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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland December 18 - December 25 2010

The big news this week is a hysterical new show about Portland that is about to grace the airwaves ala IFC. If you're about to jump into the Portland puddle (aka "move here"), we beg you to watch this hysterical video that Portlanders are admitting is "painfully true". I watched and laughed -- it IS true.

About Portlandia (source:

"The 6-part IFC Original short-based comedy series PORTLANDIA, created, written by and starring Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (vocalist/guitarist, WILD FLAG, Sleater-Kinney), premieres on IFC Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM ET/PT. Each episode's character-based shorts draw viewers into "Portlandia," the creators' dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon.

"I love Portlandia. It really represents so much of what I love culturally, musically and in so many other ways," said Fred Armisen. "This started as just a fun summer activity for Carrie and me. We'd be hanging out in Portland and shooting whatever made us laugh, and that evolved into Portlandia."

PORTLANDIA's inhabitants include but are not limited to: the owners of a feminist book store; a militant bike messenger; an artsy couple who attach cut-outs of birds to everything ("put a bird on it!"); an organic farmer who turns out to be a cult leader; an adult hide and seek league; and a punk rock couple negotiating a "safe word" to help govern their love life.  The first episode depicts Armisen and Brownstein meeting with the Mayor of Portland (Kyle MacLachlan) who solicits the duo to write a new theme song for the city. This segment features a cameo from the real mayor of Portland (Sam Adams) playing the assistant to MacLachlan's "mayor." Much of the series' original music is written and performed by Armisen and Brownstein.

An assortment of guest stars inhabit PORTLANDIA, including Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex & The City), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Selma Blair (Legally Blonde, Hellboy), Heather Graham (The Hangover), Edie McClurg (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Kumail Nanjiani (Michael & Michael Have Issues), Jason Sudeikis (SNL, The Cleveland Show), and Gus Van Sant (Milk). Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann also guest stars, alongside James Mercer (The Shins), and local Portland musicians Jenny Conlee and Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) and Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney).

Brownstein and Armisen spent years observing the joyous eccentricities of Portland, Oregon (when Fred was on hiatus from SNL), which spawned their "Thunderant" project, a compilation of online videos that combined their unique music styles and comedic sensibilities. Their artistic collaboration garnered an online cult following, as their "Thunderant" characters resonated with a young audience celebrating individuality, free spirit and weirdness."

In other news, we're on the home stretch toward the Christmas holiday!  Allow me to be preachy and say: SHOP LOCAL!  Head down to the Saturday Market or Alberta Arts or Mississippi Ave or Hawthorne or the Pearl and support local Portland businesses!  Need the perfect gift? Gift cards to local businesses rule.


Mt Hood by Ruth Ann Reynolds


Meet Portland's Artists Repertory Theatre


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is Michael Barton who has shared a small series of photos from a recent trip to the Smith and Bybee Wetlands which is located over in north Portland. As a north Portland local, I love riding my bike and hiking around here. Michael captured some very beautiful moments that I hope will inspire others to make a short journey to this awesome wetland.

Geese in flight

A Great Blue Heron waits

Ducks just doing some duck business

Our weekly Portland photo winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Mark will receive a $20 gift certificate to local Portland brewing company, Lompoc. Lompoc is a Portland original and absolute favorite. In fact, part of this website was born over Lompoc beer! 

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! 



Featured Portland Events this Week

Here are the featured Portland events this week focusing on events happening this very weekend!  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, here.  Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.

The Santaland Diaries

November 30, 2010 to January 2, 2011  Ellyn Bye Studio Nov 30 - Jan 2 Based on the true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display, this cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fe


Oregon Ballet Theatre presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

December 1, 2010 to December 27, 2010  Keller About: “Mr. B’s” captivating Christmas classic draws its inspiration from the choreographer’s childhood recollections of dancing the original version of the Nutcracker in Russia. Today, his enchantin


Christmas Ships Parade 2010

December 9, 2010 to December 21, 2010  "Willamette River" 2010 marks the 56th year for the Christmas Ship Parade on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in Portland, Oregon. Please click on the Willamette or the Columbia Schedule links for complete schedules


A Tuna Christmas

December 9, 2010 to December 23, 2010  "Artists Repertory Theatre" A Tuna Christmas Seasons Greeting from Tuna, Texas!!! Back by popular demand, Oregon Repertory Theatre presents the fun and entertaining A Tuna Christmas – the hilarious sequel to the hit comedy, Gre


Do Jump! Greatest Hits for the Holidays

December 10, 2010 to January 2, 2011  "Echo Theatre" DO JUMP! is one-third of a century old (well, almost). Come and celebrate with us this Holiday Season! We will be performing works from the past 33.333... years, including favorites from At Such a Di


Family Day

December 18, 2010 from 11am to 3pm – Oregon Historical Society Spend the first weekend of winter break at the Oregon History Museum and enjoy a variety of fun family activities and crafts! Learn about trains during this family day and see a historic model train


Handel's Messiah

December 18, 2010 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall The Oregon Symphony. The Portland Symphonic Choir. Together in Handel's Messiah: It’s what classic holiday memories are made of. No matter how many times you've heard Handel's Messiah, you've never


Handmade NW Formal Holiday Artisans Fair 2010!

