What do Portland, Denver, and Seattle have in common?…

SEATTLE, WA – Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon are the hottest real estate markets so far in 2016, according to Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage. In its latest report, Redfin measured housing markets’ hotness based on the percentage of listings designated as Hot Homes, those likely to go under contract within 14 days according to the company’s proprietary Hot Homes algorithm. In Denver, Seattle and Portland, more than 60 percent of homes listed so far this year were Hot Homes, outpacing all other markets Redfin tracks.

imagesA limited supply of homes for sale has led to strong demand from homebuyers in these markets, accelerating the pace at which homes sell. In April 2012, a typical home in Denver found a buyer in 36 days. In Portland it was 65 days and in Seattle it was 50. This April, the median time on market fell to 10 days in Denver, and eight days in both Seattle and Portland.

In Denver, it is not unusual for a home to have more than 100 showings in a single weekend, with sellers having their pick of up to 30 offers, reports Redfin agent Karla Kirkpatrick Adams.

“The market is moving so quickly that I can no longer use recent sales as a guide for what my clients should offer on a home. Instead, I call listing agents of similar homes that are under contract but haven’t yet sold. I ask them the contract price, which is a more up-to-date reflection of the current market than the prices of homes that have already sold. That way, I can advise my clients accurately,” said Kirkpatrick Adams.

In all three metros, home prices are shooting up faster than the national pace, though Portland and Denver remain relatively affordable compared to other hot markets.

“Strong job growth and relatively affordable home prices have been lightning rods of buyer demand for Denver and Portland,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said. “Their economies have a lot in common with the tech enclaves to the west, Seattle and San Francisco, but there’s a big difference—home prices.”

The typical home in Denver and Portland costs an incredible $850,000 less than a home in San Francisco. Portland and Denver also offer a respite from Seattle, where homes typically sell for around $90,000 more than in those two cities.

“The combination of jobs, affordability and a desirable western lifestyle is a triumvirate that buyers are flocking to this year,” Richardson said.

This article can be found HERE on MultifamilyBiz.com and the original report can be found HERE on Redfin

Portland Stays Afloat on their Mortgages more than most

house-foreclosure-carousel-750xx315-177-0-51When it comes to staying above water in terms of their mortgages, Portlanders are staying afloat much more than homeowners in other metro regions across the country.

According to a new report from real estate firm Zillow, Portland has the third-lowest rate of negative equity in the United States. Negative equity is when a homeowner owes more on a mortgage than the home is worth.

The negative equity rate in Portland was 5.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to Zillow. That’s down from 5.6 percent at the end of 2015 and from 9.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Zillow noted that only San Francisco and San Jose had lower rates of negative equity than Portland. Those cities were at 4.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Nationally, the negative equity rate fell to 12.7 percent in the first quarter, down from 15.4 percent in the same quarter of 2015. The rate hit an all-time high of 31.4 percent in 2012.

According to Zillow, Chicago is the largest housing market with the highest rate of negative equity, with just over 20 percent of homeowners underwater.

The firm noted that the overall drop in negative equity is being driving by “a consistent recovery in home values.”

The original article can be found HERE on the Portland Business Journal website.

Portland’s Hotel Boom!


It’s not (just) a façade: Portland’s tourism market really is supercharged. Here are 10 hotel projects—some brand-new, some retooled—that will soon cash in on that demand.

You thought the Portland skyline couldn’t possibly pack in any more condos, cranes, and high-rises? Bear witness to the storm about to hit: Portland’s next big hotel boom. As the Portland Business Journal reports, tourists in Oregon spent a record-breaking $10.6 billion last year. In the Portland metro area, that meant 8.9 million overnight “person-trips” in 2015, according to Travel Portland. (Read: a lot of hotel bookings.) Many developers are betting—big time—that Portland stays popular, including the deep pockets behind the 10 hotel projects in this slideshow. Most are already being built (or expanded) at this very moment, with a few opening for business as early as this summer. So that dust over downtown? For some, this is how you make it rain.

The original articles with additional photos can be found HERE on Portland Monthly’s website.

Portland Real Estate Investing tips

Quick Hits: If you’re planning to buy a home, do it now before prices go higher. If you’re thinking of buying a urban-living2
rental property as an investment, be careful how much you pay. Investments in housing developments will do well in the next couple of years, especially apartment projects. Mortgages written now will be protected by rising prices for a year or so, but will be riskier after that. It’s a good time to invest in retail businesses, especially in Clark County.

The local economy leans heavily on Nike, Intel, and international trade and for many years has grown much faster than the US average. Dependence on a computer chip manufacturer is a vulnerability these days but right now the high wages support a strong real estate market. International trade, especially with Asia, could be more volatile in the future as political opinions about imports change with the upcoming elections.

Even though population growth has been modest, home prices rose sharply in recent years, 34 percent since 2012, partly because of speculation in foreclosed homes. You can bet they’ll keep rising near that pace for the next few years, which means you’d better buy the home you’ve wanted now rather than next year.

