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This Week in Portland December 3 - December 10 2011

This Portland blog marks the beginning of December and a dive into the lowest temps of the season. However, the weather reports are in our favor as more clear skies and an extended visit from that alien orb in the sky are in our forecast. I'll take this early Christmas gift -and just in time- as I was just feeling the early-dark and late-to-rise had bookended us for what could only be months to come.

I find it incredibly important to get outside in our bleakest of months. There is something very real, raw and Portland - or is it just Pacific Northwest?- about this time of year. There is nothing quite like a hike into Forest Park (or any park) that starts with a shiver and ends with a coat around your waist and mud in places you'd never think to look for it. My personal challenge is three long walks or hikes a week, no matter the weather, in addition to the wellness guru prescribed five days a week, thirty minutes a day, gym-jobby we all know so well. Its not so easy with a desk job but it feels damn good when you meet those goals. Especially the fresh air goals.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." - Saint Augustine

I'm a broken record on the topic of exploring the world around us. I'm shocked when I come across long time or local Portlander's who have never been to amazing places like Multnomah Falls, Forest Park, Crystal Springs and the like. PortlandNeighborhood was born of our interest to see and do and explore new (and old) places, to eat, drink and ultimately, find the local silver lining in the urban parts of PDX share them. An electronic friend of ours, a great contributor to this website, does this, too. His mission was to share the new outdoor world of Portland with his young son and it has been fun to follow their travels in both photo and blog. Michael Barton has a very unique and inspiring blog on exploring Portland and a recent book review post caught my attention:

At the core of Wild in the City is The Intertwine, “the network of parks, trails, natural areas, and special places in the Portland-Vancouver region” that is “about providing people with connections to nature, to their communities, and to one another across urban and rural landscapes.” This book is all at once for walker and the hiker, for the paddler and the biker, for the beginning or seasoned naturalist, and most especially, as Richard Louv writes in his foreword, for families with children.

Peregrine Falcon - Lei Kotynski

Not only does Wild in the City describe with great detail the many places one could explore nature in the Portland region (over 90 locations), but it provides many short essays on far-ranging natural history topics, such as salamanders, Great Blue Herons (the city bird), pygmy owls, Peregrine falcons, “urban vermin,” coyotes, and salmon, and personal essays about particular spaces and their histories, like Forest Park, Sauvie Island, and the various watersheds...

*Read the whole article here and share your favorite natural area in Portland to get in the running for a free copy of the book, Wild in the City.


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is by Iris Dee. Iris shares with us a set of stunning and haunting images of her walk through Oaks Park in SE Portland. Gorgeous!




Our Portland Photo of the Week winner receives a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Our giveaway for the month of December is a $20 gift certificate to Coava Coffee Roasters. If you've not been to their incredible roastery and tasting room, stop reading now and go. There is a reason why the New Yorker and The New York Times keep a regular pulse on the happenings at Coava...they are amazing and truly unparalled. Read all about the Portland coffee scene and learn more about coffee, what makes a great cafe and who the cafe rockstars are in our fair PDX.


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 (pleased read our terms of service first). Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.


Chris Burden: Ghost Ships

November 2, 2011 at 10am to January 22, 2012 at 5pm – Portland Art MuseumGhost Ships is a trio of actual sailboats that have been reconfigured and programmed by the artist to periodically unfurl sails, pivot rudders, and simulate navigation. The sailboats will seem to sai



"Sherlock Holmes and the Caseo of the Christmas Carol"

November 15, 2011 at 7:30pm to December 24, 2011at 7:30pm – Artists Repertory Theatre - Alder StageWill Sherlock Holmes crack his own case? Literature’s favorite quirky inquisitor is infused with the spirit of a crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge in an unusual holiday show crafted by Seattle veteran playOrganized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type:performance



North End Holiday Market

November 18, 2011 at 10am to December 24, 2011 at 7pm – St. John's district, Old Salvation Army Building, across the street from Pattie's Home PlateA craft market with unique, handmade art and crafts such as quilts, jewelry, wood carvings, stuffed animals, high-quality prints of original paintings,  and more! Store Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 7 pm;Organized by Laura Woodruff | Type: art/craft, market,for, the, holidays, and, other, occasions



Zoo Lights at Oregon Zoo

November 25, 2011 to January 1, 2012  "Oregon Zoo"Annual holiday lights display at the Oregon Zoo!   Celebrate the holiday season amid the sparkling lights and brilliant hues of ZooLights.* More than a million lights transform the Oregon Zoo into aOrganized by Zoo Lights | Type: zoo lights



