94% of Portland-area homes are more valuable than ever

    Nearly every Portland-area home is more valuable today than it’s ever been.

    An analysis by the real-estate website Zillow found that 94 percent of metro-area homes would command a higher sale price today they would have during the housing bubble of the 2000s.

    That would have been unremarkable during the bubble years, when home values were breaking new ground across the country. But today, only 48 percent of U.S. homes have overtaken their bubble peaks.

    And Portland is near the front of the pack. Only three other metros — Denver, Dallas and Nashville — saw a greater percentage of homes with record values.

    Portland had a pronounced housing bubble, and like most cities that saw prices fall dramatically in the Great Recession, it also saw them rebound quickly. Denver, Dallas and Nashville experienced more modest bubbles.

    But the values in Portland didn’t slow when they came back in line with historic levels. Instead, they’ve continued to climb.

    “You had a big bubble, but the growth in the more recent period is what’s really driving it,” said Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow. “The jobs are good, and a lot of people are moving to the area.”

    Construction of new homes for sale has been slow, pushing prices higher.

    The rising home prices have contributed to a broader affordability crisis by putting more pressure on the rental market while pushing homeownership further out of reach for some.

    But the growth in home prices might be nearing an outer limit. Annual home-price growth slowed somewhat in July, to just 8.7 percent, according to Zillow, well short of the double-digit growth seen a year ago.

    “Eight percent is still faster than income growth,” Olsen said, “and that does put a damper on affordability.”

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