Home values in the Portland area continued to grow faster than any other metro area in the nation for the sixth straight month in March, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.
The local market in March posted 12.3 percent year-over-year gains in home values, which was the largest increase by a significant margin among the 20 metro areas surveyed. Seattle (10.8 percent) and Denver (10 percent) were the only other two regions to post double-digit annual gains.
"It remains a tough home buying season for buyers, with little inventory available among lower-priced homes," said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, in an email. "The competition is locking out some first-time buyers, who instead are paying record-high rents."
Portland's inventory has been historically low recently. The latest report from the local Regional Multiple Listing Service showed inventory at a miniscule 1.4 months in April. The figure estimates how long it would take for all current homes on the market to sell at the current pace. (Six months of inventory indicates a balanced market.)
Prices have also reached record highs; the average sale price in the Portland area was $397,700 in April and the median reached $350,000.
Nationally, home values in March posted annual gains of 5.2 percent, the Case-Shiller report found, down from 5.3 percent the previous month.
"Home prices are continuing to rise at a 5 percent annual rate, a pace that has held since the start of 2015," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, in a news release. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates."
Blitzer added that the number of homes currently for sale is "less than two percent of the number of households in the U.S., the lowest percentage seen since the mid-1980s."
"The Pacific Northwest and the west continue to be the strongest regions," Blizter said.
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By Janet Eastman, The Oregonian / Oregonlive
So far this year, eight Oregon residential properties have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Is your house a candidate? It may qualify if it's an important part of American history, architecture, archaeology or engineering, and at least 50 years old, although there are exceptions.
"The National Register recognizes buildings, sites and other properties significant to our past for their design, their importance in our history, and/or their association with historical figures," says Diana J Painter, an architectural historian with the State Historic Preservation Office, which administers the federal Register program in Oregon.
There are 2,030 individually listed Oregon buildings in the National Register, not counting historic districts. Of those, 1,031 were originally domestic spaces of some type and 794 are or were single family dwellings, says Painter.
Once a house is approved, homeowners can hang up a plaque announcing that their house is on the National Register. But there are also financial perks and local regulations for having a house listed.
Restrictions vary by local county or city governments. Check with your local planning department to determine the level of regulation in your community.
Benefits include tax credits, grants and certain building code leniency.
A federal tax credit program can save owners 20 percent of qualifying costs of rehabilitating income-producing building. Owners with a preservation plan can apply to freeze the assessed value of the property for a 10-year period. And owners can apply for Preserving Oregon grants, which are in limited.
The property may also be eligible for waivers of certain code requirements in the
interest of preserving its integrity.
Here are the houses that have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places so far in 2015, which were built a century apart and range in style from classic to modern:
Circa 1857-1866 Hannah and Eliza Gorman House in Corvallis was listed on Feb. 24: The simple wood house is one of the rare settlement-era dwellings remaining in the Willamette Valley, and one of even fewer buildings left in Oregon that are associated with African American pioneers. Mother and daughter, Hannah and Eliza Gorman, were former slaves who immigrated from Missouri to Oregon over the Oregon Trail in 1844. They worked as a laundress and seamstress, purchased the property and built their house when Oregon's exclusion laws prohibited African Americans from owning property. Eliza Gorman died in 1869 and Hannah moved to Portland and in 1875 she sold the house and property in Corvallis.
1896 Peter John Lindberg House in Port Orford was listed on Jan. 7: The Queen Anne-style residence was designed and constructed between 1892 and 1896. Notable architectural details include decorative unpainted wood shingles laid in complex patterns, a distinctive two-story tower and a prominent bay window. Businessman and community leader Peter J. Lindberg arrived in Port Orford in 1882 with his wife and family. Though lacking formal training, Lindberg constructed many buildings in the community, including the National Register-listed 1898 Patrick and Jane Hughes farm house. The remaining homes built by Lindberg exhibit fine craftsmanship and embody the key features of the Queen Anne-style, including a complex shape and ornate decoration. His personal home is the best example of his work.
1907 DeGuire-Ludowitzki House in Silverton was listed on March 3: The Colonial Revival-style house is a classic foursquare. It is two stories tall with four relatively equally-sized rooms on each floor arranged around an entry and stair. Flexible foursquare floor plans could be in a number of styles, including Colonial Revival, which drew inspiration from classical architecture. This house exhibits the style though the symmetrical placement of windows and doors with decorative trim, round wood Doric columns supporting the wrap-around porch, corner boards and wide fascia at the roofline. Charles Francis DeGuire, who was the son of one of Silverton's established families, constructed the home. He later sold the residence to German immigrant and local builder John Ludowitzki and his wife Mary. The house remained in the Ludowitzki family after their death until 1938.
1911 C. Hunt Lewis and Gertrude McClintock House in Portland's Dunthorpe suburb was listed March 3: The Jacobean-Tudor Revival-style house is a combination of English Tudor and Elizabethan architecture. Cicero Hunt Lewis, Jr. worked for his family-owned Security Savings and Trust Co. and wholesale grocery business, and owned orchards in Medford. He commissioned his brother, accomplished architect David C. Lewis, to design a residence with an asymmetrical floor plan, steep roof lines, multiple chimneys, half-timbering exterior wall surfaces and multiple-light windows.
1912 Malcolm McDonald House in the Orenco neighborhood of Hillsboro was listed on Jan. 14: The house, now owned by the City of Hillsboro, is a large, stately, Arts and Crafts residence built for Malcolm McDonald, one of the two men responsible for expanding the Oregon Nursery Co. and founding the community of Orenco. The house was built in the same style as the nearby residence of his business partner Archibald McGill and the office of the Oregon Nursery Co., which became the largest nursery on the West Coast.
1924 Louise Adams House in Silverton was listed on March 3: The Craftsman-style house has a characteristic low-pitch roof, broad roof overhangs, decorative bracing with exposed rafter ends, multi-light windows and an open interior floor plan. The octagonal porch, however, sets it apart from other Craftsmans. Prominent lawyer, businessman and politician Louis J. Adams had the building and another on an adjacent lot, which he gifted to his daughter, Louise. She was a bookkeeper at the Coolidge & McClaine Bank then moved when she married newspaper lithographer Timothy Brownhill in 1933. She returned after her divorce in 1954 to live in the house until her death in 1988.
1951 William J. and Sarah Wagner Lippincott House outside Williams was listed on May 18: (See photos and longer story) The modern house built with Douglas fir and Arizona sandstone was designed by University of California, Berkeley architect Winfield Scott Welington. The Lippincotts, who were archaeologists, owned a trading post in the Southwest and promoted the arts of the Navajo Indians before they purchased this 800-acre ranch in 1948. The property was owned by Steve Miller of the Steve Miller band from 1976 to 1986, who built a recording studio here. Today the 400-acre property is owned by Pacifica: A Garden in the Siskiyous, a nonprofit foundation that operates the property as a nature center, community center and events center.
1952 David and Marianne Ott House in Gresham was listed on April 20: The house was designed in the Northwest Regional style by architect John W. Storrs, who also designed the Portland Garden Club, Salishan Lodge in Gleneden Beach and the Western Forestry Center in Portland's Washington Park. Storrs knew Marianne Ott's parents, Walter H. and Florence Holmes Gerke, who were prominent landscape architects in the Portland area. The Ott House has retained its historic character and its a semi-rural location. Marianne Ott still lives in the house.
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