Market Update | Matthew Gardener

“Fourth Quarter home sales dropped by a modest 1.5% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 15,314 homes sold. Although sales were a mixed bag, I still contend that any drop in sales was due to low levels of available inventory rather than declining demand. The average home price in Oregon and SW Washington rose 7% year over year to $363,110. This is down 1.4% from the third quarter of 2017. This slowdown in price growth is likely due to buyers feeling priced out of the market.” 

  • Matthew Gardner, Windermere Chief Economist 
Posted on February 21, 2018 at 10:19 pm
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Ellis Lawrence Classic | 2719 SW Talbot

Portland architect Ellis Fuller Lawrence was the leading organizer of his profession in Oregon in the early years of the twentieth century. Although he maintained an active practice independently and had several associates and partners over forty years, it was the architect’s zeal for advancing the profession through architectural education that completed his legacy.

My listing on SW Talbot is a classic example of one of Lawrence’s Colonial Revival designs. For more information on this residence, click here.

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm
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1767 SW Prospect | Portland Heights


Posted on January 6, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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5054 SW Hilltop Lane


Posted on August 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm
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Portland Housing: Red-Hot Market Continues in February

View Mt Hood and Big Pink at twilight GOOD

By Luke Hammill | The Oregonian/OregonLive 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on March 14, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated March 14, 2016 at 7:01 AM


After a record-setting start to 2016, the region's housing market cooled slightly last month, but – in what by now sounds like a familiar story – the Portland area posted more closed sales than in any February since before the recession, according to the most recent report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

The 1,813 closed sales marked a 2.5 percent monthly decline, but they were still 10 percent higher than February of last year. It was the most active February since 2007, the report found.

Inventory didn't budge from the 1.8 months posted in January. The figure estimates how long it would take for all current homes on the market to sell at the current pace. It's only a slight increase over the exceptionally low 1.2 months the region saw in December.

"We're in for another crazy spring real estate market in Portland," said Lennox Scott, chief executive at John L. Scott Real Estate, in an email. "Six months ago, we predicted the major decline in inventory throughout the winter months that would create the intense market we are currently experiencing. It's like déjà vu all over again. We've seen this pattern for the last two years, but the lack of inventory is taking its toll; we are facing the most intense market yet."

In addition to January, December and July of last year also set records for closed sales, and the months in between posted the highest numbers the area has seen since red-hot 2005.

"This is starting to feel a little like a bubble," said real estate broker Dustin Miller.

The average price of a home rose 7.1 percent year-over-year in February, from $333,700 to $357,500. The median price increased by 7.8 percent over the same period, from $287,500 to $310,000.

Dustin Miller, a broker with Realty Trust Group, suggested in an email that there might be cause for concern in the housing market.

"This is starting to feel a little like a bubble, which I know many have hinted on," Miller said. "The key is a long-term hold. If you bought your house in early 2007, it is still worth more than it was when you bought at that height, in general, and that is pretty amazing for the ride we have been on for the past 10 years."

Southeast Portland was again the most active area tracked by the listing service, with 215 closed sales in February. Other hot areas were Beaverton/Aloha (174 closed sales), West Portland (165) and Milwaukie/Clackamas (163).

— Luke Hammill 

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm
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2719 NW Westover Road

Westover 2

Posted on February 26, 2016 at 1:10 am
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Work/shop is a new "botanical gift shop and collective workspace" located on NW 19th. If you haven't already, look at their website:


work shop



Posted on February 12, 2016 at 8:58 am
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Portland’s Most Expensive Home Sales in 2015














The most expensive houses sold in Portland in 2015 were more than mansions. Each has a story and sky-high property taxes. Take, for example, the Pietro Belluschi-designed house at 2422 SW 16th Ave., which sold for $2.5 million in August. The listing agent was MJ Steen of Windermere Stellar. RMLS # 12079048. Photo provided by Windermere Stellar

Janet Eastman | The Oregonian/OregonLive

By Janet Eastman | The Oregonian/OregonLive 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on January 30, 2016 at 5:01 AM, updated January 30, 2016 at 1:24 PM

The most expensive houses sold in Portland in 2015 were more than mansions. Each has a story and sky-high property taxes.

Once asking $5.7 million: One Portland house sold for a few million dollars, but even that turned out to be a great discount. Controversial business executiveAndrew Wiederhorn tried to sell the West Hills estate he called The Ivy in 2011 for $5.7 million, which he said was less than half what he put into it.

