It may be July but don't trust your thermometer.
The pace of Portland home sales has definitely cooled since last year, though sales are still brisk in the most sought-after neighborhoods. This is apparent thanks to data provided to the Business Journal by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS).
In the second quarter of 2017, a total of 8,000 homes sold in the region's 63 ZIP codes, down 9.8 percent from the second quarter of 2016. Among the top 25 ZIP codes with the most sales, the tally only dropped 2.5 percent to 4,805.
One notorious culprit is Portland's extremely low inventory (in terms of months to sell all listed homes), but inventory in April and May last year was 1.4 versus 1.7 and 1.5 months this year, so that constraint on sales has actually eased. June 2017 inventory isn't out yet; it was 1.5 months in June 2016.
It may be that rapidly appreciating prices have finally dampened the market a bit. The overall average sale price rose 9 percent between the second quarters of 2016 and 2017 to more than $440,000.
Yet fewer sales are not always a bad sign. As Jon Bell noted in reviewing where the most homes sold in the first quarter of this year, sales are just as dependent on people wanting to move out of neighborhoods as people wanting to move in. So it may be that folks are more content to stay put this quarter.
Looking at the top 25 'hoods with the most sales, St. Johns (97203) was the biggest climber, jumping from No.021 in Q2 2016 to No. 9 in Q2 2017 with 31.1percent more homes sold, followed by North Tabor/Hollywood (97213) and Lents (97266) which increased sales 21 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively, to join the top 25. Another new ZIP in the top 25 this quarter is 97236 (Powellhurst-Gilbert/Centennial) in which 5.8 percent more homes were sold.
Falling out of the top 25 this quarter were Oak Grove/Oatfield (97267), Rockwood (97233) and Newberg (97132), which all saw sales drop in excess of 15 percent. The biggest sales drop was found in Gresham (97080) where they fell 25.7 percent. Its rank fell from No. 8 to No. 20, roughly trading places with St. Johns.
The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.
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