Prices Up in Oregon

Just when it seemed that the housing market was cooling all over, I read an article from the Oregonian that says that the prices in Portland are on the way up!

Can you believe it? As recently as June of this year, the area's median home price had climbed 17 percent higher than 2005 levels -- double-digit appreciation numbers! But things are slowing down; new figures for October show that the median home price is only 8.4 percent higher than in October 2005. So, while the market is slowing, prices are still on the rise which can't be said for many other regions.

While the number of homes for sale is growing, and the pace of sales is falling, the results in the Portland market show a much stronger housing sector than the US average. What makes Portland different? Portland still has good job growth and population growth, which drives the demand for housing. Portland also restricts development, which helps to keep demand high.

So, while Portland and Oregon in general are also experiencing a slow down, it is much more moderated.

California is in a much different boat. While some areas are showing small single-digit price increases, other areas are actually showing a decrease. While analysts have claimed that we'd only see a decrease in the rate of appreciation, California proves that an actual loss of value is happening.

Not so in Portland. Portland's positive results feed arguments that combination of the Urban Growth Boundary and the area's ability to attract new residents have buffered it effectively from the national housing slump.

We'll see if Portland completely avoids the downturn over the next few months as the slow down deepens.

Michael

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