Sponsored by Oregon Business

Housing market still hurting

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

STATEWIDE When it comes to Oregon’s sluggish Metro housing markets, there is a painful difference between approaching the bottom and reaching it.

Ever since Portland home prices crossed into negative territory in January for the first time since 1987, the big question has been, where does the plunge end and the rebound begin? Falling home prices have led some optimists to declare, as an Oregonian headline did on Aug. 27, that the housing market is “bottoming out.” But step one to a rebound would be an up-tick in home sales, and that isn’t happening. Sales are down more than 30% in Portland, Eugene, Medford and Bend.

Even with a precipitous drop in new home-building, the Portland market remains bloated with more than 10 months worth of inventory and clouded by more than 6,000 uncorrected subprime mortgages and no-document “liar loans” that will eventually be re-set or “re-cast,” bringing higher monthly payments followed by new foreclosures.

The median home price fell $22,000 over the past year. How much further does it need to drop to get the market moving again?

Mark McMullen, a Lake Oswego-based senior economist for Moody’s Economy, predicts that the Portland market will bottom out at a median home price of $260,000 midway through 2009, and will remain flat for the remainder of the year before rebuilding slowly. That would represent a 14% price drop from the market’s peak of $302,000 in August 2007.

“In the coming months we’ll start to see the market firm up, and then we’ll see builders who are forward-looking applying for permits again,” predicts McMullen. “But it will be a while before the market is back in shape.”

Tim Duy, a University of Oregon economics professor who compiles the UO Index of Economic Indicators, thinks prices may have to drop even lower. “Conditions are still very weak, and prices remain, on average, too high,” he says. “Housing prices have swelled beyond what is affordable for people at most income levels in Oregon. Until that situation is corrected, I expect the housing market to remain challenged.”

BEN JACKLET



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Which Way to Chinatown?

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

The Jade International District, already Portland's center of Asian life, is poised for rejuvenation. Where does that leave the westside's historic Chinatown?


Read more...

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


Read more...

Grassroots movement pursues carbon bills

News
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
eventthumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.


Read more...

The week journalism died

Linda Baker
Sunday, February 15, 2015
deadjournalismthumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.


Read more...

Money Talks

March 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.


Read more...

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

10 Twitter highlights from #OR100Best

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
100bestBY OB STAFF

Oregon Business held its  22nd annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon celebration Thursday night in the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS