Best Places to Live in the Oregon Real Estate Market

    Oregon Housing MarketThe Portland real estate market finished 2015 with a bang, capping off a year of record-breaking December sales numbers. The 2,700 closed home sales were the highest recorded totals since 1992 and were a 21% increase over the previous December. Even the inventory was at its lowest in 16 years at 1.2 months. This number estimates how long it would take for all homes currently on the market to sell at their current listing price. “In a healthy balanced market you typically see 4 to 6 months’ supply, so this illustrates how little there is for sale right now,” says chief economist for Windermere Real Estate Matthew Gardner. The current demand for homes is driving up prices closer to the levels seen before the recession. The average sale price last year rose nearly 7% from $333,000 to $354,000.

    So with high prices and low demand why is Portland still a great place to live? The beach is 90 minutes to the west. To the east are the mountains. The food and wine scene is one of the best in the country. The weather is great. And the economy is constantly strong because of tourism and a growing tech sector. People want to live here for a reason, and with demand comes high prices.

    It’s not a surprise that the success of the Portland market is spilling over into surrounding regions and this is true for the Oregon City real estate market. Located on the southeast fringe of Portland the market for Oregon City is comparable in average sales price at around $318,000. However, just across the Clackamas River from Oregon City is Gladstone. Gladstone real estate is about $40,000 less than Oregon City and has been a draw for Portland residents who want to spend less while still enjoying the benefits that the area has to offer.

    The most popular areas of Portland may be the southeast and West, but some great areas for people looking to be close to the city are Aloha and Beaverton. Home values in Aloha have risen nearly 14% in the past year and forecasts see this trend continuing, albeit at a slower clip. The median sale price as of January was $267,000, and the average rental goes for $1,584. Beaverton has seen a similar increase in home values percentage wise, but the median sales price is higher at $289,000. Rentals are only slightly higher at $1,662. Both Aloha and Beaverton cost less to buy or rent in than the Portland metro area.

    Further south of Beaverton and Aloha, Salem real estate is also on the rise. And with a median sales price of $206,000 and a rental price that matches the national average it’s an affordable alternative to some of the higher priced neighboring markets. Salem’s largest employer is the state government. But because of several higher college facilities the capital offers many other employment opportunities including healthcare, transit, and education. Salem is also a strong agriculture hub.

    On the southern end of the Oregon real estate market are the cities of Eugene and Bend. These two cities are separated by the Willamette National Forest, but what they have in common is that they’re little known havens for great real estate. Eugene real estate has not increased by double digit percentages in home values like much of the state has but it still saw an increase last year of 6.5%. Homes in the Eugene market are selling at an average price of $234,000, and the rental costs in the city are below the state and national averages.

    On the other hand, Bend real estate is not priced as low as Eugene and it’s also seen a higher rate of home sales in a shorter period of time. Homes are selling for around $339K, a 13% increase in the past year. Rentals are also beginning to exceed supply, driving rental unit costs above state and national norms. Bend has become a outdoor recreational and arts center that has been drawing in new residents in recent years.

    What this Means for You

    The popularity of Portland, and it’s future in terms of real estate is bright.  This may provide opportunity for the cities nearby to Portland to experience some of the growth of the state’s metropolitan. Prices are climbing fast in Portland, and people who have been here are looking to sell and move out, while others may not be able to afford rising rents and seek other locations.

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