, $263,300 in 2011, $282,100 in 2010, $289,900 in 2009, $330,300 in 2008, and $342,000 in 2007.

Portland Monthly Magazine Annual Neighborhood Guide

PortlandMonthlyMag1The Portland Monthly magazine features neighborhoods in their April issue every year. It has tons of information about neighborhoods to include their pick of the best neighborhoods for the year.

To help those in the housing market, the magazine combines all the data from 120 neighborhoods and communities in the Portland metro area. Include in the story are housing prices, school ratings, demographics, crime statistics, parks, commuting information, and services. For the past three years, Portland Monthly has been cautiously optimistic about Portland’s metro area slow-simmering real estate market. 

To visit the magazine’s website stories and numbers visit their Real Estate section — click on “Neighborhoods” to view the numbers for the Portland 90 plus neighborhoods and click on “Suburbs” for the numbers for 26 communities in the metro area.

Street Trees Increase Home Prices in Portland

StreetTreesIn a paper published in Landscape and Urban Planning, Geoffrey Donovan of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station found that, on average, street trees add $8,870 to a home’s sales price and reduce its time on the market by 1.7 days.

Donovan and his co-author, David Butry of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland, reviewed data meticulously collected from 2,608 homes for sale in east Portland in the summer of 2007.

What they found was that if a house had street trees and tree canopy close by, that increased the sales price of a house and it sold faster. And that finding, they note, has some public policy implications. Calculating the increased property tax revenue to the city and comparing it to the expense the city bears maintaining street trees, the authors estimate street trees have a benefit to cost ratio of 2 to 1. “In Portland, the benefits of street trees significantly outweigh their maintenance costs,” they write.

Portland State University Quarterly Real Estate Report

The Portland State University (PSU) Center for Real Estate publishes the PSU Quarterly Real Estate Report each quarter. The first issue covered the last quarter of 2006. You can find copies of the report at PSU Quarterly Real Estate Reports

The report is the product of a collaborative effort by the PSU Center for Real Estate and the Oregon Association of REALTORS® to provide service to the local community. The intention of the report is to provide useful information about trends in commercial and residential real estate to the real estate community in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is very comprehensive and covers the local economy as well as housing.

The report is made possible thanks to a donation by the Oregon Association of Realtors® along with the participation of RMLS, Cushman & Wakefield, Norris Beggs & Simpson and Grubb & Ellis.

Urban Boundaries and Home Prices

The cost of housing is one of the most contentious issues related to Portland’s metro planning. With a median sales price over $300,000 in 2015, this is beyond the reach of many people.

Does the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) cause Higher Home Prices? (see Portland Planning and Growth for a discussion of UGB). The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) desire more land on which to build homes. In their document called The Truth About Regulatory Barriers to Housing Affordability, the NAHB identified 42 markets with barriers, Portland is one of these markets. They called the UGB the “Wall of Portland” and attack it accordingly. The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland has been among those critical of Metro for being too restrictive in its UGB.

2000 Census Bureau figures indicate that the density in downtown Portland has increased by 30 percent, which is what planners had in mind. Only a few cities in the USA have increased their core city population.

Applying Science to the Debate Sightline Institute, an environmental organization located in Seattle, used some science to compare urban sprawl in Clark County in Washington State and Portland. Clark County is just across the Columbia River and part of the Portland metro area. Sightline used satellite imagery of open space, farmland and pavement, along with digital mapping of US Census data to track patterns of growth during the 1990s. They found that if Portland had taken the same approach to land-use planning as Clark County in the 1990s, an additional 14 square miles would have been developed. Click here to read the full report.

Rating Portland’s Density

Density is a measurement of the number of dwelling units on a site in relation to its size. The Portland Zoning Code contains both maximum and minimum density standards, which must be met when land is divided to create additional lots or parcels. Density should not be confused with minimum lot size standards. Both density and lot size standards must be met when land is divided. The City of Portland Office of Planning and Sustainability zoning codes can be viewed by clicking here.

At the regional scale, according to Demographia.com, the Portland metro area ranks 19th in density nationally. San Jose, Fresno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, Sacramento—all denser. Even more surprisingly, central Portland isn’t even as dense as many of its own suburbs.

The OregonLive/Oregonian published an interactive map in 2016 showing the density of the area that reveals that many parts of the metro area are not very dense.

