Report: Affordable homes for sale fell 52% over summer

Sale of homes priced at $1M or more increased by 56%

Finding an affordable home to buy in the Portland region got even harder over the past few months, Sept. 16, 2017. (Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — In another sign of the affordable housing crisis, the number of homes in the Portland region priced under $350,000 fell by 52 percent over the summer compared to last year, according to the most recent Regional Multiple Listing Service report.

At the same time, the sale of homes priced at $1 million or more increased by 56 percent, the report said.

“The luxury market is on fire and the lower market is ice cold,” says Jon Hunter, Vice President of Residential Success for John L Scott Real Estate.

As the traditionally hot summer sales market comes to a close, the low housing inventory since the Great Recession is a continuing issue. According to the RMLS report, inventory in the five-county areas of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Columbia, and Clark Counties is down 5.5 percent from last August.

And some real estate experts are saying that new listing in September and October could drop by about 20 percent from the summer months — and by another 30 percent over the winter.

“August was a slow, but September is going to be the last great push before the holidays. Anything under $500,000 is still a seller’s market,” says Michelle Maida, Office Leader of John L. Scott Woodstock.

“If you’re looking to move up, now is the time,” says Israel Hill, Office Leader of John L. Scott NE Portland. “We’re seeing more inventory in the higher price points while it’s still a frenzy market for homes under $500,000 due to tight inventory. What does this mean? Sellers of higher priced homes are more likely to accept an offer that is contingent on the sale of a home in a lower price point.”

According to the report, comparing 2017 to 2016 through August, the average home sale price rose 9.3 percent from $392,600 to $429,000. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 10.7 percent from $343,200 to $379,900.

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