Sponsored by Oregon Business

Home sales cool but the value holds steady

| Print |  Email
Archives - September 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007


STATEWIDE Summer, thy name was volatile. The stock market, the subprime mortgage industry, the national housing market — the “v” word was the one-size-fits-all way to describe the downs and, well, downs that touched nearly every corner of the U.S. economy. But in Oregon’s real-estate market, that interaction comes in a surprising way.

It’s no secret home sales are shrinking. In the Willamette Valley, sales are down by 2.3% from last year; in Central Oregon, they’re down a fanny-spanking 40.2%. In mid-August, the National Association of Realtors hemmed and hawed and then lowered its projections for 2007 home sales for the eighth time this year — as of this last estimate it’s a 6.8% drop compared to last year.

But here’s the surprise: Oregon, and especially the Portland region, is one of the few places in the nation where homes are bucking the median-sale-price depreciation trend. By the beginning of summer, the national median price had fallen 1.8% compared to last year. Not the Portland region. There it was up 9.3%. Eugene, Roseburg and other cities had similar increases.

Why is this happening? The answers really aren’t that shocking. Gerard Mildner, director of Portland State University’s Center for Real Estate, points to several major contributors: an economy that’s driven by exports, whether ag or high tech; regional job growth that’s outstripped the national economy in each of the last three years; land-use laws that prevent over-building and thereby increase the price of developable land.

In other words, Oregon’s a desirable place. And in a national housing market that is — here’s that word again — volatile, steady appreciation makes the state very hot, says national real estate analyst Mike Colpitts.

Colpitts and a team of economists with the independent company Housingpredictor.com regularly crunch the numbers for 250 local markets around the nation. For all of 2007, Portland has made their top 10 buyers’ markets.

“[That appreciation] says a lot for your long-term growth. That’s why Oregon has so many Californians up there now,” he says, laughing.

This is not to say that the Oregon real estate world is a completely happy place these days. Mildner thinks that in Bend — where single-family home construction dropped by 45% — the real-estate boom is kaput. And how long will home sales in other places continue to drop? The only consensus is that it’ll last to the end of the year.

In the meantime, Natalie Middleton with the Regional Multiple Listing Service in Portland says she’s keeping her eye one thing: that appreciation rate.

“We’re holding our breath wondering if we’ll see that begin to change,” she says.                     


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


More Articles

Mayoral musings

Linda Baker
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
091515-mayors-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be the year of the outsider, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump capturing leads in the polls and the headlines. In Portland, Wheeler vs. Hales is bucking the outlier trend.


Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Child care challenge

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


Cutting Edge

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

“There wasn’t a reason shaving with a straight razor should have been taken over by shaving with disposable razors.”

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02