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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland December 15, 2012

Hello, Portlanders!   I am spending this week in Florida visiting family for the holidays, and I have to say it is difficult to get in the holiday spirit when it is sunny, balmy, and hot outside.  

Florida Christmas Lights
Florida Christmas Light Display ...Lights on a Palm Tree

When I get back home later today (after a grueling 10 hour journey of airport and airplane stress), I will kiss the cold wet Portland ground and rejoice!  Then I will try to muster up some holiday spirit by going out and selecting a tree, and heading out to one of the great Portland holiday events!

In case you are also trying to find your holiday spirit, this week's blog is focused on Portland Holiday Events.  Families all around Portland love the tradition of viewing Portland Holiday Light Displays, from the insanely popular Zoo Lights, to the SE Portland Lights on Peacock Lane.  Visit the Portland Holiday Lights page or view the Portland Events Calendar for more holiday fun things to do in Portland this week! Here are a select few:

Portland Grotto Festival of Lights

Alpenrose Dairy-Storybook Lane C

Wenzel Farm Christmas Fantasy Trail

The Polar Express - Mt. Hood Railway

Portland Christmas Ships Parade

Jubitz PIR Winter Wonderland Lights

Zoo Lights Portland

Zoo Lights Photos by Earl R. Thomas

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If you aren't feeling terribly festive, or if all the holiday rush is stressing you out, visit one of these Portland Beer Events this weekend and enjoy a holiday ale to put you in the festive spirit:


Friday, Dec 14th - Sunday, Dec 16th: St. John's Winter Beer Fest »
Saturday, Dec 15th - Sunday, Dec 16th: Breakside Brewery presents the Winter Formal »

If you still have holiday shopping to do, try to support local Portland businesses and help our local economy.  One of the best places to find unique handcrafted items is at the Portland Saturday Market and the "Festival of the Last Minute", which will be open EVERY day from December 15th through December 24.

Portland Saturday Market Festival of the Last Minute

The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Earl R. Thomas, "Holiday Lights".   Don't forget to come add your Portland holiday light photos to the photo gallery, we love to see them.  Earl added a whole series of great Zoo Lights images this week.     

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. This week our winner is treated to Powells Books, the largest indie bookstore in the world! 

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Powell's Bookstore Picks

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

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! 


A Litterary Device

Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison

I'm too young to be a hippy.  I missed that bus by about ten years.  I mean to say, I don't have the means to carry the look off.  I hate the odor of patchouli; when we lived on Southeast Belmont, our downstairs neighbors' liberal use of the stuff was made evident by that miasma wafting upward into our apartment (that couple eventually birthed their child at home, and so now I associate the smell of patchouli with blood-curdling screams).  I can't wear my hair long anymore because it'll just clog the drain, my personal biochemistry threatens to punish me and all those near when I dare skip a shower, and I find neck-beards unsightly (shame me if you must, but in his later years I began to refer to Ringo Starr as “the lesser Beatle” simply on the strength of his under[chin]growth).  Ah, and I'm one of those people who truly need underwear.

                                                                       The boys need a house!

I suspect I'm a tad curmugeonly for the hippy classification anyway, because although I have a certain hippy-ish mindset (love your Mother Earth and respect all living beings, hate war and violence in general, despise inequality, etc.), I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the huggiest guy on the planet.  Actually I have what I like to call a Personal Sphere, inside of which there is only room for one, and that one is moi.  “Respect The Sphere!”, I have actually demanded aloud when a friend-slash-coworker has drifted inside the invisible perimeter.  I always assume others have a similar sphere in place; NEVER will I poke you to accentuate a point in our conversation, NEVER will I throw an arm around your shoulders unbidden (unless I'm drunk; I get a little feely when I'm drunk in social situations.  Also I adopt a cockney accent to ensure that you remember an extra-special experience.  I have no explanation for this. It's like having drunky Tourette's).

