Portland Home & Real Estate News Blog

by Andy Harris, Real Estate Broker, Home Team Realty

Jan. 2, 2019

Portland Real Estate Market Update - January, 2019

2018 is now old news and we're now heading to unknown territory in 2019. After a very hot few years in the Portland housing market, the numbers are pointing to a softening and a leveling off of the market. Gone are the days of 20%+ appreciation rates, but we still remain in a strong market that's statistically a seller's market. 

Andy touches on just a few points in a brief 2 minute video on things to keep in mind for this month and the year ahead. Check it out and drop him a line with questions or thoughts!

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Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com. 

Oct. 19, 2018

Portland Real Estate Market Update - October, 2018

It's been said before and it appears again that the times they are a changin'. After years of scorching home sales and minimal housing inventory, the market has started to soften. Andy shares some brief thoughts and important information on the current state of Portland real estate market and what that means for prospective buyers and sellers.

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Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com. 

Oct. 3, 2018

Portland First Time Home Buyer Informational Video

Are you a first time home buyer in the Portland area looking for some helpful tips and information? 

This video shares essential home buying information as you consider buying your first home or condo in the Portland, Oregon metro area. It includes information on special lending programs for first time home buyers and the keys to success for your first home purchase.

Check it out below!

Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com. 

July 25, 2018

Portland Real Estate Market Update - Q2, 2018

Everywhere you turn there's chatter about the real estate market continuing to soften in Portland. That said, the market remains strong and firmly in a seller's market. The trends still do indicate we're creeping back to a more balanced market.

What does that actually mean for prospective buyers and sellers? It could indicate a prime time to both buy and sell.

Let's get into the numbers first and see what's actually happening.

Inventory

If you've been reading my blog and particularly my market updates with any regularity, then you know that the the first indicator I like to look is housing inventory. Measured in months, it tells us how many houses are on the market and how fast they're selling. A balanced market is around 5-7 months of inventory.

For the past few years, we've been sitting firmly at about 1.3-2.3 months. In practice, I'd say you can feel a difference ever .2 - .3 months of inventory changes. Can I tell the difference between 1.5 and 1.6 months? No...but I can definitely feel the difference between 1.5 and 2.0 months.

With the above graph, you can see that we were at 2.1 months in June. You'll note some trends between seasons (Fall is slower and therefore has higher inventory numbers as compared to the Spring months), so it's important to compare apples to apples. 

April, May and June 2016-2017 averaged 1.52 months of inventory, whereas 2018 saw an average of 1.93 months of inventory - a 27% increase. Obviously that's a significant change. So what else is going on?

New Listings, Pending Sales & Closed Sales

New listings in April, May and June, 2018 totaled 13,169. Those same month in 2017 totaled 12,886, an increase of about 2.1%.

Pending sales were 9268 in 2018 and 9977 in 2017, or a drop of about 7.1%.

2Q 2018 closed sales equaled 8272, and 2017 saw those numbers equal 8302, so we've only seen a .4% drop in closed sales.

Overall, there's been an increase in listings, less pending sales and less closed sales...more sellers, less buyers. This all helps to explain the higher housing inventory levels.

Median Sales Price

Portland metro homes prices are up again and were at $417,900 in June, up from $390,000 a year prior. While the market cools, this is a good moment to remember that it's cooling from peak heat! Portland led the nation in appreciation rates for 2 years, so this is all relative and we've still seen a 7.2% appreciation rate over the past year!

What's This All Mean?! 

Buyers  

If you are a potential buyer, there are a few things to consider - including the overall market trends, interest rates, supply and demand, and inventory rates.

Almost all of the reading I've done lately has pointed to a slowing market, but continued solid appreciation. This stands to reason with inventory still firmly showing a seller's market, solid population growth estimates, projections of rates of appreciation in the 4-5% range for the next 12 months, and mortgage interest rates still historically very low. It appears to be a great time to jump in now before interest rates possibly push north and impact one's purchasing power.

- Search Portland Metro Properties here - 

Sellers

If you were hoping to time the peak of the market - good luck with that! :) - I'd suggest giving it some more time as I believe house values will keep rising until further notice. Job numbers are still extremely strong so it appears most of the country agrees with me as companies keep hiring and aren't cutting back on their labor costs. Barring some unexpected national or international meltdown, things look optimistic for continued, though slower, appreciation. 

