It’s become somewhat of a tradition this time of year for me to write a market update that focuses on the all-consuming question: When are house prices in Portland going to go down???
Have you heard/seen the acronym “ADU” and wondered what it meant, but were just too laz… I mean, busy… to pull out your mobile long enough to Google it?
Then here’s the definition you’ve been waiting for:
ADU = Accessory Dwelling Unit
This is a secondary housing unit on a single family residential lot (technically you can have one on a commercial lot but they still have to be subservient to a residential unit).
End of blog, what more do you need to know, right?
Well, if you have any interest whatsoever in building an attached/detached ADU, or converting existing space (like a basement, attic, or garage) into an ADU, or buying/selling a home with something on it that seems like an ADU… then there is A LOT more to know.
My latest blog covers two related topics: the pending state-wide rent control legislation and development going on in the city of Portland. Even though these topics might seem a little dry, they literally could impact every single person in the city of Portland, either directly or indirectly, whether you are a renter or a home owner, along with many people throughout the state.
Debates about rent control legislation are raging
The market as a whole always slows down in winter, but residential inventory has risen dramatically in the past month. There are lots of reasons for that… seasonality, a re-balancing of the market, affordability, etc.
What’s notable is that quite a few former rentals are going on the market, or will be soon, which is likely a “straw that broke the camel’s back” reaction by landlord-investors to a bill that recently passed the Oregon Senate and is now being considered by the House.
I was able to find a spare couple of hours to stop by the Street of Dreams on Realtor Day. It was a super comfortable 1258 degrees outside that day...
It just happens to be in Hillsboro this year, and there is a very good reason for that location.
What was once a large 1400 acre tract of farmland (known as the historic Ladd-Reed farm) is now "South Hillsboro", the largest master planned development in Oregon history.
The joke is that Portland is divided into 5 quadrants. (Get it, 5 QUADrants. Hardy, har!) But, the only thing that matters to Portlanders is - which side of the river do you live on?
The only time any of my home buyers wonder if they should find a home east or west of the Willamette is when they're moving in from out of town. Just about anyone that lives in Portland, or the surrounding suburbs, already has definitive opinions about which side is "best". Meaning, of course, which side is best for them.
I could say something very Realtor-ish, like, "I enjoy both east and west Portland equally for their diverse differences. Really, I do!"
Where's the fun in that, though? Of course I have a preference. However, I'm not going to tell you where I fall in the great debate! You're just going to have to guess which side I like more after reading my blog.
My blog posts tend to be heavy with real estate information so I tasked myself to write about something MORE fun than housing. It was tough to find a topic that could be even remotely as engaging as radon mitigation and tenant protections. Then a friend of mine suggested writing about the Thorns.
Oh, and I've included a list of other awesome October events, too!
I know, it's only August! How dare I say "end-of-summer"???
The sad fact that I had to face when looking at market stats is that we have only 1 month left until it's officially fall. As I write this, I feel like Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" should be playing in the background.
And I have yet to do All The Things! You know, like fulfilling my dream of dining on every restaurant patio in Portland. Or seeing the Portland Japanese Garden expansion and renovation. Or, well, just going outside... more.
Hey, let's start talking about something cheerier than summer ending. Market statistics always makes me super happy, so here we go!
I really wanted to write a blog about Portland area condos, but I got so caught up in defining what a condo is that it became a blog about the difference between all these property types. Stay tuned for another blog about condos.
So what is the difference between a condo, a townhouse, an attached home, and a detached home?
This might seem like a silly question, but it can get confusing pretty fast. Especially in Portland. Of course. Because that's how we roll.
You may not have noticed, but home values in Portland have been on the rise for awhile now.
Rising prices are fueled by low inventory. Low inventory is caused by renters in Portland shifting to homeownership along with a massive migration of people into the Portland area. Both of those groups of people tend to look for homes in the more affordable range, leaving Portland with a decent amount of options if you can spend over 600K but not a lot to choose from below that mark.
I get asked all kinds of questions by prospective buyers, sellers, friends, acquaintances, and random people I meet at open houses. The one question that I've been asked more often than any other lately is:
When are house prices in Portland going to go down?
I'll totally admit that the first time I heard this question I immediately thought, erroneously, that it was a joke. I still remember the days when the prevailing point of view was that the only guarantees in life were death, taxes, and that housing prices always go up, never down.
Then, of course, 2006/2007 happened. Then banks started failing and the stock market crashed in 2008. Then more banks failed. Then we all watched as the nation slowly tried to dig itself out of a hole that, for awhile, seemed to have no bottom.
Here we are, 10 years later, and sometimes I forget that there are plenty of people out there that didn't grow up learning the "house prices always go up" wisdom, which turned out to be not so wise.
So, let's dump any past (failed) prevailing wisdom and any assumptions we might have and instead take a look at... the data!