I also get plenty mouthy, usually over thoughtless things people do.  What does this have to do with Portland, you ask?  To be honest, it's all a preface to a plea, one that I would like you all to pass on to others who need to hear it (I'm not preaching to the choir here because I know anyone reading this needn't be reminded; I mean, you all read PortlandNeighborhood.Com because you enjoy and care for your community, right?  So I'll include quotation marks so you can envision saying it yourselves:

“Please, people, pick up after yourselves!  Portland is overall a very clean city, due in part because of people like me (“me” meaning you folks reading this too, of course!) who will take the time to pick up YOUR trash and put it into the proper receptacles.  Proper as in trash into trash cans and recyclables into recycle bins.  These are NOT interchangable, see?  When I take out our trash at home in our apartment complex, I often have to re-sort other people's junk when I see it's been tossed into the wrong receptacle.”

“Why you gotta throw your food wrappers onto the ground when walking or biking the Springwater?  Who hikes with burritos at Forest Park?  I hope you had a lovely shopping experience at Nordstrom, but why toss the bag on the grass at Waterfront Park?  I really so hate having our environment besmirched by the Deliberately Unconscious” ('Du', for short; I like to call this after them whenever I have to snatch up the Big Gulp they just chucked onto the sidewalk, “Du! Du!” Pronounced 'duh', fittingly).

Do I seem outraged?  Sure I do.  You may have noticed that some deftly-managed outrage has always been the impetus for any positive change in the world.  I'm not advocating shouting matches and fisticuffs, but I DO suggest some righteous indignation.  Puff out that chest, plant your feet, thrust out that lantern jaw (if applicable), and get to belittlin'!  You don't litter, and you don't tolerate those who do.  You are a citizen's citizen, a Portlander's Portlander!

Thanks for reading.  Now, let's talk about those baggy low-riders.

Featured Portland Events this Week

Each week, we feature a handful of member-added events to the blog.  You can always add your own Portland events directly to the Portland events calendar.  Visit 

A Very Joan Crawford Christmas

November 29, 2012 at 7:30pm to December 23, 2012 at 2pm – The Sanctuary @ Sandy Plaza - 1785 NE Sandy Blvd Why take a sleigh ride to Grandma's house, when you can visit Mommy Dearest instead? Kam Sisco breaks out the eyebrow pencil and red lipstick and returns to the stage as Joan Crawford in a special ho Organized by triangle productions! | Type: theatrical, -, stage, show

Noh: Dance Drama of the Samurai

November 30, 2012 at 10am to February 24, 2013 at 5pm – Portland Art Museum Our Noh exhibit showcases masks, clothing, and instruments that were featured in ancient performances that took place as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries. These props were used to tell elabora Organized by Henry Moreno | Type: art, exhibit

Alpenrose Dairy-Storybook Lane C

December 7, 2012 at 3pm to December 23, 2012 at 6pm – Alpenrose Dairy Christmas In Dairyville opens once again to welcome the Holiday Season.         Portland, Ore. — Get your family in the holiday spirit with a stroll down Storybook Lane.  Alpenrose Dairy and the Cad Organized by Monica | Type: christmas, in, dairyville-storybook, lane

Private Residents put on Stunning Christmas Display for Years

December 7, 2012 at 6pm to December 31, 2012 at 6pm – 7-11 on Wall Street Two private residents have put on a stunning, all-encompassing Christmas display at their own residence in the NoPo/St. Johns area for some 48-odd years now - on their own dime, each year. This event Organized by Lauren Peterson Chilson | Type: christmas, display


December 7, 2012 at 7pm to January 1, 2013 at 3:30pm – Imago Theatre ZooZoo returns to Imago Theatre from December 7th through January 1st and returning by popular demand “Cats!” Imago brings to life the antics of our everyday household cat in a not so everyday way. D Organized by Imago Theatre | Type: theatre

Portland Grotto Festival of Lights

December 8, 2012 to December 31, 2012"The Grotto" The beloved Grotto Festival of Lights! The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights 2012 Dates: November 23, 2012 through December 30, 2012 (closed Christmas Day) Our celebration of Christmas begins the Organized by The Grotto | Type: grotto festival of lights

