The Portland Metro Residential Market Action report is a monthly review provided by the RMLS, a database where real estate agents are required to post home listings for their region. January 2019 showed signs of cooling which is typical for the seasonal/winter months. Also reported were higher inventory and lower prices compared to preceding months.
Two important data points I’d like to discuss are inventory levels and median home selling price. Together, these two metrics can help you decide the best time to buy or sell.
Inventory levels are a leading indicator of market strength. Inventory levels for January were reported at 3.3, meaning if no new homes came on the market, it would take 3.3 months until inventory sold out completely (at the current rate of sales). Many economists consider 6 as a “neutral” or “balanced” market, with anything lower than 6 being a seller’s market, and anything higher than 6 being a buyer’s market.
Median Home Selling Price
The median home price for January 2019 was reported at $384,900, a 1.3% decrease from the previous month. Lake Oswego and West Linn came in with the highest median home selling price at $532,500.
Here’s what median home sale prices looked like across Portland city proper:
West Portland: $525,000
North Portland: $379,500
NE Portland: $370,000
SE Portland: $357,000
January 2019 Report Takeaways
This winter will be a great time to buy and is unique because prices have fallen (which is typical), but inventory has risen (which isn’t typical). While January’s reported inventory is “higher” than its preceding months, the Portland Metro area inventory continues to stay historically low. If you’re looking to buy, you can take advantage of current low interest rates, lower prices, and higher inventory. If you’re looking to sell, pricing your home becomes even more important. With fewer buyers and more inventory, homes that are overpriced tend to be overlooked. As the weather improves and we move into spring/summer, the number of buyers historically increases. Waiting until the spring/summer to list your home is a viable option, as long as interest rates don’t creep up (which is a whole other topic I’ll discuss in a later blog).