Year-end lull a rare sign of normalcy in housing market, but will it last?

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By Elliot Njus | OregonLive

Using his cellphone as a flashlight, Peter Jenkins poked his head into a basement crawlspace. He mentally remapped walls, looking beyond the trappings of the 1943 ranch that’s showing its age.

Jenkins is a first-time homebuyer but seems like an old pro. He’s toured a dozen houses, maybe more, and made offers on two.

This twobedroom in North Portland seems to check all the boxes — it’s the right vintage, in an up-and-coming neighborhood, easy to remodel — but it’s a little out of his price range.

“I want to think about it,” he told Javier Alomía, his broker.

That’s a luxury few homebuyers had as recently as a year ago. In Portland’s frenzied real estate market, where bidding wars had become the norm, buyers had to be ready to make an offer on the spot. Nor could they bank on swooping in during the traditional winter lull – the last one was negligible and had little effect on prices.

But even brokers who’d welcome some market cooldown say they’re not holding their breaths that one will emerge in 2018, especially on the approach to the peak spring and summer shopping seasons.

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