- Track Home Sale Activity in Your Area with A Market Report -

Sellers AND Buyers

If you are looking to do a buy and sell at the same time transaction, now might be the ideal time to make the move. The market has pushed up substantially over the past few years, so you'll be getting great value out of your investment, while also taking advantage of still low interest rates. When/if interest rates push up high enough it could put downward pressure on your home's value AND decrease your purchasing power.

If you're looking for any help for your real estate endeavors, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Enjoy the rest of your summer,

Andy

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Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com. 

July 20, 2018

Spotlight on Portland - Mike Freeman Tattoo Artist

Hello and welcome back to our Spotlight on Portland series! The latest in our Spotlight series highlighting local, Portland businesses features the Portland tattoo artist Mike Freeman from Oddball Studios in Southeast Portland.

Mike is talented, kind, and funny, so we highly recommend you check him out sometime soon if you're considering adding some ink to your collection!

Mike is graciously and generously offering 3 prizes for our readers! He is offering up one hour of free tattoo work to one lucky winner and a free, limited edition artwork print for two other lucky winners. Please visit this post our Facebook page for details and to enter!

Now, on to our conversation...

How long have you been tattooing in Portland and at OddBall Tattoo?

I have been working at Oddball for 16 years as of this August! I apprenticed under Jason Leisge for two years and then got licensed in 2004.

Mike Freeman, front and center, at Oddball Studios

Mike Freeman (front & center) at Oddball Studios

How has it been working at the same shop for so long?

It is pretty cool, at least to me. It is kind of weird because I don't know many people my age who have worked in the same two rooms for over 15 years. Sometimes I ask myself if it would be more ambitious to leave, but I just love it here. I have been really lucky to work with some incredibly inspiring tattooers here over the years. Some people have really good technique, some can draw or paint or maybe they run their operations in a certain special way. So i feel like my hands have been pretty full just learning from my coworkers and guest tattooers.

How has the city changed since you started and how has that changed your work?

I moved up here from the bay area in 2001. I was young and looking for cheap rent and a house with a basement to play music in. Back then the city felt a little more blue collar. I think there were good and bad things about how it was. Back then I think most tattooers here knew each other or at least knew of one another. There were probably less than 100 tattooers here then. The last I heard, there is over 500 shops in the metro area now. So that sense of community has changed. Portland has always offered me a lot in the way of clients. I have built a good life for myself and met some of the most fascinating people. I love hearing people's wild stories.

As the culture of tattooing has developed here I have definitely noticed more collector type clients who want a little something from a bunch of tattooers.

I understand you do a fair bit of traveling to other cities/states to do tattoo work. Is there any difference with tattooing in Oregon compared to other states?

The biggest difference to me is probably the licensing and laws. Oregon is one of the strictest states. In Oregon we have to be state licensed and keep records of all sterilization processes and standards for applications and things like that.

Do you have a specific style of tattooing that you specialize in?

I really enjoy a few different types of tattoos. I like american traditional, japanese, nature scenes and black and gray too. Funny tattoos are always a hoot too.

I bet you have quite a few interesting stories from your time as a tattoo artist. Is there a particular story or experience that stands out?

Most of those stories aren't really cut out for being on the record. I did once tattoo an Olympic medalist who told me they got drunk and tried to meet Kristi Yamaguchi during her time as an announcer. I guess they thought they were a maniac or something and kicked them out. They ended up having to sneak back in to the Olympic Village. We also happen to have a current olympian client who is on the synchronized swimming team. She is really nice.

Do you have a tattoo or two that you've done recently that you really love?

I just finished a big squid on a thigh. It was super fun. I ended up making a nice friend and the tattoo came out great. It is always so rewarding to see a large tattoo come together. It takes a special kind of person to commit to a tattoo on that scale and endure the pain to get it. It makes large scale pieces uniquely powerful.

Thigh tattoo by Mike Freeman

Arm tattoo by Mike Freeman

Art by Mike Freeman

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As a Portland area real estate agent, I strive to add value to visitors of my website and social media pages by providing useful and helpful real estate information, market updates, tips and tricks for buyers and sellers, and more. 

Additionally, I believe in the idea of building community and relationships whenever possible. I am hoping use my platform to help connect people to the many wonderful small businesses in town. No matter where you live in Portland, there are many amazing people in your close proximity that are working tirelessly to provide something special for you, something that they believe in, something that they have expertise and passion in.

If you are a small business owner and would like to be featured on this series, please contact andy@hometeamportland.com.  

