Portland Tribune article on Millennial buyers features JLS Broker Bryan Atkinson

Most millennials want to buy a home, but can’t afford one

by Jim Redden, Portland Tribune

Tuesday, August 23, 2016photo

(This is an excerpt from the article.  To read the article in its entirety click here.)

Anna Williams said she searched for homes being sold by owners in the neighborhoods where they wanted to live. She and Michael connected personally with the sellers of the home they bought, who were another young couple. They kept the price below their $225,000 maximum. Michael qualified for a low-interest Veterans Administration loan because he served in the Navy.

“I think it’s really important to know that if a potential buyer looks in the right places, they won’t have to compete with investors offering 30 percent above the asking price. There are Portland homeowners out there who want their homes to go to good people that will love and respect the property,” Anna Williams said.

Median home prices are growing much faster than median family incomes in the Portland region.

Median home prices are growing much faster than median family incomes in the Portland region.

Motivation pays off

The Zumper survey was released Aug. 10, just two days before the most recent Regional Multiple Listing Service report. It found that between July 2015 and last month, the median sales price for a home in the Portland region increased 11.45 percent, from $304,900 to $340,000. Although new listings rose slightly from June 2016, the total inventory was still well below historic levels, continuing the sellers market that is producing bidding wars on many properties. Median prices near employment centers are much higher, including $470,000 in West Portland and $385,000 in Northeast Portland.

Realtor Bryan Atkinson said today’s high prices are not preventing motivated millennials from buying their first homes in the Portland region, however. Atkinson, who worked with the Pienovi and Williams couples, said about a quarter of his clients are young first-time buyers.

“They are wanting to buy for the same reasons as everyone else, for the security and to build wealth. But their incomes are limited, so they are not looking in the most expensive close-in neighborhoods, but in East Portland and Gresham, where homes are in the $200,000 to $250,000 range and may need some work. Almost all of them are married and both partners have jobs, and they also have at least a little money savvy and the ability to do some home improvements themselves,” said Atkinson, who works in John L. Scott’s Northeast Portland office.