Portland Tribune: Lennox Scott and Israel Hill quoted on RMLS December Report

soldf_yardarmDecember 17, 2016

Jim Redden, Portland Tribune

The price of homes in the Portland region continued to increase faster than just about anywhere else in the country in November, fueled by the limited supply and a recent mortgage rate hike that are driving sales at a time when the residential real estate market traditionally slows down.

The median home price in the Portland region increased 13.4 percent in November from last year, rising to $347,000 from $306,000 over the past 12 months, according to the most recent report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Closed sales in November increased 13.1 percent from a year ago, despite the number of new listings in November dropping from October and a year ago. A recent half-percent increase in interest rates is thought to have prompted some potential buyers to buy now before rates go even higher.

“No Holiday slow down, and no rest for the weary. Low inventory levels continue to drive the market. Buyers, sparked by the fear of interest rates going up over the last month and the accompanying loss of buying power, have been flocking to new listings. Open houses are seeing 50 to 100 people through on a given weekend for well-priced homes,” says Israel Hill, office leader, John L. Scott Northeast Portland.

According to John L. Scott Real Estate Chairman and CEO Lennox Scott, although mortgage rates are still relatively low, the uptick and continuing shortage of homes for sale will drive prices up even higher in the coming year.

“Recently, interest rates suddenly jumped half a point. Every time we see this happen we experience a mini power surge of sales activity because buyers become anxious about increasing rates,” says Scott. “We’ll be entering 2017 with a severe inventory shortage that is going to lead us into a big price appreciation boost after the first of the year.”

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