Portland Neighborhood's Blog

Portland Neighborhood Website : Blog Home : August 2007

August 1, 2007 15:27 - How is Portland real estate shaping up?

Hi everyone,

There is a lot of press right now about the drop in the housing market. What homeowners, sellers, and buyers can focus on is how Portland is doing compared to the rest of the country.

Please read through my previous post about the Portland housing market for July 2007 to get an overall analysis of the market compared to 2006. Check out todays article in Forbes titled, "New Home Sales Down Substantially." (I know, not the most exciting title you have ever heard. What do you want? A Harry Potter real estate book? Then you'll be excited to read it? Hey... maybe that's my next project.) Anyway, check it out and then see how these figures compare to Portland stats. As you can tell, I am all about stats. I think they are the best way to make sense of conflicting, and sometimes emotional reports. (this one is decidedly not emotional) http://www.forbes.com/topstories/home/feeds/ap/2007/07/26/ap3956602.html

This article is for the entire nation. As I have mentioned before, every region, neighborhood and even microneighborhood has its own market. To see how the current market affects you, you need to look at your market like its own little universe, whether that is the Pacific NW, Portland, or Laurelhurst.

This article tells us that we are experiencing the worst downturn in 16 years and that sales in general and the median home price fell in June. It says that sales dropped nationally this month by 6.6% and that sales have dropped 22.3% since last year.

(Note: When I say Portland, I am actually reporting the stats for all of Multnomah County.)

PORTLAND: Sales in May 2007: Sales in June 2007:

Sold: 898 Sold: 895

Percentage difference: -.04% (national average: -6.6%)

Compared to last year:

Sales in June 2006: Sales in June 2007:

Sold: 1146 Sold: 895

Percentage difference: -22% (national average: -22%)

Forbes: Median home price dropped to $237,900. Down by 2.2% from a year ago.

Portland: Median home price in June 2007: $303,000

Median home price in June 2006: $275,000

Percentage difference of change: +9.3% (national average -2.2%)

So, basically, the big national drop for this month in home sales from May to June of 2007 hasn't happened in Portland. The year to date drop in home sales mirrors the national average, but if you look at the whole year, you see that July 2006 was a peak. One month later, sales were at 954. I am not trying to diminish this drop since, obviously sales have slowed down, but the Portland market is very strong with prices appreciating still upwards, unlike many other parts of the country. This drop is more reflective of a normalizing of a period of record home sales. What it really means for you is that Portland is becoming more of a buyer's market with more inventory to choose from. Thankfully, we are not experiencing a dramatic drop of home values or a monthly sales dive but is holding strong, despite the end of many years of record home sales. Could this strength be from the fact that people from all over the country want to live here? You all already know that I am biased in my opinion on Portland so that question was purely rhetorical.

Please post if you have any questions. I would love to answer them. Also post if you would like a report and analysis of your neighborhood or one that you are thinking of moving to and I will be happy to post a report.

And, no, all of my posts won't read like a statistics textbook. I promise.

Join the chat about this blog, here!

To reference this particular blog entry, please copy this link: (Permalink)

August 2, 2007 13:26 - Tonight in Old Town China Town

From our inbox:

The Next Big Thing Downtown: 5th Avenue Street Fair is Today, August 2, 2007

You're invited to join friends, family and neighbors on August 2, 2007 (First Thursday), for a fun-filled neighborhood street fair celebrating the completion of light rail construction on 5th Avenue in Old Town/Chinatown.

Enjoy great food, a beer garden, kids' activities and live music from MusicFestNW artists. There will be two stages.

Music Fest NW Stage
5:30-6 pm - Autopilot
6:30-7 pm - Hello Damascus
7:30-8 pm - Siren's Echo
9-10pm - Talkdemonic

Arts Stage
6-6:30 pm - Pasha Belly Dancers
7-7:30 pm - Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada
8:30-9 pm - World Music by International DJ Boris

Graffiti artist Joshua Wallace will paint and complete a 100-foot canvas during the event. There will also be live poetry readings by over 20 local poets throughout the evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Poetry in Motion."

Plus, enter to win two VIP seats on the inaugural MAX Green Line train in 2009!

A free shuttle will take people all around downtown! From 5 to 10 p.m., this shuttle will run between the 5th Avenue Street Fair, (with stops at 5th & Glisan and 5th & Burnside) then over to First Thursday in the Pearl District, (with a stop at 13th & Hoyt) then over to Pioneer Courthouse Square for the Red Bull Illume event (stop located on Broadway by Nordstrom's).

The first of several community celebrations in the Next Big Thing Downtown Event Series, the 5th Avenue Street Fair will take place on 5th between Burnside and Glisan from 5 to 10 p.m.

Get all the details about the Street Fair and The Next Big Thing Downtown at http://portlandmall.org/streetfair.

See you there!

To reference this particular blog entry, please copy this link: (Permalink)

August 3, 2007 16:48 - What's going on this weekend?


