The sign in front of a house for sale in Northeast Portland. (Elliot Njus/Staff, File)
Portland-area home prices grew slower in April than those of the nation as a whole for the first time in more than five years.
Home prices continued to rise, climbing 5.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the S&P/CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. The national index rose 6.4 percent.
Twelve of the 20 cities included in the index saw prices rise faster than Portland, led by Seattle, where they climbed 13.1 percent year-over-year.
Portland’s below-average showing is a dramatic reversal from two years ago, when it led the major cities in home-price gains for nearly a year. But it’s also welcome relief to would-be homebuyers, who have watched home prices being bid up far faster than wages or the rate of inflation.
Home price gains have ebbed and flowed since the housing market began to recover from the crash of the last decade, but April saw the slowest annual home-price gain since 2012, in the early days of that recovery.
Prices continue to rise fastest among the lowest-priced homes. The least expensive third of homes, which cost $337,000 or less, saw prices climb 9.5 percent year-over-year. The middle third, from $337,000 to $452,000, saw prices rise 7 percent. The highest tier saw prices rise 4.2 percent.
The median home price in the Portland area was $405,000 in April, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service, and it climbed to $409,000 in May.
The metro has seen sales slow as the number of homes on the market has climbed. But competition remains for the most affordable segment of homes, and those that sell go quickly.