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Previous Spotlight on Portland articles:

The Galvanizing Group - Brand Strategy Consulting, Speaking, Coaching and More.

Bhaktishop Yoga Center - Yoga Classes and Teacher Trainings

July 16, 2018

Identity Theft Protection Services

Last year I posted an article about a huge data breach at one of the big three credit monitoring services that triggered a lot of fear about people's identities being stolen.

Having been a victim of identity theft myself, I understand how harmful it can be and how much time and effort it can take to deal with the situation. And while my situation was "a pain", I'm sure others have had it so much worse.

Identity theft can happen to anyone no matter their background or the precautions they are taking. The truth is that there is no way to actually prevent your identity from being stolen. The best that we can do to protect ourselves is sign up for an identity theft protection service to monitor our credit and personal information. These services will alert you quickly for any theft, and will provide legal support in restoring your identity should your identity be stolen. If you're unsure of which provider to use, this resource helps you navigate your options:

https://www.reviews.com/identity-theft-protection-services/

Regardless of what decision you make, I hope that you are able to prevent and/or avoid any identity theft situations in your future!

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Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com.

June 18, 2018

Comparing Home Prices and Activity Across Portland Metro Region - June, 2018

One of the things that I love about Portland is the variety of areas to live in. From the urban, walkable areas full of restaurants, cafes and shopping, to the suburbs with the big lots, elbow room, and peace and tranquility, to the more rural regions full of farms, and space and quietude.

Those different areas carry different price points, depending on the combination of amenities and traits that they contain.

If you are looking to buy and are gathering information about different price points, then this should offer you some interesting insight into where you might want to focus your efforts.

If you are looking to sell, this can offer some clarity - or at least some idea - of what homes are selling for in your area, how fast, and how much competition you might face. 

Of course I'm here to help you with either endeavor - just reach out to me at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com!

If you are looking for more information on the Portland are market, be sure to check out my 2018 Q1 market update here!

- MEDIAN SALE PRICE, MAY, 2018 -

 

 

- Listing Counts, Market Time, Closed Sales, Sales Prices -

Posted in Market News
June 8, 2018

How to Settle Into Your Home Quickly After a Move

Moving into a new home is a tiring process for most people, and after all your belongings are relocated, the idea of unpacking and getting things settled may feel overwhelming. There’s a lot involved, including cleaning the spaces and figuring out where furniture will be placed. If you take the time to plan a few things out before you get started, the process will go much more smoothly and you can reduce the stress that can come with a move.

One thing that will help is to have a floor plan of the new place before you move. Knowing what each room looks like, where windows and doors are located, and how big the space is will help you plan for decor and how to arrange your belongings ahead of time, potentially saving you hours after the move. You should also make it a point to declutter as much as possible before you pack, and downsize where applicable. This means getting rid of items you no longer need, such as old clothing, so be prepared to part with a few things. 

For some great tips on how to settle into your home quickly after a move, keep reading.

Set up the backyard

If you enjoy being outdoors, setting up your backyard will help your new house feel more like a home right away. You might add a patio table and chairs, situate your grill in a safe place away from the house, string up some festive twinkle lights, and get a few potted plants for some color. If there’s no fence, consider planting a “living fence” made out of evergreen trees and shrubs on your property line. Not only will this give you some privacy year-round, it will provide an interesting aesthetic to your space. For some great tips on how to get started, read on here.

Make small repairs

Even if your new home is relatively new age-wise, there may still be small DIY projects you want to complete, such as changing the hardware on cabinets or updating light fixtures. Try to get these little things done quickly so that you can really make the house feel like a home. Just remember to make sure you have the right tools for each job before you get started.

Recreate familiar spaces

Getting used to a new place can take some time, but if you make an effort to recreate some familiar spaces, you’ll settle in a little faster. You might be tempted to buy new furniture or new accessories for your bathroom, but keeping those items and bringing them into your new home can make the transition a lot easier, especially if you have children. 

Make it cozy

Adding scented candles, soft blankets, and your favorite pieces of art can help make your new place feel much more comfortable. In spring and summer, add a few houseplants for a pop of color and to break up the space. Clean all your bedding, towels, and kitchen linens right away and put them away in their new closet or linen drawer; having a freshly made bed is essential to feeling comfortable in any new place.

Have a plan for your furniture

Knowing how you want to arrange your furniture will be extremely helpful in settling in; it can be hard to find the energy to arrange a room after you’ve moved and unpacked a lot of boxes. It may help to draw a plan out on a piece of paper so you’ll have a visual representation of where things should go.