Wenzel Farm Christmas Fantasy Trail

December 8, 2012 to December 29, 2012"Wenzel Farm" Christmas Fantasy Trail Great for all Ages! Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded "Fantasy Trail", decorated with thousands of lights for your Christmas enchantment. Be sure to visit our wa Organized by Wenzel Farm | Type: christmas fantasy trail

The Polar Express - Mt. Hood Railway

December 8, 2012 to December 28, 2012"Mt Hood Railway" All aboard the Mt. Hood Railway for the Polar Express! This fun family event is a magical holiday tradition. December 1,2,5,6,7,8,9,12,13,1415,16,1 Organized by Mt Hood Railway | Type: the polar express

Portland Christmas Ships Parade

December 8, 2012 to December 21, 2012River 2012 Christmas Ship Parade Schedule December 7 - 21, 2012Columbia River      Willamette River Special performance in Camas/Washougal Dec. 1st 2012 marks the 58th year for the Christmas Ship Pa Organized by Portland Christmas Ships Parade | Type: portland christmas ships

Jubitz Winter Wonderland Lights

December 8, 2012 at 5pm to December 25, 2012 at 9pm – "Portland International Raceway" 20th anniversary! Jubitz Winter Wonderland festival of lights at the raceway! Nov. 22nd - Dec. 25th Sunday - Thursday 5 PM - 9 PM* Friday & Saturday 5 PM - 11 PM Closed Mon 12/10, and Tues 12/11 Organized by Jubitz Winter Wonderland | Type: jubitz winter wonderland lights

Zoo Lights Portland

December 8, 2012 at 5pm to December 23, 2012 at 8pm – "Oregon Zoo" Zoo Lights Portland Celebrate the holiday season amid the brilliant hues of ZooLights. More than a million LED lights transform the Oregon Zoo into a luminous Organized by Oregon Zoo | Type: oregon zoo lights

Portland Saturday Market Festival of the Last Minute

December 15, 2012 to December 25, 2012"Portland Saturday Market" Portland Holiday Shopping, Saturday Market Style.  It's the Portland Saturday Market Festival of the Last Minute! Open Every Saturday & Sunday, & everyday from December 15 through Christmas E Organized by Portland Saturday Market | Type: portland holiday shopping

Holiday Lights on Peacock Lane

December 15, 2012 to December 31, 2012"Peacock Lane" Hugely popular annual holiday light show in Portland.  The lights on Peacock Lane! Come see the lights on Peacock Lane and you'll find nothing but good, old-fashioned holiday spirit. Since the 1920s Organized by The Lights on Peacock Lane | Type: portland christmas lights on peacock lane

Winter Break Free Day

December 15, 2012 from 11am to 3pm – Oregon Historical Society Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season! Make a beautiful journal with artist Katrina Ladd that you can give as a gift, or use to write your own journal to enter in our Diary Contest. Spend Organized by Oregon Historical Society | Type: family, day

Saturday Imbibing Tour

December 15, 2012 from 12pm to 4pm – Portland Breweries - Coalition, Hopworks, Breakside and Lompoc Side Bar Our Saturday Imbibing tour is a good mix of learning about beer and the brewing process and having a great time. The tour visits four different Portland breweries, but we only get one, very detailed Organized by Brewvana - Portland Brewery Tour | Type: brewery tour

The Christmas Revels: An Appalachian Christmas Celebration

December 15, 2012 from 1pm to 3:30pm – Scottish Rite Center This December The Christmas Revels invites audiences to enjoy early American and Appalachian music, dance and cultural traditions as we visit the members of a small Appalachian mountain community cel Organized by Debby Garman, Portland Revels | Type: performing, performance, portland, holiday, event

Portland Symphonic Girlchoir presents Winterglow! Jingle Bear Family Concert - A Holiday Celebration in Song and Dance in collaboration w/ Portland Youth Ballet

December 15, 2012 from 6pm to 7:45pm – World Trade Center Theatre The award-winning Portland Symphonic Girlchoir shines in its 24th Season, In The Spotlight! Ranging in age from 5 to 18, the young artists of the Portland Symphonic Girlchoir captivate audiences with Organized by Portland Youth Ballet and Portland Symphonic Choir | Type: concert, and, dance

Oregon Symphony: Fiesta Navidad

December 15, 2012 from 7:30pm to 10pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano No one makes Christmas more magical than Nati Cano and his exceptional mariachi group Los Camperos. Much more than a holiday sing-a-long, Fiesta Navidad is a feast Organized by Oregon Symphony | Type: concert, mariachi, holiday

Comedian Neal Brennan - One Night Only!

