PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Across the United States, the number of newly built homes has gone through the roof – but many are sitting on the market without buyers.
National sales are down nearly nine percent from a month ago while the number of new, unsold homes climbed to its highest level in nine years.
It begs the question: Is the housing market cooling off for good? And what does this mean for the Portland area?
According to the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, national home sales overall were down 12 percent in October from the same time last year.
But around the Pacific Northwest, some numbers reflected an even steeper decline.
Tim Manickam, a broker at JMA Properties, said sales in some parts of Portland and Seattle were down around 20 percent.
While this may be bad news for sellers, it could translate to lower prices for buyers.
“I think 40-some percent of homes are having price reductions,” said Krueger.
Manickam said he sold a luxury condo in the Pearl District for well over $1 million this spring while the price on a similar unit dropped by 20 percent this fall.
“I had listings in the spring where we had six and 10 and 15 multiple offers where buyers were pushing to buy a house and they are taking a step back,” Manickam told KOIN 6 News. “There is a limit – there is usually a ceiling of how much they can go and how much they will go. We may be reaching that point today.”
Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, a broker at Living Room Realty, said the sale of homes listed at over $500,000 in Portland have slowed the most, along with homes that need work done on them.
“This is a normal market, we were kind of on this extreme high for a few years,” she said. “The trick is just to be patient.”
It remains to be seen whether the decline in sales is an indicator of the overall future of the housing market, or if it’s simply a symptom of the season as the market naturally slows down in November and December.
“I think it’s been a seller’s market for so long that the trend is definitely changing,” said Manickam.
The government will release numbers for November late next month.