Settling into a new home can take time if you aren’t prepared, so be thinking of the best ways to make the space feel comfortable for the whole family. With a good plan and a little hard work, you can make a new house feel like a home in no time. 

By: Natalie Jones, homeownerbliss.info 
Image: Pixabay by Erika Whittlieb

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Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, please don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com.

Posted in Buyers
May 30, 2018

Update: Now Licensed in Washington State!

Hello friends!

I just wanted to provide an update to let you know that I now have my real estate license in Washington state (in addition to Oregon). After previously being licensed in Illinois, it's now the 3rd state that I've been licensed in. Thrilling, I know. And just to clarify, I no longer have a license in IL.

It is important to me and my clients that I can now service both sides of the Columbia River. This is particularly helpful in cases where a buyer or seller is considering doing a transaction(s) in both Oregon or Washington and doesn't want to use two agents on either side of the river. I mean, you wouldn't want to have a checking account at one bank and a savings account at another, right? That's a pain! I'm a walking one-stop shop, people.

While Home Team Realty has always had at least one agent licensed in Washington, we now have 3 of our 4 agents licensed in what was the 42nd state admitted to the union in 1889. Just a little tidbit of info for you there...thanks Wikipedia!

Towns that we cover in Washington are Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, Battle Ground, Ridgefield and Woodland.

In Oregon, we've worked everywhere from St. Helens to Troutdale, and North Portland to Sandy and Oregon City and beyond. Needless to say we cover a large area of land, but with 4 agents and roughly 50 years of collective experience, we can hack it!

Drop me a line if I can help on either side of the river!

andy@hometeamportland.com  --  503-504-2369

All the best,

Andy Harris
Broker | Home Team Realty & Home Team Realty WA
Oregon license number: 201214054
Washington license number: 134588

Posted in Communities, Etcetera
May 9, 2018

Portland Real Estate Market Update - Q1, 2018

The numbers for the first quarter 2018 are in and for the most part the market is in a very familiar place. Housing inventory is low and it remains a hot seller's market. 

That said, activity has cooled from the peak of the market. Gone are the days when I would be running a price opinion and would consistently see appreciation rates in various zip codes in the 15-29% range year over year. Nowadays, most all the appreciation I'm seeing is in the 3-7% range. 

Here are the numbers that support the slower appreciation...

2017 year to date through March:

New listings: 3604
Pending sales: 3043
Closed sales: 2494
Average sales price: $428,400
Median sales price: $370,000

2018 year to date through March:

New listings: 3648 (up 1.2%)
Pending sales: 2894 (down 4.9%)
Closed sales: 2371 (down 4.9%)
Average sales price: $445,900 (up 4.1%)
Median sales price: $395,000 (up 6.8%)

Obviously things are solid enough to be pushing up the sales prices, but depending on which metric you prefer (I like the median sales price), prices are up between 4.1-6.8%. That's a far cry from the days of 11-12% or so.

You can also see that there are more listings on the market, but less pending and closed sales. So things are slowing down a bit. It stands to reason that as prices push up, demand will slow. 

But let's not over sell the softening of the market! Housing inventory for this year has been:

Jan: 2.2 (months)
Feb: 1.9 
Mar: 1.6

A more even market would be at roughly 5-7 months of inventory.

Last year, housing inventory for January, February and March was 1.7, 1.9, and 1.3, respectively. So there are more homes to choose from and we are up slightly, but we're still firmly entrenched in a seller's market.

As for the future, I foresee a continuation of a solid but more reigned in real estate market for the Portland area. Locally, we continue to grow with strong population projections, so I don't personally believe the local Portland market is anything to fear. 

Things to keep an eye on are the larger market forces - interest rates are expected to slowly rise, which should put downward pressure on appreciation. Then there's always national and international forces that can wreak havoc on our local market. There's enough chaos in the news that there's always some risk given the turbulent political climate both home and abroad.

Boiling it down, it still seems like a good time to buy or sell, but that there are risk factors to consider - as always! 

If you have any questions about the market or how we can help you with your real estate needs, please contact me today at andy@hometeamportland.com or 503-504-2369!

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Andy Harris is a Portland area real estate agent, who first started in real estate in 2004. If you are looking for buying or selling residential real estate help, don't hesitate to drop him a line at 503-504-2369 or andy@hometeamportland.com.

 

Posted in Market News