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This Week in Portland Sept 17 - Sept 24 2011

Welcome to another edition of our weekly Portland blog!   We got a taste of cooler Portland weather this week, and many of you welcome it, while others dread the return of the long winter.  I must admit the cooler temps felt pretty good after that hot spell we had last week.  If you'd like to get out and enjoy the weather today, definitely check out this biking event from the City of Portland:

Portland By Cycle Ride - September 17 Autumn Adventure

Location - Wilshire Park, NE 35th PL and Skidmore

Saturday, September 17 2011 @ 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Celebrate the cooler weather on a 25 mile ride crossing I-5 and I-205.

Helmets required. Water and lights recommended. No registration required.

Plan your trip there on TriMet!


 For more information about Portland By Cycle please visit:

If you prefer walking, visit our Portland Walking Group, which lists new organized walks in Portland.  Mark McClure just shared this posting yesterday:

Comment by Mark McClure 23 hours ago
First, I want to welcome our Portland Walking Group's new members: Paula, Fatoumata and Roberta. Please use our group to ask questions and share your thoughts and experiences about walking in the Portland metro region.

And thanks to Paula, I learned that Metro and Kaiser Permanente recently released a new Walk There! iPhone app that you can download for free. Yesterday on my walks to and from work, I checked out the Portland Irvington Neighborhood loop tour, which is one of the ten walks currently supported by the app. What fun!

September and October are among my favorite months for walking because of the cooler weather and beautiful fall colors. The fall season is also a popular time for organized walks. Check out this list of Nortwest walks in the September/October issue of Walk About....

Earlier this week, I received my September issue of Portland Afoot newsmagazine. I enjoyed reading the article, Warden of the West, which profiled Don Baack, a SW Portland trails advocate. See "Six tips for urban trail building" to learn more about Don's work. If you do not receive Portland Afoot but would like to, please see my earlier post on how you might be able to obtain a free subscription.

This week, I also received my September issue of footnote, the newsletter published by the Willamette Pedestrian Coa.... The feature story in the newsletter, Governor signs Crosswalk Safety Bill (online version), explained key provisions of the legislation and the important role that the WPC had in ensuring passage of the bill.

For those that are interested in knowing more about the Crosswalk Safety Bill and pedestrian rights, I strongly recommend Ray Thomas' Oregon Pedestrian Rights: A Legal Guide for Persons on Foot.

Portland Electric Avenue at PSU

I was on my lunch break Downtown when I happened to stroll through Portland's "Electric Avenue", a block long stretch next to PSU that features electric vehicle charging/parking stations.  You pay to park your electric vehicle, but the charging is free. What a cool idea.  
Portland PSU Electric Avenue
I stopped and talked to the owner of, who was charging a classic red Volkswagen Beetle, all electrified, of course (now called a "Volt"wagen Super Beetle).  

Portland Electric Avenue at PSU
I'll bet you didn't know you could drive a cool car like this one for a mere $16K!  He does electric car conversions of all types, and is currently converting a Porsche.  This is awesome!  Those of you who can't afford a new Prius, or want a classic car should be delighted.

About Electric Avenue


Established AUGUST 16, 2011
Electric Avenue is a research project that allows electric vehicle (EV) and electric bicycle owners to park and charge up. It’s a collaboration of Portland State University (PSU), Portland General Electric (PGE), and the City of Portland that showcases EVs, charging technology, and urban design through collaboration.

Powered by PGE renewable energy, Electric Avenue is the next step in Oregon’s efforts to offer more transportation options that include: light rail trains, electric street cars, an electric aerial tram, and a network of EV charging stations throughout Portland and the Willamette Valley.

You pay to park, but the charging is free! The eight parking spaces offer charging stations from different manufacturers including: a DC quick charger capable of charging most EVs in 20-30 minutes, Level 2 (240-volt outlet) that can fully charge in 4-6 hours, Level 1 (120-volt outlet) that can fully charge in 12 hours, and two more outlets for electric bikes.

PSU, PGE, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), City of Portland, and Oregon Department of Transportation will use this project to research the roles of EVs and charging stations in the region.


Eaton, ECOtality, General Electric, Northwrite Inc., OpConnect, Shorepower, and SPX. 