In April 2014, no bidders surfaced at a foreclosure auction, forcing the lender of the 19,609-square-foot custom house at 4311 S.W. Greenleaf Dr. to continue to hold the $4.3 million note.

Finally, the country manor-style mansion, built in 1930 on two gated acres, sold for $2,047,500 in October with listing agent Valerie Hunter of H & H Preferred Real Estate. That breaks down to $121 a square foot.

There are 10 bedrooms, 12 baths and nine fireplaces throughout the three-level house, plus many luxury perks: A full-size indoor hardwood basketball court that doubles as a ballroom and there's a detached, 2,000-square-foot pool house, the size of the average Portland house.

Annual taxes were $126,419.

$3.6 million: 2681 S.W. Buena Vista Dr. sold in April. The four-level Mediterranean-style house was built in 1930 on a third of an acre. It has five bedrooms, five baths and 7,088 square feet, which breaks down to $462 a square foot. Libby Benz of Windermere Stellar had the listing. Annual taxes were $25,616. The house in the Southwest Hills sold 10 years before for $2 million.

$2.9 million: 2111 S.W. 21st Ave. sold in June. The four-level Colonial Revival mansion was built in 1916 on a third of an acre in Portland Heights. It has six bedrooms, 5 ½ baths and "nanny quarters." At 8,117 square feet, the sale price breaks down to $373 a square foot. Annual taxes were $32,665.

The listing agent was Craig Weston of Windermere Stellar and the buyer's agent of record was Betsy Rickles of Windermere Stellar, who plays a part in 5335 S.W. Patton Road, another one of Portland's most expensive house sales last year (see below).

$2.5 million: 2422 S.W. 16th Ave. sold in August. This Italian-style house, built in 1938 on a third of an acre, was originally designed by the late architect Pietro Belluschi, who helped shape Portland's skyline and was renown for pioneering the Pacific Northwest midcentury modern style. He did, however, learn how to design classical residences at the beginning of his long career. Early on, he worked for A.E. Doyle's architectural firm, which was responsible for many of Portland's grand buildings.

The client here was Charles Francis Adams, who was chairman of the board of the Portland Art Museum. Adams and Belluschi had become friends when the architect designed the art museum building in 1932. The style of the two-story house was dictated by Adams. It has four bedrooms, five baths and 6,245 square feet (which breaks down to $407 a square foot). The listing agent was MJ Steen of Windermere Stellar. Annual taxes were $28,439.

$2.15 million: 2421 S.W. Arden Road sold in June. The two-level, English-style house was built in 1926 on a half-acre lot, which includes a guest carriage house, Japanese tea house, Hansel and Gretel treehouse, gardens and paths. The house has four bedrooms, four baths and 5,574 square feet ($389 a square foot). The listing agent was Suzann Baricevic Murphy of Where. Annual taxes were $24,545.

$2.05 million: 2558 N.W. Marcia St. sold in August. The modernist-style home was designed by owner/architect Ned Vaivoda, who co-founded Thompson Vaivoda & Associates, the firm responsible for the first and second phase of the Nike World Campus.

Vaivoda considered the neighborhood's historic landmark houses when selecting red brick as a main component of this residence in Nob Hill. The house was built in 1999 on an 8,276-square-foot lot on a cul-de-sac with only four dwellings. It has four bedrooms, 3 ½ baths and 3,982 square feet ($497 a square foot). The listing agent was Dan Volkmer of Windermere Stellar. Annual taxes were $13,441.

$2 million: Here's a happy story about a woman who lived in a custom house until she was 110. Elizabeth "Betty" Leadbetter Meier was the granddaughter of Henry Pittock and was accustomed to traditional-style houses, including Portland's French Renaissance chateau, the Pittock Mansion.

But she and her second husband, Jack Meier of Meier & Frank department stores, "jumped into a modern home," says granddaughter Rickles, a real estate agent who listed the property.

The couple, who wanted a Northwest Regional midcentury house with an open floor plan, floor-to-ceiling windows and living space on one level, hired architect Walter Gordon, who had worked in Belluschi's architectural firm.

The 1971 house is the rare time Gordon designed with brick instead of his signature wood exterior. Sitting on 3.4 acres at 5335 S.W. Patton Road in the West Hills, the house has 5,113 square feet on one level and 2,900 square feet of unfinished basement. It sold in May. Annual taxes were $24,675.

