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Portland Real Estate

Portland homes’ annual price increases lead nation – again

From Oregon Live

Yet again, the Portland-area real estate market posted the country’s largest annual gains in home values February – the fifth consecutive month it did so and the fourth straight outright, according to the monthly Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.

Home prices in the region increased 11.9 percent year-over-year in February, the report found. Seattle and Denver posted the next-highest annual gains, with 11 percent and 9.7 percent increases, respectively.

“Entry-level and mid-market buyers – typically the housing market’s bread and butter – are likely to face stiff competition, rapidly rising prices and very limited inventory,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, in an Portland Oregon Real Estateemail. “The patience of many buyers will be tested in coming months.”

That has certainly been true in the Portland seller’s market, where inventory dropped again in March to a tiny 1.3 months. The figure estimates how long it would take for all current homes on the market to sell at the current pace. Six months is considered balanced.

Nationally, price increases slowed, according to Case-Shiller. The national index recorded a 5.3 percent annual gain in February, which was the same as the previous month. And composite indices featuring 10 and 20 of the nation’s top metro areas grew more slowly for the year ending in February than the one ending in January.

The national inventory stands at 4.8 months, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, in a news release.

“Homeowners looking to sell their house and trade up to a larger house or a more desirable location are concerned with finding that new house,” Blitzer said. “Additionally, the pace of new single-family home construction and sales has not completely recovered from the recession.”

— Luke Hammill

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