Portland's Electric Avenue t PSU

Better Business Bureau Seeks Business of the Year

The Oregon Better Business Bureau is asking, "How does your business impact the community?" Tell the Oregon BBB for a chance to become BBB's next Business of the Year.  Visit

One Question. One Answer. One Business of the Year.
BBB's Business of the Year Torch Awards honor companies that demonstrate excellence in the marketplace. In 2012, one company in each state-Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington-will be chosen as BBB's Business of the Year for making a positive impact in their community.

If you are a consumer seeking to nominate a company, please fill out our nomination form.
The deadline to submit your application is December 31, 2011. The winner of the Oregon Business of the Year will be announced in February 2012.

This Week's Top Ten in Portland

Our Portland Top Ten list features ten local places that you might enjoy visiting in Portland each week.

1.  PICA TBA Festival Continues through this Weekend

PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) draws artists from across the country and around the globe for a convergence of contemporary performance and visual art in Portland, Oregon. Now in its ninth year, the TBA Festival is presented September 8-18, 2011, with visual art exhibits running through October. TBA activates the entire community with art and ideas. For early artist details, visit and stay posted for more information. 

2.  Portland Japanese Garden - This is a great time of year to visit the garden and enjoy the serene beauty.  Visit

3.  Forest Park - Take a hike at one of Portland's greatest parks.  Visit

4.  Columbia River Gorge - Ruth Ann shared some lovely photos of the gorge this week, reminding me that it has been too long since I visited.   Visit the Columbia River Gorge Visitor's Association at

5. TODAY - HUB Biketobeer Fest. BiKETOBEERFEST, the world’s only bike-in Oktoberfest party featuring bikes, bands and beer returns to Hopworks Urban Brewery on September 17. The event benefits the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Sunday Parkways and features 15 local, organic Hopworks beers; live music; entertainment and games for children; bike building demonstrations; BMX stunt riders and the famous “Huffy Huck” bike toss competition.  

BiKETOBEERFEST is held in the back parking lot of Hopworks Urban Brewery, 2944 SE Powell Blvd. from Noon to 10 pm. More info can be found at

6.  New Old Lompoc, 5th Quadrant Brewery Tasting Room, 3901 N Williams

The most northerly of all of the Lompocs, the 5th Quadrant (or 5Q as it is commonly known) is also surprisingly the warmest of all the Lompocs, a benefit not lost on the bald-headed patrons who frequent the establishment.  Now they have a great tasting room, open from 11am - 1am.

7. Miho Izakaya celebrates 2 year anniversary! 4057 N. Interstate.  Visit MIHO for a special dinner all day this Sunday.  Visit

8.  Mission Theatre - Mortified Portland

WHAT: Mortified Portland
WHEN: Saturday, September 17, 2011
TIME: 8:00 PM
VENUE: Mission Theater
ADDRESS: 1624 NW Glisan St, 97209

9. Miracle Theatre Group - Be Careful, the Sharks Will Eat You! 

This event is part of LA LUNA NUEVA, the third annual festival of Hispanic arts and culture from around the world celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Like the new moon rising from the shadows, “La Luna Nueva” shines its light on emerging artists and new work across a variety of disciplines. Join us for spirited flamenco, inventive hip hop, Latin jazz, a one-man show from New York, storytelling for families, open mic nights, staged readings of plays under consideration for future production as well as two visual art exhibits. Visit for our full festival calendar.

10.  Vaux's Swifts at Chapman School.  They're back!  Every night through September, come watch this startling scene as the sky fills with thousands of tiny little birds...that then disappear into the chimney.  Visit the Audubon Society SwiftWatch

The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is by Ruth Ann Reynolds who made a trip to the Gorge to get some waterfall photos.  Thanks for sharing these lovely peaceful images, which are a reminder of why we love the natural scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Portland Photo by Ruth Ann Reynolds
Gorge Falls by Ruth Ann Reynolds

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Ruth Ann will get a $20 gift certificate to local business, Powells Bookstore.

