Million-dollar homes are becoming less of a rarity in Portland these days, something that plays out loud and clear in the sheer number of homes that sold for $1 million or more in the first quarter of this year.
“The Portland luxury market saw a 29 percent increase in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2016,” said Michael Babbitt, managing principal broker for Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Oregon/Washington.
“For the last four years, Oregon has been one of the top moving destinations.”
According to Sotheby’s, which gathered data from the Real Estate Multiple Listing Service, 132 houses sold for $1 million or more in the entire metro region in the first quarter of this year. That’s up from 94 houses that sold for that amount in the first quarter of 2016.
The data also shows that 20 houses sold for $2 million or more this year versus six that sold for that much last year.
The increase in high-priced homes comes in part from the larger trends driving Portland’s residential real estate market. Low supply and high demand, low interest rates, a solid economy and the overall appeal of the Rose City that continues to draw people to town are all playing out at the high end, too.
“These conditions also affect the luxury market,” Babbitt said.
He also noted that Portland has become an attractive target for international investors looking to place money in the luxury market. Vancouver, B.C., had been a top destination for foreign money, but a 15 percent tax on international homebuyers there, implemented last year, has found investors, including many from China, turning their eyes toward Seattle and Portland.
The upper-end market is likely to continue to see a continued upswing, at least until 2020, when rising interest rates and a gradual increase in new supply could help level it out.
Michelle Maida, office leader with John L. Scott Portland Woodstock, said that upswing across the entire market is going to be with us for a while.
“Homes are selling at a premium within days of coming on the market,” she said. “Multiple offers with escalation clauses are the plate du jour and probably aren’t going away anytime soon.”
Note that the data only includes homes within the Portland city limits and that were purchased by individuals, not business entities. The data comes from the Portland Business Journal and runs through March 17.