Apr 18, 2016, 10:44am PDT – Jon Bell, Portland Business Journal
Home prices are up, inventory is way down and pending sales and new listings have cooled off compared to a year ago.
So says the Regional Multiple Listing Service, which, in its latest Market Action report, sized up Portland’s housing market for March.
According to RMLS, the average sales price in March was $385,100, up from $364,900 in February and up from $337,200 in March 2015. There were 2,565 closed sales in the month of March, an uptick of more than 4 percent over the same month last year and the most that have posted in March since 2007.
Though most measurements are rising, RMLS noted that both pending sales and new listings in March were lower than they were in March of 2015.
The report also shows that inventory in the Portland market continues to drop. It now stands at 1.3 months, down from 1.8 months in February and 1.9 months a year ago. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said that low inventory is locking up the market.
“We’re experiencing a gridlock in the Portland Metro housing market,” he said. “We are virtually sold out of inventory and there’s a pipeline of stalled buyers.”
Many Portlanders who want to sell their homes find themselves holding off because, while they won’t have a problem selling their home, finding something else in the market is so tough.
The situation gets tricky, Lennox said, because people often need to sell their existing home first so they have the financial resources to buy something else.
“Sellers . . . are hesitant to put their home on the market because they fear their home would sell instantly and they might not win their next home,” he said. “It’s a catch 22 situation.”