December 15, 2012 from 7:30pm to 9pm – The Hollywood Theatre Neal Brennan is a writer, director, and comedian. He is the co-creator of "Chappelle's Show," for which he received three Emmy nominations. (Winning None!)He co-wrote the film "Half Baked," and direc Organized by The Hollywood Theatre | Type: stand, up, comedy, nightlife

The Christmas Revels: An Appalachian Christmas Celebration

December 15, 2012 from 7:30pm to 10pm – Scottish Rite Center This December The Christmas Revels invites audiences to enjoy early American and Appalachian music, dance and cultural traditions as we visit the members of a small Appalachian mountain community cel Organized by Debby Garman, Portland Revels | Type: performing, performance, portland, holiday, event

The Glory Singers Present: A Joyful Noise (Night 2)

December 15, 2012 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Murray Hills Christian Church The Glory Singers will present their annual Christmas program on Friday, December 14th at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, OR and Saturday, December 15th at Murray Hills Christian Church in B Organized by The Glory Singers Concert Choir | Type: christmas, concert

Walter Marchetti's Natura Morta

December 15, 2012 from 8pm to 10pm – Yale Union (YU) We say goodbye to the ephemeral distinction of two thousand and twelve with Walter Marchetti’sNatura Morta (1988). Composed for a grand piano covered in fruit, Natura Morta is slow with no punctures, Organized by YU | Type: music, performance

 December 2012 Portland Real Estate Market Report

by Ross and Leah Seligman

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

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

In November 2012, inventory has dropped with 2172 homes on the market.   In November 2012, 666 homes sold and 664 are pending for sale. 

Yearly change from November 11 to November 12:

Inventory is Down 28%

Closed Sales are Up 15.8%.

Pending sales are Up 17.7%.

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 $161. In November 2012, the average price per square foot in Portland was $160.

Yearly change from November 11 to November 12:  Up 9.5%


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, 59 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 November 2012, sellers were getting, on average, 95% of their original asking price.

Yearly change from November 11 to November 12:

Average time it takes to sell a home has decreased 25.3%.

The percentage of original listing price that was paid has increased 3%.


Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

In November 2012, the average price of a home that sold was $309,000.  The average price of a home that was listed was $381,000.  This does not mean that a home that was listed for $381,000 sold for $309,000.  The listed homes didn't necessarily sell.  For the sold/list price percentage, look at the 'Days on Market' graph.  In November 2012, this figure was 95%.

Yearly change from November 11 to November 12:
The average price of a home listed has increased 6.1%.
The average price of a home sold has increased 10.4%.
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 November 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, 59 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 November 11 to November 12:
The months of inventory figure has decreased 37.8%.
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:

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

The Best Deals in Portland This Week: December 10th - December 17th


1. 4027 SE OAK ST Portland, OR 97214 - Laurelhurst - $711,000

Click the image to see the listing


2. 4928 NE 26th AVE Portland, OR 97211 - Concordia/Alberta - $549,900

Click the image to see the listing


3. 6107 NE 10TH AVE Portland, OR 97211 - Woodlawn - $449,000

 Click the image to see the listing


4. 808 NE 74th AVE Portland, OR 97213 - Montavilla - $319,900

 Click the image to see the listing


5. 821 NE CHURCH ST Portland, OR 97211 - King - $268,821

 Click the image to see the listing


Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland metro area homes for sale and real estate from the RMLS, including neighborhood and school information:


That's it for now

We hope you enjoy reading our weekly Portland blog.  Want to see more or less of something?  Let us know!  Once again, thanks for being here and making this Portland website such an asset to the community!  If you love this site as much as we do, tell your friends!  Have a great weekend!

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