Home prices are already high compared to rents, so apartments will be in greater demand – but with home prices so high, good returns on single-family rental properties you buy now will be difficult to get unless you buy at a very good price and don’t need to do much rehab work. Be conservative in your property income projections because rents – although protected by higher home prices – won’t rise as fast as they do.

Knezic-residence-exterior-rectangleWith home prices already above income levels, in another few years we’ll see an over-priced market, which will mean riskier mortgages. If you’re buying or holding property to sell, that will be the prudent time to cash out – or you could hold for a couple of years after that and ride the boom tiger.

The metro area is growing at an uneven pace, with the fastest growth now in Clark County, across the river. I expect 10,000 new homes built in Clark County over the next three years, and  8,000 new apartments. In much larger Multnomah County I expect 10,000 new homes and 13,000 apartments.

The original article can be found HERE on Forbes website.

Portland’s Home Shortage

The supply of homes for sale in Portland has declined 31.6 percent since last April, the largest drop of any major city in the country, according to a new report.

And the resulting shortage has helped push Portland home prices up 15.1 percent to $325,400 over the past year, the second-highest increase reported by the April Zillow Real Estate Market Report. Only Denver was higher with a 15.2 increase.

The report also says the biggest decline in the Portland supply occurred in the most affordable homes. The number of homes in the lower third of the price range fell 39.8 percent since last April, compared to 39 percent for those in the middle third and 21.6 percent for those in the top third.

portland-homesAlthough the situation in Portland is extreme, it is not unusual. According to Zillow, the number of home for sale have dropped and prices have increased across the country. There were 3.4 percent fewer homes for sale in April than last year, and prices have increased 4.9 percent to $187,000. Nationally, the number of entry-level homes for sale is down almost 8 percent over the past 12 months.

“The struggle will continue for home shoppers this summer,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, the chief economist for the online real estate resource. “New construction has been sluggish over the past year; we’re building about half as many homes as we should be in a normal market. There still aren’t enough homes on the market to keep up with the high demand from every type of home buyer. In many markets, those looking to buy a home in the bottom or middle of the market will need to be prepared for bidding wars and homes selling for over the asking price. This summer’s selling season’s borders will most likely be blurred again as many buyers are left without homes and will need to keep searching.”

In addition to low inventory, the Zillow report says home prices are rising in response to a strong job market, higher-than-expected wage growth and persistently low mortgage rates.

Dave Nielsen, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, says some local issues are affecting the Portland housing market.

“While there are some common factors our market shares with other markets facing similar issues around the country, two things that make our market worse are a lack of functional land supply and high government regulations and fees,” says Nielsen. “Our National Association did a study and found that, on average, regulations add almost $85,000 to the price of a new home. That amount has increased over 30% in the last five years, meaning government is accelerating fees and costs faster than people’s incomes are rising. The best thing government can do is to put more certainty into the development and building process, streamline regulations, and reduce fees and costs charged for new housing.”

You can read the Zillow report at tinyurl.com/hdzwabu.

The original article can be found HERE on The Portland Tribune’s website.

Portland… say what?!

Picture of a Luxury Home Swimming Pool and Back- yard

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s housing market is booming right now, but apparently so is the luxury housing market.

In a new report from Christie’s International Real Estate, Portland comes in at number 8 on a list of the world’s hottest luxury housing markets.

“This house is listed at 2.7 million,” said Terry Sprague, as he showed a luxury home in Lake Oswego. He’s the Founder of Luxe Platinum Properties and the owner of Christie’s International Real Esatate in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

There are a number of multi-million dollar homes on the market, but they may not stay available for long.

“In Portland we enjoyed a 40 percent increase in our luxury sales last year and we’re already off to a very quick start this year,” said Sprague. “We actually doubled our business last year.”

The report said premiere properties in the Portland area were selling in less than three months.

So who’s buying? Sprague said in the last few months, he’s already done $10-15 million in sales. International buyers made up about 70 percent of that.

“They’re actually specifically advertising our properties to their billionaires in China right now,”

Overseas buyers are buying homes for all sorts of reasons. Some want to live Oregon, others want to have a vacation home, and still others want an investment they think will go up in value.

“Real estate is becoming a new currency,” Sprague said.

The rest of the luxury home buyers are often younger, successful people who many times have a well-paying tech job. The report points out that Portland is attracting entrepreneurs and highly paid workers from Silicon Valley.

“Most recently I had two-million dollar, three-million dollar properties that have sold to 25, 30 years olds,” he said.

Sprague said if trends continue, he expects to see more growth in the next four to five years, especially when it comes to international buyers.

The original article can be found HERE on KGW’s website.

Mark your calendars – the Portland Modern Home Tour!

On Saturday, June 4th, the 2016 Portland Modern Home Tour will give area-residents the rare opportunity to explore eight incredible modern homes in the City of Roses and meet the local architects behind the designs. Modern Home Tours also welcomes the Architecture Foundation of Oregon as the tour’s non-profit partner for the first time.

Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) May 13, 201615dintegratearchitectureplanningbressler_040_copy

The first weekend in June marks the return of the annual Portland Modern Home Tour. For the 5th consecutive year, Modern Home Tours visits Portland to showcase eight of the area’s most unique homes that exemplify modern architecture and living. Portlandians are invited to get an up close and personal look at these homes, learn from homeowners what it’s like to live in a modern home and find out from where the architects got their inspiration. The tour is self-guided and self-driven, so attendees can explore these architectural treasures at their own pace. This is every Portland resident’s chance to check out “that cool house on the block…”‘

Welcomed as a new addition to the tour this year is the support of the Architecture Foundation of Oregon. They will help staff the event, in return for a donation and the opportunity to use the tour as a fundraising vehicle.

Local architecture expert Brian Libby, founder of portlandarchitecture.com, has carefully curated, selected and confirmed the eight participating homeowners and architects for the 2016 Portland Modern Home Tour:

  • For a second year in a row, take a walk through a (different) floating home that lies on the Willamette River in the Sellwood area of Portland. Designed by Integrate Architecture & Planning, p.c., the first floor of the home is an open plan with clear site lines all the way through from east to west. The entry is angled in plan toward the south to be easily visible from the community walkway while also providing a playful geometry which engages the guest. Plants in the solarium, off of the kitchen, provide an interactive privacy for the home and community. The stair walls are fluted glass block, which provide natural light and privacy.

…Participating homes in the 5th annual Portland Modern Home Tour will open their doors for viewing from 11AM – 5PM on Saturday, June 4th, in the Portland, Oregon area. All are invited to attend. Tickets for each tour are $35 in advance online; $40 on the day of the tour. An after-party will be open to all tour-goers after the tour at a location and time TBD. For details on all participants and to buy tickets, visit: http://modernhometours.com/event/2016-portland-modern-home-tour. Additional promotional considerations are offered by Gray Magazine and The Oregonian/Oregonlive.com.

The whole article can be found  HERE  on benzinga.com

A high-rise high school slated for downtown Portland

Plans are underway for another eight-story building in downtown Portland. But it’s not a new condo, or office tower – it’s a school.

Many of Portland’s recent boundary changes aim to relieve overcrowding at Lincoln High School in downtown.Screen_Shot_2016-05-12_at_4.05.41_PM_h8dxtf

But long-term, the district wants Lincoln to be bigger. The problem is that Lincoln is on a small piece of property. So, as the district’s capital projects director Erik Gerding explained, the plan is to build up.

“What would be considered the kind of ‘classroom tower’ so to speak is approximately eight stories. At this level of design, the master plan is kind of a big picture look, so the number of stories could fluctuate,” Gerding said.

The plan could include a new elementary or K-8 school on the Lincoln site.

Gerding said it would be the state’s first high-rise high school. The district design team is visiting Chicago this week to see one.

The district has not published any cost estimates for rebuilding Lincoln, but officials plan to present those at a meeting of the school board’s bond committee next week.

The whole story and another sketch can be found HERE on OPB’s website.

Portland Property Taxes Mapped!


Oregon’s unusual and complicated property tax system puts the brakes on how much your bill can grow each year, but it also allows for unavoidable and unexpected exceptions to the rule.

Housing reporter Luke Hammill recently explained some surprising changes in tax bills for residents of Portland’s Lents neighborhood between 2014 and 2015.

To help identify this and other trends in home prices and taxes, we compiled extensive data from tax collectors in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties for both years and calculated differences for every property.

The resulting maps allow you to see where you stand.

The maps indicate both changes in real estate prices across the region and changes in taxation.

You may know that unlike in other states, changes in real market values don’t always correspond directly to changes in Oregon property tax bills.

Effective rates, meaning the size of your bill compared to what your home is worth, vary widely. Gentrifying neighborhoods often end up paying lower effective rates because of the Measure 50 limitation on annual growth.

The system causes a majority of homeowners to pay more than their share of the cost of governments services based on home values, an analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive found last summer.

Check out the whole story HERE on The Oregonian’s website.


Next Stop Tigard! Light Rail Planned to connect Downtown to Tigard


A steering committee has picked light rail to link downtown Portland and Tigard, and opted to ditch a plan that would have called for a tunnel to serve Portland Community College’s Sylvania campus.

The selection follows a likeminded recommendation earlier this month from planners at the Metro regional government. The planners said light rail would cost less and cause less congestion because it could operate with fewer vehicles than the high-capacity bus service they had also considered.

And in the long term, the bus service couldn’t keep up with anticipated growth, the planners said.

Light rail, however, can’t climb the steep hill to access the hilltop college campus. A tunnel, like the one that serves Washington Park in Portland, would have made that possible — but increased the project cost by an estimated 21 percent.

The light-rail project is expected to cost $2 billion as currently imagined. A final route hasn’t been determined, but it would likely follow Southwest Barbur Boulevard for much of the route.

The whole article can be found HERE on The Oregonian website.