If you're a book lover and you live in Portland Oregon, then Powells Bookstore is no surprise to you because it is a local favorite. Powell's City of Books is one of the most visited spots in town whether you're visiting Portland and looking for popular places to visit, or whether you've lived in Portland your entire life.  they say 80,000 people browse the shelves of Powells each day.   If you're visiting with a group, you can even arrange a tour.  "From humble storefront beginnings in 1971 on a derelict corner of northwest Portland, Oregon, Powell's Books has grown into one of the world's great bookstores, with seven locations in the Portland metropolitan area, and one of the book world's most successful dot-coms ( serving customers worldwide." (  Learn all about Powells Bookstore.

Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week.  Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog! 


coava coffee roasters


Featured Portland Events

Here are the featured Portland events this week focusing on events happening this weekend or those just around the corner! Thanks to everyone for adding all the great Portland events to the community events calendar. You can add your own Portland events directly to the events calendar for free (please read our terms of service first). Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.

Portland Timbers

August 3, 2011 at 6pm to October 22, 2011 at 7pm – various, see schedule Portland Timbers - Match Schedules Timbers Tickets: 8/03 7:30PM PDT ESPN2 Portland/Los Angeles 8/06 7:30PM PDT FOX 12 estrellaTV 8.3 San Jose/Portland 8/14 6 Organized by Portland Timbers | Type: portland timbers

ART = Whimsical

August 22, 2011 to September 23, 2011Concordia University - George R. White Library and Learning Center Organized by Concordia University | Type: art, exhibition

SWEAT - Portland Sketch Comedy at Theater Theatre

September 3, 2011 at 8pm to October 1, 2011 at 9pm – "Theater Theatre" SWEAT - Portland Sketch Comedy, Fridays and Saturdays through Oct 1st.  Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont Described as "Scream-with-surprise, rock-out-of-your-seat-with-laughter funny."   http://swe Organized by SWEAT | Type: sweat

"God of Carnage"

September 6, 2011 at 7:30pm to October 9, 2011 at 7:30pm – Artists Repertory Theatre What’s so funny about parents acting like children? This 2009 Tony winner for Best Play, tells the story of two sets of parents who meet to discuss a bullying incident in what they hoped would be a “ Organized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type: performance

PICA: TBA Time Based Art

September 9, 2011 at 6pm to September 18, 2011 at 7pm – various PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) draws artists from across the country and around the globe for a convergence of contemporary performance and visual art in Portland, Oregon. Now in its nin Organized by PICA | Type: tba

Genealogy Library Celebrates Move with over 80 Free Events

September 10, 2011 at 9:30am to October 8, 2011 at 5pm – The Ford Building Portland’s best kept secret, the Genealogical Forum of Oregon Library, is moving to 2505 SE 11th Avenue, on the corner of southeast 11th and Division. We are happy to have found a new home in the his Organized by Genealogical Forum of Oregon | Type: grand, opening

Portland: The Game - Interactive Tour (Free Promo Tickets!)

September 12, 2011 at 12pm to October 24, 2011 at 7pm – Pearl District, Old Town/Chinatown, Portland Art Museum Get off the couch and go enjoy Portland in a totally new way – through an interactive walking tour!   If you love scavenger hunts, you'll really love Portland: The Game! It combines the fun of a scav Organized by Michael Forbes | Type: interactive, tour

Ikebana International 50th Anniversary Exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden

September 16, 2011 at 10am to September 18, 2011 at 6pm – Portland Japanese Garden September 16 – 18, the Portland Ikebana Chapter will celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a Special Exhibit in the Japanese Garden Pavilion.  Arrangements representing five major schools of Ikebana Organized by Portland Japanese Garden | Type: art

Just Between Friends Children's & Maternity ReSale Event

September 17, 2011 at 9am to September 18, 2011 at 2pm – Portland Expo Center JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS Children’s Resale Event: It’s too big to miss.   Portland Expo Center 2060 N Marine Drive Portland, OR 97217   Free Admission!   Friday, Sept 16:  Pre-Sale Day for Volunteers, Co Organized by Brooke Unwin | Type: children's, resale, event

Humane Society of the United States President to Make Portland Appearance

September 17, 2011 from 2pm to 4pm – Oregon Convention Center- Exhibit Hall A The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them (William Morrow; $26.99) is Wayne Pacelle’s first book and is a New York Times best-seller. It is a compassionate, insightful and comprehen Organized by The Humane Society of the United States | Type: discussion, q&a, and, book, signing