9th Annual Pickathon Roots Music Festival - Pickathon Roots Music Festival
Pickathon is a leader in roots music, sustainability, and an emerging lifestyle movement. Non-Stop music on three stages, world-class workshops, family and children's activities, unique food and craft vendors. Beautiful "Oregon" setting with wooded camping, hiking, and unbeatable views. All within 20 minutes of downtown Portland, OR.

08/03/07 - 08/05/07

Pendarvis Farm
16581 S.E. Hagen Rd.
Boring, OR

Map It!

12:00 noon daily


$85 weekend tickets, refer to website for other ticket prices



BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies - OMSI
Experience the human body in all its elegance and complexity in this first-of-its-kind exhibition. From entire bodies in dramatic poses to side-by-side comparisons of healthy and diseased organs, BODY WORLDS 3 is a stunning exhibition featuring over 200 authentic human specimens. See how your body's systems relate to one another and work together to help you function and survive. View firsthand how lifestyle choices impact your health and how muscles and joints work together during athletic performance.

06/07/07 - 10/02/07

1945 SE Water Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Map It!

Call or refer to website


Call or refer to website



Clark County Fair - Clark County Fair 2007
Join the annual fun including standard livestock shows, carnival rides, vendors, and entertainment. Special attractions this year including: Dock Dogs and Pirate Adventure. Opening day annual Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 - 11:00 a.m. Call or refer to website for detailed event information.
08/03/07 - 08/12/07

Clark County Fairgrounds
-5 or I-205 to 179th Street Exit #9.
Vancouver, WA

Map It!

Opening Day, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sunday - Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Carnival opens at 12 noon daily (except opening day)


$9 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children (7-12), free for kids under 7



Maritime Heritage Festival
From the great sea captains John Couch and George Flanders, to the notorious Shanghai Tunnels, Portland has a rich and diverse maritime heritage. Events include: public tours of World War II PT 658, LCI 718; tug boat show, fireboat demonstrations; model boat displays; beautiful vintage wooden boats displays; Give-A-Kid A Ride Program; a boat Concours d'Elegance; and waterskiing demonstrations.

08/03/07 - 08/05/07

Riverplace Marina
315 S.W. Montgomery
Portland, OR

Map It!

Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

no phone



Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 2007 - Mt. Hood Jazz Festival
Calling all jazz lovers! The 26th Annual Mt. Hood Jazz Festival is one of the most revered summer jazz fests in the Northwest and is sure to captivate all ages. With a diverse line-up that includes both scorching national heavyweights and local all stars, this year's festival aims at bringing together jazz's past, present and future. It also adds a fun, affordable reason to bring the whole family out for a weekend of live music and culture.

08/03/07 - 08/04/07

Center for the Arts
200 N.E. Hood Ave.
Gresham, OR 97030

Map It!

Friday, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m.


$10 Friday, $25 Saturday, discount weekend passes, $35 limited reserved seating

Source: Portland Oregon Visitors Association

To reference this particular blog entry, please copy this link: (Permalink)

August 6, 2007 15:49 - Smart home improvements

With the market moving more in the buyers advantage, many sellers are wondering what improvements to spend money on, trying to make their home more attractive than the competition.  There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding what to improve. 

First of all, you want to make sure that you will get that money back when you sell and, hopefully, more.  In the big picture, this means not over-improving and pricing yourself way above your neighbors.  The idea is to keep up with the Joneses, maybe be a bit better than the Joneses but NOT to completely blow the Joneses away.  If you do overdo it, you might sell your home faster, but you will have a much lower rate of return. 

Another thing to watch out for is that you don't do improvements that are extremely subject to personal taste.  So, hold off on the sauna or wine cellar.  You want to upgrade things that will make a buyer imagine things that they would like to do to personalize it themselves. 

The most important and simplest things to do are the easiest.  The vast majority of home shopping is done on the internet via the listing service photos.  Make sure your property looks as good as possible in pictures.  Curb appeal is essential.  New paint and great landscaping can mean the difference between a quick sale and a 6 month listing.   Make sure the appliances are at least as good if not a little better than the competition. 

If your home is vacant, it is a great idea to have staging done.  This is exactly what it sounds like.  An interior design professional comes into your house and fills it with furniture and other professional decorating that make it look wonderful without being too personal.  This can make a house sell much faster and for much more.

It will be very interesting to see what the stats for July, when they come out, say about the market, but my experience is that the market is moving much more toward the buyer's advantage.  This will mean a lot more attention will be given to homes on the market by sellers along with a stabilization of prices.  This should make all of you who are wanting to buy very happy.

Join the discussion on this topic, here.

To reference this particular blog entry, please copy this link: (Permalink)

August 20, 2007 09:42 - August 2007: The Portland Market: What's Happening?