December 19, 2010 from 11am to 5pm – The Acadian Ballroom Handmade NW Formal Holiday Artisans Fair 2010! When: Date(s): Sunday, December 19th, 2010 Time(s): 11am - 5pm Location: The Acadian Ballroom 1829 Northeast Alberta Street Portland, OR 97211 Details


Sing-Along Messiah Benefits Neighborhood House December 20th

December 20, 2010 from 7pm to 9pm – St. Mark Presbyterian Church Sing-Along Messiah at St. Mark on December 20th Benefits Neighborhood House Portland pianist Michael Barnes Will Accompany Dozens of Local Voices Portland – The Portland community is invited to enjoy


Christmas at the Old Church

November 24, 2010 to December 25, 2010  "The Old Church" Christmas Holiday Concerts and Events at the Old Church run through the month. There are numerous concerts. Visit website for list of events and times:


ZooLights 2010, Portland Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo

November 26, 2010 to January 2, 2011  "Portland Oregon Zoo" See the zoo transformed into a winter wonderland, aglow with a million lights.* More than 200 animated animals swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they'


Portland Winter Wonderland of Lights

November 26, 2010 to December 25, 2010  Portland International Raceway Recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as the "Largest Holiday Light Show West of the Mississippi", the 18th annual Jubitz Winter Wonderland - Powered by Comcast will grab your attention with gl


Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights

November 26, 2010 to December 30, 2010  "The Grotto" 23nd Annual Christmas Festival of Lights November 26, 2010-Thursday, December 30, 2010 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. with gates closing at 10 p.m. Closed Christmas Day $8.00 general admission $4 children ages 3-

Looking for something else? We have a ton of other local Portland events -- check 'em out and feel free to add your own!


A walk in the Rose Garden by Lorri


Neighborhood Tour: Belmont

Like the Hawthorne District, the Belmont Street area is a very popular area in southeast Portland. With a strong sense of Portland individuality, Belmont has many locally owned coffee shops, markets, and distinctive shops and restaurants. Belmont Street is a favorite destination for many locals, whether it's for an afternoon at the Avalon, a night at the Blue Monk, or a cup of joe at the neighborhood coffee shop. This area has a nice mix of urban diversity, with a funky feel, and local color.  

Read more about Belmont to discover who lives here, what local life is like and what local businesses make up this neighborhood.

Want to research or find other neighborhoods? We have nearly 100 neighborhood profiles detailing the urban Portland neighborhoods.

Just moved to Portland or planning the move?  Learn about moving to Portland.



November 2010 Portland Oregon Real Estate Report:  What's Happening?
By Ross Seligman

December 2010 Portland Oregon Real Estate Report:  What's Happening?

They are a comparison of November 2009 - November 2010 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 

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 November 2010, we see a drop in inventory from October with 3629 homes on the market. This strong buyer's market means that sellers have to make sure they are doing all of the steps necessary to sell their home.  If you are a seller and have any questions about this, feel free to contact me.  In November 2010, 432 homes sold and 492 are pending for sale.  

Yearly change from November 09 to November 10:

For Sale: 3255 in November 09, 3629 in November 10. Inventory is Up 11.5%

Sold homes: 662 sold in November 09, 432 sold in November 10. Sales are Down 34.7%.

Pending sales: 412 pending for sale in November 09, 492 pending for sale in November 10. Pending sales are Up 19.4%.

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square foot in Portland, Oregon has been between $136 and $148. In November 2010, the average price per square foot in Portland was $139.

Yearly change from November 09 to November 10:

Average price per square foot in November 09 was $144. In November 10 it is $139. This figure has dropped 3.1%.

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, 68 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 2010, sellers were getting, on average, 92% of their original asking price.

Yearly change from November 09 to November 10:

Average time it takes to sell a home in November 09 was 63 days. In November 10, it is 68 days.  An increase of time on market of 7.9%. 

The percentage of original listing price that was paid was 93% in November 09 and is 92% in November 10.

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 November 2010, this figure was $282,000.

Yearly change from November 09 to November 10:

The average price of a home listed in November 09 was $382,000. In November 10, $342,000. This figure has decreased by 10.5%.

The average price of a home sold in November 09 was $272,000. In November 10 it was $282,000 This figure 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 November 2010, this figure was 8.4 months based on closed sales. Portland is currently, on average, a strong buyer's market.

This does NOT mean that it will take, on average, 8.4 months for your home to sell. That number was 68 days, remember? It means that, if not a single listing were to come on the market in Multnomah County from this moment, it would take 8.4 months for all available homes to sell before there would be nothing left.

Yearly change from November 09 to November 10:

The months of inventory in November 09 was 4.9 months. In November 10, it is 8.4 months. This figure has increased by 70.8%. 

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 people, 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.

View the original article by Portland Realtor and Ecobroker, Ross Seligman.


St Johns Bridge by Tyger


Best Real Estate Deals in Portland

Every week, Ross shares with us a selection of the best real estate deals in Portland.  Check out the full list of best deals.

414 NW 22ND AVE Portland, OR 97210 - Northwest District - $729,000

See the listing here:

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


That's it for now

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