First-time home buyers who have long been thwarted from entering the real estate market by rising prices and interest rates may see a little relief in 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual buyer and seller profile. The survey covers from July 2017 to June 2018.
“Low inventory, rising interest rates, and student loan debt are all factors contributing to the suppression of first-time home buyers,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said in a statement. “However, existing-home sales data shows inventory has been rising slowly on a year-over-year basis in recent months, which may encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market.”
But where are buyers going?
Younger buyers are heading into the suburbs, according to Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research and communication. “Many millennials are moving to the suburbs because it’s more affordable, especially in higher-priced markets,” Lautz said.
Rising student loan debt is a major factor keeping them out of the market. “Every year we’ve collected the data, the amount of debt has gone up,” Lautz said. In 2017, 34 percent of buyers were first-timers; this year that figure was 33 percent, according to the report.
Despite the mounting debt, millennials are the largest demographic of home buyers, she said. That number would be higher, she said, but the cost of construction materials and labor are rising, and strict zoning regulations make building housing especially difficult and expensive.
The report found that single female buyers were outpacing their male counterparts.
“For the second year in a row, single female buyers accounted for 18 percent of all buyers,” according to the report. “The group was the second most common household-buyer type behind married couples (63 percent). Single male buyers came in third and accounted for half the number of buyers as their female counterparts (9 percent). However, single males tended to purchase more expensive homes, with a median price of $215,000, compared with single females, at a median price of $189,000 (the lowest of all household buyer types).”
And buyers are putting down bigger down payments. The average buyer put down 13 percent, up from 10 percent last year. Lautz attributed the increase to the growing number of first-time home buyers who received financial help and the number of move-up buyers using equity in their homes.
The competition for those homes may also be a factor.
Historically low inventory is driving prices up, and reasonably priced homes are selling very quickly across the country, according to NAR. You might think that would drive more sellers to try to sell their homes without a real estate agent and pocket the savings, but the opposite is happening.
A record-low 7 percent of sellers sold their homes without a real estate agent last year. This number has been steadily declining since it peaked in 1981, when 15 percent of owners sold their homes themselves, according to the report.
“I think one of the things happening here is the lingering psychological after-effects of the recession,” Lautz said. “Prices have mostly rebounded, and sellers want to be sure they don’t leave money on the table. They know they don’t know how to price and market the home in today’s market. They don’t want to do it alone. They want a professional.”
If you enjoy walking down Portland’s tree-lined streets to admire lovely old houses, join us on Saturday, October 20th, to tour some of our favorite Irvington, Alameda, and Beaumont-Wilshire homes on ARCIFORM’S Inspired by Family Home Tour.
Our day begins at The Old Church Concert Hall with our free Changing Family Workshop that will demonstrate how to design your home around diverse family needs, including children, pets, house guests, and aging parents. Doors open at 9:00 am and the workshop starts at 10:00 am.
After the workshop, our self-guided tour of five beautifully renovated Northeast Portland homes starts at 12:30 pm and ends at 6:30 pm. Tickets for the tour are $20.00, and all proceeds will benefit the Oregon Humane Society. A printed map that grants you entry to the homes will be distributed at The Old Church. However, if you wish to bypass the workshop, you can receive your tour map at the first home on the tour. If you choose this option, the location of the first home will be provided when purchasing tickets via Eventbrite.
At 6:30 pm, join us for a reception at Christiane Millinger Oriental Rugs & Textiles, located at 2037 NW Lovejoy Street, and see her collection of beautiful rugs and textiles.
The Old Church Concert Hall
1422 SW 11th Avenue
The Old Church Concert Hall was designed by Warren H. Williams in the Carpenter Gothic style, which reinterprets Gothic style in wood rather than stone. Built in 1882, The Old Church is on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior is simple but striking with its architectural details. In the auditorium, cast iron Corinthian columns support a vaulted ceiling with plaster ribs. Over time, the space has been updated: a stage, ramp, and elevator have been added, and the bathrooms have been upgraded. ARCIFORM remodeled the office, designed and installed a weathervane, restored the ceiling, portico, and ramp, and is now renovating the box office.
1937 Neo-Georgian Villa – Beaumont-Wilshire
ARCIFORM designer Anne De Wolf diligently worked through every detail of this updated home with the clients. ARCIFORM is in the final stages of remodeling a kitchen and basement that were tailored to the clients’ lifestyle and addressed their wish to incorporate architectural details from the rest of the house. This couple enjoys cooking and entertaining, and they share the home with a wonderful standard poodle. In the new kitchen, everything but the floors and windows has been replaced. Versatile Wood Products’ cabinetry provides plenty of storage. Beautiful, reflective finishes (like Luce di Luna quartzite counters from Pental and handmade tile by Tempest Tile) bring a subtle, sophisticated shine to the space. In the basement, ARCIFORM renovated the bathroom — adding radiant-heated tile floors, fresh paint, and a new vanity, shower, and other features — remodeled the laundry room, and refreshed the family room.