Join this discussion here

A note about my statistics:

They are a comparison of July 2006 - July 2007 for all of Multnomah County and are taken directly from the RMLS.  What follows is my own analysis of these statistics.   For our purposes, I thought it best to analyze Multnomah County as a whole.  Each neighborhood, however, is a little micro-universe and has its own market.  Changing the parameters of the zip codes, price variables, or time periods can lead to very different results.  This analysis is of all homes sold in all price ranges in Multnomah County.   If you have any questions about specific zip codes, please reply to this forum with those questions or feel free to contact me

My analysis:

A lot has happened in the past month (see previous post “The Mortgage Crisis”) and Portland is still a strong market, though different.  It is now officially a buyers market out there, so sellers have to work harder to make their home stand out from the competition.  Buyers have a lot more power than they did a few years ago as the market balances out.

Why is it a buyers market?  We consider anything above 4 months of inventory to be a buyers market.  In one month, we crossed the threshold.  Last month I reported the inventory at 3.7 months.  It is now 4.4 months.  This means that if not a single home was listed for sale from this moment, it would take 4.4 months for them all to sell. 

Home prices in Portland are still appreciating at 10.4% from this time last year.  The average price of homes sold in July 2007 was $366,000.  The average price of homes sold in July 2006 was $328,000.  Also, the average price for June 2007 was $358,000.

The median home price
in July 2006 was $270,000 and, one year later, is $307,000 but this can be misleading because it means that an equal number of homes sold above and below this price.  It is more effective to look at the average home price above.

If you look at the percentage of asking price that was paid in July 2006, it was 99%, meaning that houses were selling, on average, for 1% less than asking price.  July 2007?  Sale prices were 98% of asking price.   A small change.

How about home sales?  In July 2007, 816 homes sold with 847 pending sales, out of 3586 on the market.  In July 2006, there were 954 homes sold with 950 pending, out of 2824 pending.  There are less sales and higher inventory than last year.

Why is Portland now a buyers market? 

First of all, let me say that Portland just crosses the boundary of 4 months inventory to be considered a buyers market, although, it may be even stronger next month. 

In July 2006, there were 2824 homes listed for sale.  In July 2007, 3586. Although the months of inventory based on closed sales in July 2007 was 4.4 months, in July 2006 it was 3 months.  Clearly, houses are sitting on the market longer.  The average number of days on the market before a house sold in July 2006 was 31 days.  In July 2007, it was 41 days.  Remember, this means that there are many homes taking much less time and many homes taking much more time to sell.


As you can see, things haven’t changed dramatically from June to July, however they have changed.  It is now officially a buyers market, although not at all to an extreme.  It is better described as a balanced market leaning towards a buyers market.  This is a natural equalizing of a market that was extremely hot for many years.  As opposed to last year at this time, buyers have more selection to choose from and sellers and their agents have to work harder to help their houses compete in the marketplace. 

When selling your home, you should have contingency plans in case it takes 2+ months for your house to sell, since 40 days is the average in the current market.  The two most important considerations to consider are price and condition of the property.  A properly priced home in great condition will sell much quicker. 

The Northwest has been less affected by the sub-prime meltdown than other parts of the country (see previous post “The Mortgage Crisis”).  We will be very much affected, however, as will everyone else, if it makes credit harder to obtain across the country.

Overall, for a variety of reasons, Portland has one of the best markets in the country at a time when many markets are suffering.  People from all over the country are still moving here for a lower cost of living, not to mention an amazing place to live.  Houses are maintaining their value and still appreciating, which is great for homeowners.  Inventory is up which gives buyers more to choose from with sellers doing more to compete, which is great for buyers. 

Please post with questions, comments, or to request an analysis of a specific market or neighborhood in Portland.

To reference this particular blog entry, please copy this link: (Permalink)

August 28, 2007 17:52 - Your Guide to...The Perfect Portland Weekend

After months of toil (ok, ok...fun and beers and meeting a ton of great folks and businesses in Portland!), we are very proud to officially announce that our first book is done! Finito! Ready! Yes! Interestingly enough, this occasion also coincides with the two year anniversary of PortlandNeighborhood.com- talk about a double celebration!  We couldn't be more excited and know that you will love this fun and witty expanse on...

PortlandNeighborhood’s Guide to the Perfect Portland Weekend

The first of its kind, for sure. We've read every single guide book to Portland and have found nothing that comes even close to what we have been able to capture in this tell-all guide to your perfect Portland weekend.  We've left no stone unturned in our research and promise even a long term Portlander will discover something new and fascinating about our fabulous city.  We'll show you Portland like you've never dreamt possible. Heck, you can even follow one of our themed weekends from A-Z...or you can sit back, laugh yourself silly and mix and match ideas from chapter to chapter, creating your own perfectly tailored Weekend O' Portlandia. 

In 100 pages, we cover it all:

Romantic Weekend
Active Weekend
Highbrow Weekend
Cheap Weekend
Nature Weekend
Family Weekend
Sports’ Weekend
Shopping Weekend
Getting Around Portland

Click here to read sample excerpts of the book and order your immediately downloadable electronic copy. 

Thanks again for two years of readership and enjoy laughing yourself silly as you plan your perfect Portland weekend!

To reference this particular blog entry, please copy this link: (Permalink)

July 2007 «  » September 2007


RSS Feed For This News

Blog Home | Archives | Links