Decrease in Listings, Sales, and Prices Cool Portland Real Estate Market in July
The real estate market in the Portland metro area experienced a slowdown in July across various indicators. New listings, pending sales, closed sales, and prices all declined compared to July 2022, as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS), which tracks sales in the Northwest.
While RMLS does not provide commentary on market causes, the situation in Portland reflects a nationwide trend. Higher mortgage rates are discouraging sellers from selling their homes and moving, resulting in limited supply.
One statistic worth noting is that despite Portland’s well-known challenges, the inventory of homes in July was at 2.4 months. This means it would take 2.4 months to sell all the homes currently on the market at the current pace. In contrast, nationwide inventory stood at 7.4 months in June, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, highlighted that home sales are projected to be the lowest in more than a decade in 2023. The market currently has no slack, with homeowner vacancy reaching a new record low. New listings experienced a 17% decline in the week ending July 29, according to Realtor.com, marking the 56th consecutive weekly decline.
In the Portland metro area, new listings dropped by 23% to 2,899 in July compared to July 2022, as reported by RMLS. Pending sales and closed sales also experienced declines of 12.3% and 19.3% respectively.
Prices witnessed a relatively smaller decline, indicating tight supply. The median sale price in the Portland metro area only dropped by 2.8% to $549,990 in July compared to $566,000 a year ago, according to RMLS.
Meanwhile, mortgage rates have been rising. On August 3, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage stood at 6.9%, as provided by the St. Louis Fed. This is an increase from 5% a year ago and is just below the 3% mark in August 2021.