A list of the most expensive houses sold in Multnomah County in 2015 was compiled, at our request, by Escrow Officer Brooke Lahman of WFG National Title Insurance Co.

– Janet Eastman

Posted on February 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm
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Behind the Design: Lynne Parker


Portland-based interior designer Lynne Parker, of Lynne Parker Designs takes us behind the scenes of her latest project: transforming a simple midcentury ranch house into a colorful, eclectic space with lots of personality. Below, Parker shares her tips for getting the right look in your own home. Click here to see images of the finished project in the 2014 August/September issue of GRAY.

By Lynne Parker
There is something innately invigorating about the idea of starting over. In college, I learned about the concept of tabula rasa, the blank slate, and have loved the idea of starting fresh ever since. This concept is one I often apply to my design projects. I walk into a space and visualize it completely transformed. The clean-slate beginning is often the birthplace of amazing ideas.
Renovating or designing a space is a mix of hard work and fun, but for me there is a method to the madness and I generally follow five guiding principles when approaching a project.
1. Start with wishful thinking. Ask yourself, “Could I make this place uniquely amazing?”
My latest project, featured in the August/September issue of GRAY magazine, sits on a hill overlooking Portland. When I first looked at it, the house was an average 1950s ranch (minus the covetable cool midcentury vibe) in need of some reno-TLC. I immediately saw the potential for modern updates, while keeping in mind the preservation of its amazing panoramic west-facing views.
Downstairs, Parker transformed a dull room that led to the laundry into a bedroom for one of her 20-year-old twin daughters, each of whom have a space downstairs.

The "in-process" shot of the image to the left shows the replacement of the lighting panels and faux wood siding with smooth white walls—one of which will be covered in wallpaper from Flat Vernacular. 
Good design begins with solid decision making. There are an infinite amount of choices someone can make when designing, but only a limited few that will bring out the best in a space. In order to achieve this, I find that having the ability to be agile during the decision-making process makes a project run much more smoothly.
Before the remodel, the galley kitchen in interior designer Lynne Parker's mid-century Portland ranch was cramped and dark, peppered with dated appliances and not conducive to entertaining. 
2. Always honor a structure’s heritage and architectural integrity.
The hilltop house had a good layout on the bottom level but needed some structural adjustments on the top (main) level. The first decision on the main level was to remove a small wall in the outdated kitchenette to create a larger, more open kitchen area.  Raising the ceilings created additional volume and removing a doorway to the garage created an L–shaped opportunity for kitchen essentials—the fridge, ovens, sinks, a microwave, and the stovetop.

The ceilings in the living room (as well as the rest of the upstairs) were vaulted to bring in more light and give the space a more expansive feeling.
The kitchen is important to me. I have twin daughters and lots of their friends, my friends, and our family are always here. I am southern, so the beginning of any great night is food, drinks, and people you love. We crammed 12 people around the table for the first Christmas in the house … just five days after moving in. A great kitchen and big, open table are always a part of my life and a recommendation for my clients. It shouldn't be something you are afraid to spill on, drink on, or lean on, and this table is exactly that—it is four-inch-thick reclaimed lumber that I chose from the salvage yard with Jason Gillihan from Black Rabbit. It doubles as dining table and kitchen-island.
Together, Gillihan and I also designed a bar cart that doubles as additional seating at the big table. Simply take off wheels and the bottom shelf and it nestles up to the table for two extra place settings.  The cart’s full-time job is as a beautiful walnut gathering place for cocktail essentials.
Located on a hill in Portland's Council Crest Park neighborhood, the home offered great existing views, especially from the living room.
I also added double French doors onto deck to capitalize on the fabulous view—the main level sits two stories up and it is in the trees. Beyond the large Oregon pines I see the western rolling hills.
3. Invest resources where it matters.
Think about investing in structural changes, mechanical upgrades, high-quality fixtures, and hard surfaces—wherever you can afford it.
Working with architect Kevin Fischer of Portland's Alice Design and contractor Hammer &Hand, Parker took out the walls of two small bedroom and two small bathrooms, combining them to create a spacious master suite.