Portland Healing Arts Fair

September 18, 2011 from 11am to 5pm – NW Neighborhood Cultural Center Step into a sacred space of healing and transformation as we celebrate the harvest time of year and the rich abundance in our lives. The Portland Healing Arts Fair offers you a selection of the fines Organized by Rachel Zuses | Type: fair

“Be careful! The Sharks Will Eat You!” a one-man show written and performed by Jay Alvarez; directed by Theresa Gambacorta

September 19, 2011 at 7:30pm to September 21, 2011 at 9pm – Centro Milagro At times brutal, at times full of laughter and love, "Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You!" played to sold out audiences in New York City and Miami Florida. This true story takes you to the sultry be Organized by Miracle Theatre Group | Type: theatre, performance

Gardening Class - Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter

September 20, 2011 from 6:30pm to 8pm – One Stop Sustainability Shop Want to get a head start on your spring garden, but not excited about maintaining it throughout the rainy season? In this class, we will discuss strategies—like cover cropping and sheet mulching—for Organized by Independence Gardens | Type: class


September 23, 2011 at 5pm to September 24, 2011 at 10pm – Rheinlander German Restaurant No one celebrates Oktoberfest in Portland like der Rheinlander! Raise a stein under the Big Beer Tent on NE 50th & Sandy Blvd.! 21 & over 5 to 10pm, Friday September 23rd and Saturday the 24t Organized by Amanda Pence | Type: festival

September Portland Oregon Real Estate Market Report

by Ross Seligman

These stats are a comparison of August 2010 - August 2011 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, 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.


To see and/or bookmark a monthly automatic updating chart, click here.


On to the report:

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

In August 2011, inventory has remained flat with 3205 homes on the market.   In August 2011, 602 homes sold and 606 are pending for sale.  

Yearly change from August 10 to August 11:

For Sale: 4197 in August 10, 2981 in August 11. Inventory is Down 29%

Sold homes: 469 sold in August 10, 543 sold in August 11.  Sales are Up 15.8%.

Pending sales: 474 pending for sale in August 10, 733 pending for sale in August 11. Pending sales are Up 54.6%. 


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square foot in Portland, Oregon has been between $128 and $148. In August 2011, the average price per square foot in Portland was $135.

Yearly change from August 10 to August 11:

Average price per square foot in August 10 was $145. In August 11 it is $135. This figure has dropped 6.5%.

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, 70 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 2011, sellers were getting, on average, 94% of their original asking price.

Yearly change from August 10 to August 11:

Average time it takes to sell a home in August 10 was 68 days. In August 11, it is 70 days.  A increase of time on market of 2.9%. 

The percentage of original listing price that was paid was 92% in August 10 and is 94% in August 11.

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

The largest segment of home sales have been in the price range under $400,000. You can see this reflected in the average price of a home that has sold. In August 2011, this figure was $286,000.

Yearly change from August 10 to August 11:

The average price of a home listed in August 10 was $356,000. In August 11, $373,000. This figure has increased 4.8%.

The average price of a home sold in August 10 was $307,000. In August 11 it was $286,000 This figure has decreased 6.8%.

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 2011, this figure was 5.3 months based on closed sales. Portland is currently, on average, a buyer's market.

This does NOT mean that it will take, on average, 5.5 months for your home to sell. That number was, on average in all price ranges, 70 days.   It means that, if not a single listing were to come on the market in Portland from this moment, it would take 5.5 months for all available homes to sell before there would be none left.

Yearly change from August 10 to August 11:

The months of inventory in August 10 was 8.9 months. In August 11, it is 5.5 months. This figure has decreased by 38.7%

As I have said before, none of this information matters 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.

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 my website where you can contact me and search all Portland Metro Area homes for sale from the RMLS, including school and neighborhood reports:

Best Real Estate Deals in Portland - Homes for Sale in Portland

Each week, Ross shares five cool Portland real estate deals, and it is always fun to take a peek at what Portland home deals are available.

3140 NE US GRANT PL Portland, OR 97212 - Grant Park - $897,000

See the full listing here

1301 NE 73RD AVE Portland, OR 97213 - Montavilla - $250,000


See the full listing here

View the full list of weekly Portland real estate deals.

That's It!

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