1916 Colonial Revival – Irvington
The owners of this historic Ellis Lawrence mansion chose a phased remodel. She’s a master gardener, he runs his own company, and they have a busy family life with children and big dogs. ARCIFORM began with the master bath, continued the project with the kitchen, nook and mudroom, and completed the attic bath last. They utilized the historic review process with the City of Portland to maintain the home’s historical importance. The newly remodeled kitchen, sunroom and mudroom are warm and welcoming spaces for the whole family. In the sunroom, a new custom built-in bench under the windows provides ample seating with plush cushions. Here, the homeowners can enjoy eating, working, or reading while the birds chirp away in the garden. The new mudroom has radiant heated floors under Pental’s porcelain tile to warm chilled feet after being out in the weather. The stunning copper hood and a custom self-closing gate to keep the dogs corralled are worth a visit alone. Windows and new cabinets are by Versatile Wood Products, made to closely match the originals, with hardware by House of Antique Hardware, Rejuvenation, and Van Dyke’s Restorers. The tile in the bathroom was sourced through Heritage Tile.
1911 Colonial with Transitional Elements – Irvington
This 1911 Colonial is home to long-time Portlanders with close-knit, large families on both sides. They have two children, with a third one on the way, and a dog named Cole, adopted from the Humane Society eight years ago. With this remodel, designer Anne De Wolf aimed to create better flow and light throughout the space and provide more room for family gatherings. ARCIFORM built a large addition on the back of the house with a covered porch, expanded kitchen, sunroom, breezeway, and a WC. Outside, there will be an area for barbecuing and a decorative balcony. On the second floor, ARCIFORM converted the existing nursery into a bath and remodeled the master bath. New cabinetry is by Versatile Wood Products. Tile is sourced through Tempest Tileworks, Heritage Tile, Dal Tile and Fire Clay.
1929 Tudor Cottage – Alameda
Inside this home resides a busy family with three teenagers and a golden-doodle named Truman. ARCIFORM has completed two phases of remodeling here and is currently in design mode on the third phase. The remodeled kitchen retained its period charm and prioritized the family’s practical needs. The counters are Carrara, the backsplash is gray marble, cabinets are painted white, and the floors are original oak. With three children, the compact space needed to offer flexibility and efficiency. One solution for dietary restrictions was a built-in fridge with freezer and a separate two-drawer refrigerator. Close by, a butcher block pullout counter expands workspace for larger kitchen projects, especially collaborative baking with the kids. The homeowners commented that “ARCIFORM and Anne [De Wolf] really impressed us with how much she honored the original integrity and character of our kitchen and adjacent rooms. The kitchen design carefully balanced making the most use of the existing footprint without compromising the original features of our home.”
1939 Garrison Colonial Revival – Alameda
Built by architect Frank Read in 1939, this charming home belongs to a couple who love to entertain friends and family. ARCIFORM remodeled and expanded their kitchen, the heart of their home, adding beautiful finishes and more space for entertaining. A roof balcony and mudroom were part of the addition as well, and a new concrete patio was created off the addition to give better access to the library. The new spaces are a testament to charm, character and luxury with Oceanside glass tile backsplash from Ann Sacks and leaded glass in the cabinet doors sparkling in the sunlight.
See you on the tour!
With over 21 years in business, ARCIFORM has remodeled more than 200 homes. With the company’s extensive knowledge of the architectural, remodeling and design process, the Design Workshop series will bring you valuable knowledge and planning tools for remodels specializing in historical accuracy combined with modern style.
A change of seasons calls for a change of scenery. Bask in the comfort of the inviting fireplaces in any one of these listings. For more information click here.
The MJ Steen Group recently attended the opening of 21 Astor, NW Portland’s newest luxury rental residence.
“21 Astor provides a distinct living experience within the building while boasting a remarkable location in Portland’s NW 23rd Avenue / Nob Hill neighborhood. With a myriad of fine-dining options, upscale boutiques, and local flare, the neighborhood makes an ideal backdrop for 21 Astor’s elegant features and refined aesthetic. With a space that feels more like a home than an apartment building, residents will enjoy tall ceilings, large wrap around kitchens, upgraded appliances, multiple windows, beautifully tiled bathrooms, extensive storage, smooth finished walls, Carrara style counter tops, real wood moldings, large walk in closets, with an enduring style. Calling 21 Astor home means the best of what Portland has to offer always awaits you on either side of your door.”
For more information and to see photos click here >>> https://21astor.com/