PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland’s housing market is showing signs it’s cooling ever so slightly. But even with recent changes, a local real estate agent said it’s still a seller’s market and homes are still being snatched up quickly.
“You can only burn white-hot for so long,” explained Drew Coleman, founder of Opt Real Estate in Portland.
He described the city’s real estate market as burning “white-hot” for the last couple of years and now, he said it’s “red-hot” – meaning it’s still competitive and fast-paced, but not quite as fast and furious as it had been.
The June 2022 report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service said listings were up 11.5% from May, but pending sales were down 17.9%. Closed sales also decreased by 0.8%.
Coleman said these numbers indicate people are more hesitant to make offers than they were a month ago. He thinks people might panic when they see news that the interest rate is going up, but he said if people want to buy a home, they should still have a conversation with a realtor or lender.
“One thing for people to keep in mind is that you ‘date the rate, you marry the house.’ So, you can buy the house now and if rates do come to a different level and you can afford the payment now you have a chance of getting an even better payment in the future,” he said.
One of the most significant changes in the latest RMLS report is the amount of time homes are staying on the market. Inventory in June increased to 1.4 months. Meaning it would take approximately 1.4 months for the available inventory to sell.
This is the highest it’s been since June of 2020 when the inventory was 1.5 months. For most of 2021, the inventory was less than a month.
Coleman said with this in mind, now might be a decent time to purchase a home, despite the rising interest rate. He said his customers aren’t competing with dozens of people to bid on a home, like they were in late 2020 and through mid-2021.
He said most experts consider three months’ worth of inventory to be considered an equilibrium market. With June’s numbers, it’s still considered a seller’s market.
“Until supply really ticks up, which would have to have a lot more buyers scared out of the market, I don’t see that it’s going to affect prices,” he said.
In June, the average home sale price in the Portland metro area was $633,300 compared to $649,600 in May. In the April RMLS Market Action Report, the year-to-date average sale price for the metro area topped $600,000 for the first time.
When the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75% in June, experts hoped the change would drive down home prices.
Coleman said it’s too soon to tell if the dip between May and June prices is the start of a trend. Only time will tell.