As one of the most sought-after regions in Oregon, Portland’s real estate has been a hot topic for buyers and sellers alike. In this blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at the latest statistics on the number of homes sold, median sales price, median Days on Market, and more.
Whether you’re a prospective buyer, a seller, or just interested in staying up-to-date on the latest trends in the housing market, this blog will provide you with valuable insights and information. So, let’s dive in and explore what happened during the fourth quarter of 2023.
Number of Homes Sold
In the final quarter of 2023, Portland witnessed a total of 3,511 homes sold, reflecting a 26.5% decrease from Q3 2023. While this shift might seem substantial, it aligns with the historical pattern of real estate markets experiencing a decline during Q4.
In addition to seasonal changes, this fluctuation is also due to a continued combination of factors. The holiday season often sees a decrease in buyer activity. Moreover, the winter weather shapes market dynamics during this period, affecting the overall pace of real estate transactions.
Comparing Q4 2023 to the same quarter in 2022 reveals a 16.31% decrease. Notably, this quarter marks the lowest number of homes sold in the past five years, indicating a pronounced shift in market dynamics. Beyond the historical aspects, the rough weather, low inventory, and higher-than-previous-years interest rates have contributed to this decline.
Median Sales Price
In Q4 2023, the median sales price for homes in Portland stood at $575,000, showing a 2.54% decrease compared to this year’s Q3. Despite the slight dip in prices during this quarter, the market remains stable.
December 2023 data from Realtor.com reveals a sale-to-list price ratio of 99.01% and FRED reports a median listing price of $600,000 for Portland-Vancouver, Hillsboro, OR-WA. These data show that homes in Portland sold for approximately the asking price on average in December.
The median sales price in this quarter is 2.31% higher than Q4 2022. Moreover, the median sales price in Q4 2023 is the highest ever recorded for this quarter, underscoring a strong market and sustained appreciation in home prices.
The winter months traditionally see a slight dip in home prices before rebounding a month or two later. In addition, the high demand has prevented significant declines and this resilience is expected to persist, bolstering home prices as we head into 2024.
Median Days on Market
The median Days on Market in Q4 2023 jumped to 28. This shows an increase of 15 days compared to the previous quarter. The surge in median Days on Market is an anticipated seasonal trend.
Comparing it to the same quarter of last year, there is an increase of 4 days in the median Days on Market which may not signal much. This is common and is influenced by factors such as reduced buyer activity and a preference among sellers to wait for the more active spring season. Besides the seasonal trends, factors affecting the increase in median Days on Market include limited inventory, high mortgage rates, and high inflation.
Buyers may have more time for decision-making and potentially more negotiating power. But, the heightened competition in the market may only provide a small advantage.
While the Q4 median Days on Market is longer than the previous quarters, it’s still relatively low. This means that the selling cycle is not long in the grand scheme of things. Yet, sellers still need to exercise patience and price their home strategically to attract buyers and secure a successful sale.
As of January 18, 2024, the average 30-year FRM was 6.6%. While this rate remains higher than many homeowners’ locked-in rates, it's lower than before, reaching the lowest point since May of 2023.
This is an encouraging development for the housing market especially for first-time homebuyers who are sensitive to the changes in housing affordability. Lower interest rates enhance buyers' purchasing power and widen the pool of prospective buyers for sellers, contributing to a more dynamic market.
However, the positive impact on housing affordability comes with its set of challenges. The surge in purchase demand, driven by attractive mortgage rates, places additional pressure on the current inventory shortage. The heightened competition for available properties may lead to increased property prices and potentially impact the overall accessibility of homes in Portland.
Portland Housing Market Forecast for Q1 2024
Despite the initial concerns of a housing market crash, the market has remained stable. The first quarter of the year is usually a reset for the real estate market. Prices, sales activity, and inventory start to ramp up in February and March.
The recent dip in mortgage rates offers a glimmer of hope for the challenging housing market, but home prices and still-high rates will still pose significant hurdles for many sellers and buyers in 2024. Experts anticipate a 2-4% nationwide increase in home prices across the first quarter, due to the persistent housing shortage. Still, buyers should be prepared for a competitive market over the next few months while sellers need to follow best pricing practices to ensure top dollar for their properties.
In summary, Q4 2023 underscored the resilience of Portland’s real estate market. The data reveals a dynamic landscape influenced by seasonal shifts, economic factors, and changing buyer behaviors. In this ever-evolving environment, staying well-informed is crucial for both buyers and sellers.
Knowledge empowers decision-making, allowing you to navigate market fluctuations with confidence. For any questions or to gain deeper insights into the current housing market of Portland, don’t hesitate to reach out. Your real estate journey is unique, and having a trusted advisor by your side can make all the difference.