The master suite one step closer to furniture. 
I invested in the modern master suite. I took two tiny existing bedrooms and two small baths and demolished the walls to create a wonderful oasis. The bathroom is at the back of the house, so I added double French doors to once again take advantage of the view, providing the ability to soak in the tub while watching the sunset. I love the placement of a tub in the middle of a big bathroom because it just insists that you relax every night. When I first saw the space, I knew I wanted to raise the roof to give the suite a grander feel. The rooms were not that big to begin with and the small 50s windows gave it a boxy, cramped feeling. The vaulted ceilings really opened up the space and the added double French doors give a great perch-view in the trees.  Between the bathroom and bedroom I added two separate closets with custom closet shelving, which is an essential luxury in every great master suite.
Another priority of mine was to use Arabescato Carrara marble throughout the entire house. In some places, such as the kitchen countertops and bathrooms vanities, it is honed, and in others, it is polished (kitchen backsplash, master bath floor, and shower). I laid it in a herringbone pattern on the heated master bath floor and powder room to add to the interest. (The herringbone pattern especially looks great in homes more than 50 years old.) The rest of the floors in the house have wide 7-inch white-oak plank floors for a clean modern feel.
4. Acknowledge trends without being trendy.
Wallpapers are a great solution to providing that pop of personality and trend without going overboard. Gorgeous grasscloth, hand-printed graphics, and whimsical prints from all over the world can be integrated into any design, and I often use them like art.
For the master suite of this house, I chose a graphic gold-on-white print by the amazing ladies at Hygge & West. I am a big fan of their work and use it often in my clients’ homes. It takes a village, a very talented village to make an amazing space.
5. Let your space tell your story.
We all have special things we have collected from travels, our past, our relationships, and our families. Everyone’s home should reflect who they are, and collected items help tell that story. In this house, I used vintage light fixtures in some of the rooms, for that personal, collected feel. And on floating shelves in the kitchen, I display other treasures and functional pieces. (It also keeps us from collecting too much stuff we don't need. My floating shelves force me to keep tidy and clean; definitely a bonus.)
People’s things help guide me as I work on their homes—every client has a different style, and starting with the things they already own provides a good foundation for the design of a space.
When a project wraps up, the last drape is hung, and contractors have vacated the site, you can sit back and enjoy your new space. As much as I gush about special fabrics and amazing wallpapers, the most important consideration is creating a space that my family—or my clients’ family—is able to call home.
Click here to see images of the finished project in the 2014 August/September issue of GRAY.
Posted on August 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm
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A Portland Version of the NY Times “What You Get For…” $2,400,000










1495 SW Clifton

What: A four-bedroom, 4.1 bath renovated historic residence with a guest cottage

How Much: $2,250,000

Size: 5,040 sq. ft.

Price Per Square Foot: $446

Setting: This 1926 house sits on .39 of an acre in the heart of Portland Heights. Neighboring properties are residential and large in size. Shops, cafes, and downtown Portland are all extremely close in proximity.

Indoors: The three-story traditional was designed by noted architect Ellis Lawrence. While the hardwood floors and classic details are still intact, modern amenities have been introduced through the open floor plan, state of the art kitchen and updated bathrooms.

Outdoors: A private walkway at the end of a dead end street leads to the front door. The front yard enjoys manicured gardens while the rear boasts panoramic views of the city and mountains.

Taxes: $25,325.91

Contact: MJ Steen, Windermere Cronin & Caplan, 503.497.5199,

0455 SW Hamilton Court #603

What: A three-bedroom, 3.1 bath unit at the Avalon Penthouses

How Much: $2,400,000

Size: 5,512 Sq. Ft.

Price per Square Foot: $435

Setting: Enjoy the expansive views of the Willamette River from your luxury penthouse. Downstairs, the Avalon Hotel offers the perks of a concierge, valet, spa, athletic facility and more. Downtown is a quick drive away, and the neighborhood is a combination of residential and commercial properties, characteristic of an urban environment.

Indoors: The custom, one level interior focuses on bringing the stunning views and natural light in. The contemporary, high-end finishes; four fireplaces, updated kitchen and spacious floor plan make this a great alternative to Pearl living.

Outdoors: The multiple balconies offer pleasant spaces to enjoy the panoramic views.

Taxes: $29,151.33, HOA $315 / Month

Contact: Jon Du Clos and Blake Ellis, Windermere Cronin & Caplan, 503.220.1144,,












Posted on March 7, 2014 at 12:45 am
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