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Oregon's housing market remains tight. Here's one huge reason why

Most area homebuyers are reluctant to give up one factor that's vastly improved their quality of life.
Credit: Andy Giegerich
Oregon homeowners pay mortgage interest rates that are far below current average levels.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon homeowners pay mortgage interest rates that are far below current average levels.

So says Redfin, in a survey released this week. The real estate company says 91% of Oregonians pay "far below" today's 6% mortgage interest rate, the fourth-best such level in the nation.

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Only Utah, at 93%, Colorado (92%) and Idaho (92%) fared better in the survey. Montana's level of low-mortgage interest payers matches Oregon.

Redfin's analysts say the current interest rate climate could discourage many from moving, leading to tighter homebuying markets. The group reports a current 20% slump in new listings.

"With rates now at the highest since the 2008 financial crisis, some of those homeowners are discouraged from moving because selling their home and buying another could mean giving up their low mortgage rate and taking on a larger monthly housing bill," the group wrote.

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Those with good rates could become even more entrenched as the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another 0.75% rate hike this week.

West Virginia fared worst in the report, with just 77% of homeowners enjoying levels far below 5% (the figure that Redfin considers "far below" the going rate). Mississippi (78%), Louisiana (80%), New York (80%) and Oklahoma (82%) homeowners are also more often paying the higher rates.

New listings are down 19% year over year during the four weeks ending Sept. 11, which Redfin says is the largest drop since May 2020.

The Portland Business Journal, a news partner of KGW, has extensively covered the tightened market. Visit the PBJ for more on the topic.

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