PBJ -Portland real estate still running hot despite low inventory – featuring VP Scott Halligan

Brokerage agents and property managers alike are still laboring hard to satisfy the demand of homebuyers and renters across the Portland metro area.

Nine out of 10 residential real estate firms on The List rated the local market a maximum “hot” both last year and this year. And on The List of residential property management firms, more than three quarters of respondents to the survey said the supply of both homes and apartments was insufficient for renter demands. As a result, they estimate that rents on the properties they manage have risen an average of 9.1 percent over the last year.

And according to the local multiple listing service, RMLS, the metro area’s inventory of homes for sale has not improved much since it shrank below a 2-month supply in the spring of 2015, standing at 1.9 months in February. In the first two months of 2017, the median home price was $352,000, an 11.9 percent increase over the same period last year. New listings are down 12.6 percent putting further pressure on prices and buyers.

“One of our brokers had to write seven offers for a buyer before they were finally able to purchase a home,” says Scott Halligan, vice president of residential operations for Oregon and S.W. Washington at John L. Scott Real Estate (No. 3 on The List).

“The market is moving so quickly and if you have a buyer in the $309,000 to $330,000 range you know you are most likely going to be facing a multiple-offer situation on every property that is on the market… Bidding wars were the norm in areas close to job centers and we saw 60 percent of homes coming onto the market sell within 30 days, many within the first week.

Mike Baldwin, President and CEO of LoanStar Home Lending (No. 9 on The List of residential mortgage lenders) adds that “The lack of inventory of homes for sale is the primary impediment to a more robust real estate sales market. Prices continue to rise due to the lack of supply making it more difficult for first-time homebuyers to get into homeownership, a critical segment of the home-buying public.”