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Portland Monthly - New Listings Hold Steady While Buying Activity Cools Off

New listings increase ever so slightly while purchase activity declines. Is the market cooling in buyers' favor?

Wayne Olson
Wayne Olson
3 min read
Portland Monthly - New Listings Hold Steady While Buying Activity Cools Off
Photo by Collov Home Design / Unsplash

If you're in the market to buy a home in the Portland area and you thought it felt as though the market wasn't quite as crazy as it felt in the spring, then you're not hallucinating.

Don't read too much into that though. The market is still crazy; it's just not as crazy as it was in the spring.

But just how different is the market now than it was a few months ago?


RMLS just published it's monthly market update for July, and here are the key stats that you need to know for July when compared to June:

  • Pending sales (accepted offers) decreased 5.1%
  • New listing inventory increased 0.7%

In layman's terms, fewer offers getting accepted on roughly the same amount of inventory means that the market is a little easier to compete in since there are fewer buyers competing for the same number of houses.

Case in point:

I'm working with a couple who, after becoming accustomed to regularly competing with anywhere between 5-15 other buyers, just got their offer accepted on a home where there was only one other competing offer. And while the home needed some cosmetic work and backed up to a busy road (things that generally decrease a home's pool of prospective buyers), if this house went on the market in the spring, it would not have been just one other buyer vying for that house.

Guaranteed.

This increase in new listings combined with fewer offers getting accepted was also true in June, when new listings increased 8.2% from May, while accepted offers decreased 4.9%.

But is the market shifting? No, it isn't, because this is the typical pattern we see, more or less, year after year (unless your name is 202o). The market heats up in spring and then levels off in summer— and that's what we're seeing now.

We also see this in the number of home tours being conducted every week, where on average the number of weekly property tours is running lower than during the height of the spring market.

Weekly Showing Statistics for RMLS Oregon

Portland Area Housing Prices

We're also seeing upward pressure on prices lose steam, with average sales prices leveling off as well. And, again, this is the typical seasonal pattern that we see as we transition from the spring to the summer market— prices run up as we move from winter to spring, level off in summer and then soften up in the fall as we head back to the winter market.

But don't take losing steam for going down. Prices are holding steady for now, and relative to previous years, housing prices are still very high because of how rapidly they increased in the first few months of the year.

Consider this:

Between January and April 2021, average and median sales prices increased a whopping 8%— in case it didn't quite register, that's 8% in four months, folks. When we compare the first 7 months of 2021 with the first 7 months of 2020, average and median sales prices are now up between 17-19%.

Whoa...

But for now prices have leveled off and are holding steady, staying true to real estate's generally seasonal pattern, rather than continuing a rapid upward increase. From June to July, the average sales price fell 0.7%, with the median increasing just a paltry 0.2% (which is hardly even worth mentioning).

With the data we have now, I expect pricing to remain steady through the rest of summer and then, as they typically do, start to soften in the fall.


Have any questions about the market? Or perhaps you'd like to know if now is the right time to buy your next home or sell your current one?

You can schedule a free strategy call with me by clicking below. There's no obligation, and it's a quick way to get all of your real estate questions answered.

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Wayne Olson

I'm a principal real estate broker helping people buy, sell and invest in real estate all over the Portland metropolitan area. I have two boys and love all this beautiful city has to offer.