Tight Inventory, Surging Prices Making It Tough On Would-Be Homebuyers in Portland

By Jon Bell, Portland Business Journal

The lack of inventory in Portland's residential market is helping to push up not only home prices, but prospective buyers' frustration, as well.

The latest Market Action Report from the Regional Multiple Listing Serviceshows that the average sales price for a Portland home in April hit $397,700 — up from $385,100 in March and up from $347,500 in April 2015. The average time on market sunk to 43 days, and though inventory ticked up a slight bit in April over March, from a 1.3-month supply to 1.4 months, the lack of available homes continues to keep the market tight.

Low inventory in the Portland residential real estate market is keeping prices high — and would-be buyers frustrated.Enlarge

Low inventory in the Portland residential real estate market is keeping prices high… more

ANDY DEAN

"More listings came on the market on a monthly basis starting in March, but the market is more intense than a year ago," said Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. "Interest rates are still unbelievably low, but buyers still struggling to find a home in this market are starting to feel the toll."

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Other stats from the latest report show that new listings in April were up about 3.4 percent over April of last year. The month saw 4,082 new listings hit the market; at present there are 3,721 active listings in the metro region.

Both closed and pending sales in April were down a bit over last year, as well.

“It’s all about buyer frustration and the power of the back-up offer," said Israel Hill, managing broker with John L. Scott Portland Northeast. "With continued limited inventory and neighborhoods near job centers virtually sold out, we are closely monitoring buyer frustration. After losing out in a number of bidding wars, buyers may find that they cannot stomach another disappointment of not getting their home."

On the other hand, Hill said, some buyers who are winning the bidding wars have experienced sticker shock when they realize just what they've gotten themselves into. That's led more than a few to bail out of transactions, giving other buyers another shot.

"Many buyers are backing out after the dust settles, and this gives those backup buyers a second chance," he said. "Don't be afraid of second place if you’re a buyer."

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:08 am
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