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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland September 15 - September 22 2012

Good morning Portland. You're beautiful.

Ah, indeed. It's a beautiful late summer morning here in Portland, Oregon. Bright blue skies, with just a hint of stringy cotton candy clouds. The kind of morning you feel happy and inspired for no reason at all other than, perhaps, the weather. We've had a nice summer here in the marvelous pacific northwest. Warm, sunny, full of gardens yielding great produce. Full of big rivers, little rivers, pristine lakes and our proud catches. We've biked so far our knees are freckled. Our beer, crafted from our own hops, is ready to drink. Our great Portland summer comes to a close next weekend. And when it does, we'll be welcoming in the Fall in grand pacific northwest style. We have a rented house down in Alsea Bay where our small family will head down for four days to cast our pots, warm up at the bay bar with the salty dogs, laugh at the seals, drink the homebrew, play ball with the hound and last but certainly not least, make my famous crab bisque with crab so fresh it just can't be beat.

crab for hands

Keepers. Especially the guy holding the crabs.

But do not fear, Portland. There is a lot of summer left in one week. We have a few things that should keep you busy.

Feast -- Oregon's soil produces amazing fruits and vegetables. Our vineyards grow grapes that make award-winning wines. Our hops are the reason Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world. Our ocean provides sustainably caught salmon, Dungeness crab and tuna. And our beef, pork and chicken are organic and raised to the highest standards. We grow much of the country's hazelnuts, marionberries and green beans. And our forests are home to so many exotic mushrooms the Japanese have us on speed dial. Best of all, we have marvelous chefs who know what to do with all this abundance. So we decided it's high time we had our own world-class celebration of food, drink and everything else that makes Portland awesome. We're calling it Feast Portland. September 20 - 23

The Vaux Swifts at Chapman Elementary School--  A must-must-must late summer experience.

Photo from Surviving 20-Something 

Mt. Angel's 45th Annual Oktoberfest--  Going strong this very weekend in Mt Angel Oregon. Go! Laugh, dance, drink, eat, be merry!  Mt Angel is located 18 miles northeast of Salem on Highway 214. Founded in the late 1800s by German settlers, this town has an Old World flavor which is heightened by the many Bavarian style storefronts and the beautiful Benedictine Abbey. They celebrate their German heritage each year during the Oktoberfest, held in September.


The Portland Video of the Week

The talented Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armison


Powell's Bookstore Picks

We love Powells!   Portland Book Review of the Day   Portland eBooks   Powell's Author Interviews



The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is a photo that just says "Summer". Thank you, Rachel Carlson!

Rock cairn at Yale Reservoir - Cougar, Washington

Yale Reservoir in Cougar, Washington

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. This week, the local Portland business we are recognizing is New Seasons Market.

About New Seasons Market:  Three families and 50 friends got together back in 1999 and decided to open a grocery store. Not just any grocery store, mind you, but one that carried everything from the essentials to the extraordinary. It had to be friendly, fun, neighborly and supportive of sustainable agriculture. So, on Leap Day, 2000, dreams and ideas gave way to our first store opening at Raleigh Hills.

As a locally owned business, we take pride in supporting local farms, ranches and other small businesses through our Home Grown program. The Home Grown symbol points out products from produce and meat to hand lotions and scented candles that come from local companies. So, you can support the local and regional economy with your dollars. And we can further our strong commitment to sustainable agriculture.

We show our commitment to the community by giving 10% of our after-tax profits to various organizations through grants and donations. And our staff gets out there to volunteer, engage and participate!

Looking ahead, we want to grow at a sustainable pace. We're not looking to be the biggest grocery store in town, just the friendliest. Visit our stores and you'll find that each one has its own unique character and personality. We are your neighborhood grocery store.






Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison

I'm meeting some friends this evening at Pied Cow, a place I've loved ever since the missus and I lived down the street from it on Southeast Belmont. I wax nostalgic every time I go through my old neighborhood, and Pied Cow Coffeehouse is always an excuse to linger.




This rendezvous got me to thinking about coffee, and coffeehouses, and coffee drinkers, particularly Portlanders. What is it about coffee in this town? The easy answer is that it's rainy and cold much of the year (NO WHINING!), and coffee lends a cold and damp person a nice glow and the warm fuzzies, hence the seemingly outsized popularity. Maybe that's even the whole answer. I have my doubts, though, because there's this attendant passion for the brew that belies the idea that it's merely a means to an end. You don't often see someone beam rapturously, eyes rolled back, over a coat or a hat or a muffler, right? People don't generally get all happy-chatty while huddled around a space heater, do they?


I've witnessed baristas and patrons in reverent, hushed conversations, murmuring together over origins and climates like archaeologists consulting over pot sherds or ancient scrolls, while at surrounding tables patrons clasp over-sized cups in two hands, tipping them to their lips like the imbibitions of tribal decoctions. Our citizens approach coffeehouse counters with an anticipatory raising of shoulders and rubbing of palms as if they've just come in from a slog over vast tundra, even when the sidewalk outside shivers in mid-day summer heat. Coffee is as much a staple here as umbrellas aren't. As if coffeehouses on every other corner don't quite cover it, parking lot kiosks and carts can be found in frankly brow-arching abundance.


