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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland September 29 - October 6 2012

Good morning, Portlandia. The windows are open and the breeze feels amazing. My windows have been open since June and I will miss the sounds of the birds and the fresh air as we move into the coming colder months. I was going to write my Ode to Fall as the intro to our Portland blog this week but discovered that Rob said it more eloquently than I could aspire to:


by Rob Creighton Garrison

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne


Welcome to autumn, y'all.  Some prefer to call it 'fall' and 'the fall', but to me the word 'autumn' sounds more autumnal, so that's what I call the season.  While we're on the subject, I just now Googled whether one should capitalize the seasons.  Apparently one should not. Now I have to Google whether 'Google' is capitalized when used as a verb.  One thing always leads to another, which is why The Internet has to be so big, and also why The Fixx wrote that song.



Portland Japanese Garden


Autumn is my favorite season, hands down.  I love them all, but autumn is the sensorial superior season.  It's the brisk air on the skin, the fragrance of change, the flare of colors holding the eyes enchanted.  In defiance of even the grayest of days there's a glow, a brilliance, despite the clouds and the rain campaigning to dim it.  I've always considered autumn as closer kin to summer than to winter; summer throws fire at the world from the sky, causing greenery and pavement alike to shimmer, whereas autumn's flames fall to the Earth feather-light and cool.


Laurelhurst Park


It's not coincidence that Halloween is observed in the fall season.  Called Samhain (pronounced 'sOW-wen') by Wiccans and celebrated as the New Year, it's not only observed as a harvest holiday (as it was in medieval times) but also as a day honoring the dead, a day when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is most permeable.  This and other elements of autumn lend it an eerie atmosphere.  Hard to explain, other than for me there is always this feeling of nearness.  I think it's because, more than any other time of the year, autumn asserts its own presence.  Something about it urges quietude, a breath taken, a stillness while you listen for...something.



Little Orphant Annie" illustration by Gertrude Elliot  ("...and the gobble-uns 'll git you ef you Don'T Watch Out!")


Autumn is the best time to walk Portland's twilit streets and to hike the near-silent woodland paths.  A crisp fall day spent indoors is a crime of inertia, but even the rainy days shouldn't be enough to make anyone hide away.  Do you work indoors?  Most of us seem to, other than farmers and those who toil 'midst the ubiquitous orange cones and barrels.  Leave them to enjoy the Great Indoors for a change if they'd like; the rest of us should be at large in the land, breathing deep and thankful.



Read Rob's weekly article here. He is witty, funny and a damn good writer.



The Portland Video of the Week

A walk through Portland


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 shows a huge crowd waiting for an amazing display: the Swifts!  Soon, thousands of birds will darken the sky. If anything marks the end of summer in Portland, this event most certainly does.

Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary

Waiting for the Swifts at Chapman Elementary School

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.





Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

This little squirrel will eat from your hand- @Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden 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.

New to the site and want to add your own two cents to the Portland blog?  Please do!  But please remember to keep it real and community focused. Read our terms of use and don't spam the planet with self promoting material or weird stuff as it will just get deleted and you might get banned.  We have a zero spammer policy to keep the site valuable and hassle free for our members.  Thanks!



The Wilshire Portland Neighborhood Real Estate Market Report

By Ross and Leah Seligman

Wilshire is an older, well established neighborhood with a strong sense of community. It has a nice mix of residential and commercial property. The main road through the Wilshire neighborhood is NE Fremont Street, and the primary commercial focus is "Beaumont Village", between NE33rd and NE 50th. To learn more about the Wilshire neighborhood including photos and information about the locals and businesses that thrive there, click here.


If you are looking for homes in the Wilshire neighborhood, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood: Click Here


On to the report: Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Wilshire neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In August 2012, there were 39 closed sales, 34 pending sales, and 64 homes on the market in the Wilshire Neighborhood.

One year change from August 2011 to August 2012

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 25.6%

Homes sold: Up 105.3%

Homes pending sale: Down 5.6%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Wilshire neighborhood has been between $165 and $191/sq. ft. In August 2012, the average price per square foot in the Wilshire neighborhood was $174.

One year change from August 2011 to August 2012:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Down 3.4%


Days on Market, 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 August 2012, the average time on market for a home in the Wilshire neighborhood was 34 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the listing price the owners actually are getting when the house is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In August 2012, sellers in Wilshire received, on average, 96% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from August 2011 to August 2012:

Time on Market: Down 27.7%

Sold/List price % difference: Up 1.1%


Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

This chart shows us that the average listing was and what the average sale was. In August 2012, the average price of a house on the market in Wilshire was $564,000. The average sale was $538,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 1.1%

Average sold price:  Up 13.7%


Months of Inventory:

Months of inventory gives a time line of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell.  Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market.  This figure is a good indicator of supply and demand.  August 2012 in the Wilshire neighborhood had 1.6 months of inventory. By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 1.6 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in August, 34 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Wilshire from this point forward, in 1.6 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.

In my monthly Portland real estate report, I always talk about how each individual neighborhood is a micro-market. The first thing you will notice about individual neighborhoods as compared to the overall Portland reports are that the numbers can be wildly different month to month. Basically, the bigger the pool of data you are working with, the smoother the stats become. As we focus on smaller areas, many different things can happen month to month.

If you are looking to buy or sell in a particular neighborhood, the most crucial information that you need to know is what is going on in that neighborhood. In this situation, the overall Portland market report is less important and the national real estate report is just about useless. This posting is a real estate report for the Wilshire neighborhood of all homes in all price ranges. Feel free to request particular neighborhoods in which you are interested in buying or selling and I am be happy to do a report, just contact me on this forum or at



Best Deals in Portland this Week

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

2. 3920 NE 41st AVE Portland, OR 97212

- Wilshire -


Click the image to see the full listing


4027 SE 27TH AVE Portland, OR 97202

- Creston -


Click the image to see the full listing


3614 NE HOLMAN ST Portland, OR 97211

- Concordia/Alberta -


 Click the image to see the full listing


6729 SE KNIGHT ST Portland, OR 97206

- Mt. Scott/Arleta -


 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.

Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary

Look: a swift up close by Michael Barton


Thanks for loving this Portland Blog!

Tune back next weekend for another edition of our all-local Portland blog. For now, bookmark us, read our Portland neighborhood pages, get involved and most of all, share with your friends and family!  Want to find back issues of this blog? Boom.

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