Portland, Oregon real estate prices have arguably been on a proverbial roller-coaster for over a decade. From the city’s meteoric pre-crash rise to prominence followed by its plunge into an abyss of short sales and foreclosures with corresponding low prices, uncertainty is the only constant. Now, in the wake of the Great Recession, Portland short sale specialists can’t help but notice that the metropolitan area is now has some of the fastest rising housing costs in the nation. With rental properties scarce and available inventory of real estate listings even scarcer, it seems like the concept of supply and demand has become king in dictating what it costs to live in the city. Recent housing data from RMLS shows inventory of available Portland homes for sale has dropped below 1.5 months of inventory (at current sales rates, every active residential real estate listing on the market would be sold). An influx of new people moving to the Portland metro area has also put pressure on the rental market, with many families priced out of areas because wages are not high enough to support even renting an apartment. People having trouble finding a place to rent and increasing monthly costs are also pressuring households into the increasingly competitive ranks of hopeful home-buyers. With market conditions like this it’s no wonder I’ve started getting acupuncture treatments to help alleviate the tension of being a Realtor.
Is Portland, Oregon in Another Housing Bubble?
The most truthful answer to the question of whether Portland, Oregon is in the throws of “Housing Bubble 2.0” is this: we just don’t know. Worldwide economic troubles like the British exit from the European Union (BREXIT) as well as trouble on Wall Street in the form of generally weak corporate earnings and volatile stock markets may put a damper on our local economy. Conversely, factors like cheap oil, strong consumer confidence, very low interest rates and stock markets hitting record highs as indicators of continued economic prosperity. As a further point, Portland, Oregon being one of the most popular destinations for people across the nation to move to may change the economic landscape of the city. As such, even in a bear market, the city’s new position as a prime relocation destination might bolster its home values to the point that we may not even feel much of the economic pain of the next periodic recession. These bullish sentiments are tempered by concerns over housing and rental costs rising above household budgets with many pointing out that home values in Portland cannot continue to go up at the current rate without eventually pricing everyone out of the market.
In summary, the city’s increased popularity is driving up home values in Portland, OR very quickly but concerns over whether these fast-increasing prices will prove to be proverbial feet of clay that add unwanted brittleness to our local housing market. Whether prices continue to rise, plateau or settle, Portland short sales will continue to be a factor in the local real estate economy. We don’t know what the future holds and only time will tell whether these changes are sustainable or whether the coming years will see a crash and another wave of Portland short sales and foreclosures.
Portland Short Sale Specialists in 2016
With home prices way up across the metro area, some might wonder whether Portland short sales are still relevant. Well, as a Portland short sale specialist I’d like to point out that yes, distressed property situations still occur and are likely to increase in years to come for a number of reasons. First off, increased home prices mean that loan amounts are much higher and this puts a strain on family budgets. Families with higher mortgage payments have less of a financial safety net which means that any financial hardship is more likely to result in a mortgage default. Furthermore, those who do fall behind on their mortgage will find it harder to get current when the payments are much higher. Increasing home values have also resulted in a new rise in second mortgages and HELOCs (Home Equity Lines Of Credit). HELOCs may be tempting for home owners to tap into to offset lean times and to pay off student loans, auto loans, do costly household repairs or renovations, to fund family vacations or to pay for vacations. However, these HELOC loans add another layer of debt to home owners and mean that a home has to sell for a higher price to cover that additional debt. As a Portland short sale specialist I’ve seen many otherwise financially stable home owners need to short sale because HELOC debt was out of control.
Common reasons that Portland, Oregon home owners need to short sale include things like: Medical bills, child-birth, job transfer, curtailment of income, on the job injury, company lay-offs, medical bills, short/long-term disability and marital disputes or divorce/separation. No matter what your financial difficulty is, please call us to find out how our experience in negotiating with banks can help you to have realistic expectations throughout the short sale process. We work with all major banks and we use this experience to help our clients understand the process more fully. Often, clients have tried loan modifications or other mediation and have experienced the frustration and confusion of trying to reason with the bank. Fortunately, we’re here to help you through the process and have insight into proven techniques that get banks to pay attention and get our short sale clients the answers they are looking for.