It makes for a pretty dense field, so you're sure to find some interesting approaches in décor and gustatorial offerings. Some places are content to stick with the comfy chairs and earth-tones (Starbucks, Spring Creek), others may offer live music (Rimsky-Korsacoffeehouse), still others with unique interiors and fixtures (Coava). Pied Cow lures fans of the hookah and dense, toothache-inducing rich desserts and an oddly genteel ambiance on the side lawn that suggests a hipster-neo-Merchant Ivory mein while traffic on Belmont belches past just the other side of the hedge.


So. Late summer, sun nearing the horizon, the air already cooling and the breeze freshening. You can hear your fellow enthusiasts engaged in lively chat, clatter of cups and saucers and plates, “umms” over breads and hummus and cake. Your server looks like a three-way collision between Pipi Longstocking, a The Clash band member, and a mime. You idly wonder, as she walks by, how someone can survive a night of food service wearing combat boots, then turn your attention back to the conversation at hand and take a sip of your favourite cuppa.


Aahh.  Perhaps a chocolate stout for afters?

Read and comment on the original post here. Like this article? Check back weekly to see what Rob's up to.


Fremont Pass, OR

Fremont Pass, Oregon by Fasai


Featured Portland Events this Week

Here's the latest roundup of our featured Portland events for you to enjoy!  Mark your calendars and feel free to add your own!

Add your own events to our Portland events calendar! Its totally free. If we like it, we'll include it in this weekly Portland blog.

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September 2012 Portland Oregon Real Estate Market Report: What's Happening?

By Ross and Leah Seligman


Here is a chart of all homes for sale, pending for sale, and sold in Portland, Oregon for the last 15 months:

In August 2012, inventory has dropped slightly with 2721 homes on the market.   In August 2012, 836 homes sold and 925 are pending for sale. 

Yearly change from August 11 to August 12:

Inventory is Down 25.6%

Closed Sales are Up 22.9%.

Pending sales are Up 23.3%.


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square foot in Portland, Oregon has been between $141 and $158. In August 2012, the average price per square foot in Portland was $156.

Yearly change from August 11 to August 12:  Up 5.4%


Days on market and sold/list price %:

This chart is showing us two things. First, how many days on the market that a home is spending, on average, before being sold. In all of Multnomah County, in all price ranges, a home is taking, on average, 62 days to sell. The other thing that this chart shows is what percentage of listing price the home, on average, is selling at. This is a great indicator of pressure on prices. In August 2012, sellers were getting, on average, 96% of their original asking price.


Yearly change from August 11 to August 12:

Average time it takes to sell a home has decreased 16.2%.

The percentage of original listing price that was paid has increased 2%.


Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

In August 2012, the average price of a home that sold was $308,000.  The average price of a home that was listed was $378,000.  This does not mean that a home that was listed for $378,000 sold for $308,000.  The listed homes didn't necessarily sell.  For the sold/list price percentage, look at the 'Days on Market' graph.  In August 2012, this figure was 96%.

Yearly change from August 11 to August 12:
The average price of a home listed has increased 2.2%.
The average price of a home sold has increased 3.7%.
Months of inventory:
Months of inventory gives a timeline of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell. Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market. In August 2012, this figure was 3.3 months based on closed sales. Portland is currently, on average, a balanced market. This does NOT mean that it will take, on average, 3.3 months for your home to sell. That number was, on average in all price ranges, 62 days.   It means that, if not a single listing were to come on the market in Portland from this moment, it would take 3.3 months for all available homes to sell before there would be none left.
Yearly change from August 11 to August 12:
The months of inventory figure has decreased 39.4%.
About the report:


This is a comparison of the past 15 months (including a percentage change analysis for the last 12 months) for all of Portland 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 Portland 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 Portland, Oregon. If you have any questions about specific zip codes, or any questions about the market in general, please reply to this forum with those questions or feel free to contact me at: Since Portland is a neighborhood city, you can now search by "Irvington, Alberta, etc.". You can check it out by clicking here.

This information doesn't matter if you have a particular neighborhood in mind since Portland neighborhoods are their own micro-markets. If you have one in mind to buy or are selling your home, please request a report for that neighborhood and I am happy to post it on this blog or send it to you.  The complete Portland report is useful for an overall snapshot of the Portland market.  Hey everyone, I want to know what you think of these reports. Too many stats? Just right? Something missing? Let me know so I can make these more useful for you. What are your thoughts about real estate right now? What do you think of the information in this report? Post to this blog so we can discuss. 


Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland Metro Area homes for sale from the RMLS in Portland, OR, including school and neighborhood reports:


Best Deals in Portland this Week

 Each week Ross and Leah share some great Portland real estate listings for us to drool over.  Enjoy!


3966 N OVERLOOK TER Portland, OR 97227 - Overlook - $550,000

 Click the image to see the full listing


5904 N HAIGHT AVE Portland, OR 97217 - Humboldt - $415,000

 Click the image to see the full listing


3725 SE MARKET ST Portland, OR 97214 - Richmond - $349,900


 Click the image to see the full listing



Visit Ross and Leah's website where you can search all Portland metro area homes for sale and real estate from the RMLS, including neighborhood and school information.

Did you know there are nearly 100 unique Portland neighborhoods?  Read and learn all about these interesting urban communities.


Portland Photo by Gerry Villani


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