Tannenbaum Madness

November 25, 2011 at 4pm to January 1, 2012 at 4pm – Alberta Main StreetAlberta Main Street presents Tannenbaum Madness Tannenbaum Madness is a walking window tour of whimsical, wacky and artistic trees. Over 30 Alberta Street businesses are creating sights not to be misOrganized by Alberta Main Street | Type: holiday, fun



Portland Holiday Ale Festival

November 30, 2011 to December 4, 2011  "Pioneer Square"Holiday Ale FestivalMore than 40+ breweries will be featured at this year's event, all of which are created specifically to bring warmth and cheer to the holiday season. From Belgians and BarleywinesOrganized by Holiday Ale Festival | Type: 



Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS & The Brain

October 16, 2011 to March 4, 2012  OMSIGunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS & The Brain includes more than 200 authentic human specimens and highlights neuroscience, brain development and performance. Through respectful, aesthetic displaysOrganized by | Type: omsi, show



Storybook Lane

December 2, 2011 at 3pm to December 18, 2011 at 6pm – Alpenrose DairyWinter wonderland fun is back at Alpenrose Dairy as Storybook Lane reopens once again for the first time in six years.  Portland’s family owned and operated dairy is partnering with 4-H of MultnomahOrganized by Alpenrose | Type: holiday



Hip Happening Holiday Bazaar

December 3, 2011 from 11am to 5pm – Sellwood Masonic LodgeJoin us for our fourth anniversary holiday sale!Peruse 50 talented local artisans and find that perfect one-of-a-kind handmade gift for the holidays!Visit SANTA from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Bring the kidsOrganized by Hip Happening | Type: arts, &, crafts,bazaar



Looking for something else? We have a ton of other local Portland events on the calendar. Please feel free to add your own as well.


Christmas Tree at Pioneer Square

The Christmas Tree at Pioneer Square by Michael Barton


Mt. Hood Oregon

The best time of the year to head to Mt Hood is now. Mt Hood is a dormant volcano located 50 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon. Surrounded by a natural forest, Mt Hood is a staggering 11,245 feet high, the highest peak in Oregon. During summer, Mount Hood is a popular destination for hikers and backpackers, and offers many activities and attractions. By winter, the mountain becomes a hotspot for skiing and winter sports. Visible for literally hundreds of miles around, it's estimated around 10,000 people attempt to reach the summit of the Mt Hood each year. Mount Hood is home to glaciers, commonly referred to as snow fields, sitting about 6,000ft, just above the tree line, giving the mountain an intriguing contrast in color and formation. Mount Hood is home to many different activities, which differ by season. Mount Hood is one of Oregon's top tourist destinations in the state and never fails to impress those who visit, whatever the season.

Learn more about Mt Hood and her splendor including great outdoor activities


Vernon/Alberta Real Estate Report

by Ross Seligman


Vernon is located in Northeast Portland. It is bordered by the King, Woodlawn, Concordia, and Sabin neighborhoods. To learn more, click here.


Are you keeping an eye on Vernon/Alberta Arts or is it your neighborhood?  Check out this link for a monthly updating real estate chart for this neighborhood.

If you are looking for homes in the Vernon/Alberta Arts 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 Vernon/Alberta Arts neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In October 2011, there were 38 closed sales, 40 pending sales, and 93 homes on the market in the Vernon/Alberta Arts Neighborhood.

One year change from October 2010 to October 2011:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 49.5%

Homes sold: Up 81%

Homes pending sale: Down 7%


Chart for average price per square footage:


In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Vernon/Alberta Arts neighborhood has been between $119 and $142/sq. ft. In October 2011, the average price per square foot in the Vernon/Alberta Arts neighborhood was $129.


One year change from October 2010 to October 2011:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Down 1%

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 October 2011, the average time on market for a home in the Vernon/Alberta Arts neighborhood was 73 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 October 2011, sellers in Vernon/Alberta Arts received, on average, 94% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from October 2010 to October 2011:

Time on Market: Up 32.7%
Sold/List price % difference: No Change

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 October 2011, the average price of a house on the market in Vernon/Alberta Arts was $289,000. The average sale was $260,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 10.2%
Average sold price:  Up 4.4%

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.  October 2011 in the Vernon/Alberta Arts neighborhood had 2.4 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 2.4 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in October, 73 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Vernon/Alberta Arts from this point forward, in 2.4 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 Vernon/Alberta Arts 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

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:



Photo credit : Fasai


Homes for sale in Portland


3572 NE MORRIS ST Portland, OR 97212 - Alameda - $670,000

See the full listing here


1128 NE KNOTT ST Portland, OR 97212 - Irvington - $625,000

See the full listing here


2554 NE 45TH AVE Portland, OR 97213 - Grant Park - $389,983

See the full listing here


1338 NE ROSELAWN ST Portland, OR 97211 - Vernon/Alberta Arts - $379,900

See the full listing here



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