Portland’s growth surged from 2013 to 2014, the Census Bureau reported as of July 1, 2015, with the seven-county metropolitan area’s population rising to an estimated 2.35 million. Portland’s growth was 15th-fastest among the country’s 50 largest metro areas. In fact, the Portland metro had the 10th-highest rate of domestic migration out of the 50 largest urban areas, the Census Bureau estimated. That domestic migration rate of 49 percent was the highest this decade. The trend continues and density must be increased to handle the influx of newcomers.

June 2016:  New Development Rules Would Limit Home Sizes, Encourage Density

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is studying the recommendations based on the input of a committee organized to determine the best way to regulate infill development as Portland grows and faces a housing shortage. 

Portland officials are now looking for public input. The proposals will be available on the city’s website by June 15, and residents can attend a series of open houses throughout June and July. The committee will eventually make a recommendation this fall to the Portland City Council, which could approve or modify the new zoning rules.

The committee’s work comes at a time when Portland is experiencing a boom in development, rising home values and a surge in population growth.

Groups with Different Positions on Housing Costs

Read the opinions of the Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland group that advocates a free-market approach.

1000friends1,000 Friends of Oregon feels that the Oregon regulations work well. 1000 Friends of Oregon is a nonprofit charitable organization, founded in 1975 by Governor Tom McCall and Henry Richmond as the citizens’ voice for land use planning that protects Oregon’s quality of life from the effects of growth.

Oregonians in Action (OIA) is a non-profit lobbying organization that leads the fight for land-use regulatory reform and protection for private property rights. OIA authored two ballot measures in 1998: one to require landowner notification and another to give citizens the right to petition for legislative review of “bad state regulations.” In 2004, OIA passed Measure 37, a constitutional amendment that requires compensation to landowners.

Resources

  • DataQuick has built a reputation as a provider of real estate information. Although much of DataQuick’s information is available only to its paid subscribers, some of the information at their website is accessible to all visitors. The site covers the California market extensively but it also releases quarterly information on the Portland housing market.
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency  (FHFA) publishes a House Price Index (HPI), a measure designed to capture changes in the value of single-family homes in the USA. It also includes an HPI in various regions of the country, individual states, and the District of Columbia. You can view the HPI by the state of Oregon and by the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area). The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 mandates that FGFA publishes the indexes.
  • Home Ownership a Street at a Time  (HOST) 3835 NE Hancock, Suite 101, Portland OR 97212. Phone 503-331-1752. Fax 503-961-9924. HOST is dedicated to providing affordable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. HOST believes strong, healthy communities are created and sustained when homeowners have a stake in their neighborhoods.
  • Housing Authority of Portland  HAP is committed to providing safe, decent and affordable housing to individuals and families in Multnomah County, Oregon, who face income or other life challenges. HAP offers support through a wide variety of programs and services. HAP’s Web site is designed to educate citizens about these programs and services and to share how HAP is working to build a stronger community.
  • Oregon Housing and Community Services  OHCS helps low and moderate-income families in Oregon buy their first home by providing below-market rate financing and cash assistance through its Residential Loan Program. The program’s below-market-rate helps eligible families increase their home purchasing power and lowers their monthly house payments. Eligible borrowers will have two options to choose between CashAdvantage Home Loan or RateAdvantage Home Loan. 
  • National Association of Realtors  (NAR) is the “Voice for Real Estate.” It is America’s largest trade association, representing one million members, including NAR’s institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Their “Existing Home Sales Data” measures the health of the residential real estate industry. Each month, statistics on sales of existing single-family homes are reported for the national and four regional levels. Statistics on existing condo/co-ops are released quarterly, and figures on existing single-family home sales (detached and condo/co-ops) by states are released quarterly.
  • Portland Bureau of Housing & Community Development  Their goal is “To make Portland a more livable city for all by bringing low-income people and community resources together.”
  • Portland for Everyone  Portland for Everyone is a coalition of advocacy and community organizations, housing providers, individuals, and local businesses that support those land use policies that will help provide abundant, diverse & affordable housing options in all of Portland’s neighborhoods.
  • Portland Housing Center  The Portland Housing Center is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as both a HUD Certified Counseling Agency and a HUD Certified Non-Profit Provider of Secondary Financing. It offers resources on how to buy a home.
  • U.S. House and Urban Development – Oregon  HUD’s mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.
  • Washington County Department of Housing Services  Extensive information for finding affordable homes in Washington County (west side of Portland).