The Portland real estate market has come a long way. If we consider the things which this city has to offer, Portland’s growth in the real estate sector shouldn’t surprise us. Portland is an attractive city located in the Pacific Northwest region of the country. It has pleasant scenery, a good economy, and offers convenient access to other major Pacific Northwest areas, such as Seattle and northern California. Little by little, Portland has gained more attention on a nationwide level, and is now a recognizable place on the map. Although many people throughout the country have some sense of Portland’s growth in the real estate sector, few people have a sense of what this means in terms of numbers.
In this post, we’re going to examine the current state of the Portland real estate market, as of January, 2020. We will do this from two different angles: home values and mortgage rates. Hopefully, this quick overview will give our readers a more detailed sense of what’s currently happening in the Portland market.
Current Data on the Portland Real Estate Market
As of January, 2020, the Portland, OR, real estate market has a median home value of roughly $452,000. For those who may not be aware, the median value in a group of data denotes the middle, not the average; this means that a home which is above $452,000 in value in the upper half of all Portland homes, and vice versa. This value of $452,000 represents a modest increase of approximately 0.7% from where home values were 1 year ago. The forecast for Portland, OR, predicts another small increase over the upcoming 12 month period. Specifically, experts predict that the Portland market will grow by about 2.7% over the next year. All in all, these numbers indicate a fairly balanced, stable market for Portland as of January, 2020. This means that neither buyers not sellers can expect to have the upper hand in the buying process. If you’re preparing to enter the market as a buyer, for instance, you’re not very likely to encounter a bidding war for a given property. Of course, a bidding war is still possible, and so future buyers should still be prepared for this to happen. But the probability of dealing with a competing offer isn’t too high.
This value ($452,000) may not seem too impressive, especially if it were to be compared with certain markets, such as Seattle or San Francisco. But when we compare to where the Portland market was not too long ago, we can get a new sense of its significance. As recently as 2012, the median home value in Portland was as low as $264,000. That’s nearly $190,000 less than the current value! That’s a very large jump in such a short period of time. Not too many other markets in the country can compare in terms of growth.
Portland Mortgage Rates: January, 2020
If we look at Portland mortgage rates, we can see that now is a good time to enter the Portland market for those who plan to obtain financing. We can look at the rates which currently stand for all of Oregon in order to see those which apply to the city of Portland. These data for Oregon are fairly easy to research. We will look at the rates for a few different loan products. For conforming 30 year fixed-rate mortgage loans, Oregon State currently has an interest rate of 3.59% and an APR of 3.65%. For conforming 15 year fixed-rate mortgage loans, the interest rate is 3.03% and the APR is 3.14%. For 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), Oregon State currently has a rate of 3.47% and an APR of 4.03%. If we compare these rates to those which have applied throughout most of the country at most periods, we can say that these numbers are pretty encouraging.
If we look at the rates for government loans, the picture becomes even better. This is expected, as most government-backed loans offer lower interest rates. For 30 year fixed-rate FHA mortgage loans, Oregon has a current interest rate of 2.81% and an APR of 3.66%. For 30 year fixed-rate VA mortgage loans, the interest rate is 3.13% and the APR is 3.25%.
The rates for jumbo (i.e. non-conforming) mortgage loans in Oregon – and, by extension, Portland – are equally encouraging. Again, these rates paint a good picture for buyers who plan to obtain a mortgage loan for a Portland home acquisition. All this information we’ve cited here pointed to a situation in Portland which is pretty favorable for buyers. The market has become more pricy than before, but buyers aren’t likely to encounter a bidding war. This means that buyers shouldn’t expect to pay much more than the original asking price, and may even be able to bid prices downward. For those who are going to need financing, which is the majority of home buyers, interest rates in the Portland area aren’t prohibitively high or unreasonable. Buyers can expect to acquire a good rate, provided that they bring the requisite credentials and other supporting factors.
Jorgen Rex Olson is a writer based in Seattle, WA. He writes for Sammamish Mortgage, a leading mortgage provider for customers in the Pacific Northwest and Portland, OR.