Portland metro home sales climb in October


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Portland-area home sales rebounded in October after a slow September, but the housing market remains sluggish compared to a year ago.

The metro saw 2,440 homes sold in October, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service, up 7.4% compared with September but down 4.9% from the same month a year earlier.

Sale contracts also fell year-over-year, foretelling more declines.

Portland, Ore.

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Home prices continue to rise, however. The median home price climbed 3.9% from a year ago, reaching $395,000.

The combination of rising prices and the increasing cost of borrowing has put a damper on a formerly red-hot market. Mortgage rates are at their highest level in eight years, with the 30-year fixed-rate average sitting just below 5%, according to Freddie Mac.

As sales have slowed, homes on the market have started to pile up, but one measure suggests it’s still a seller’s market.

If October’s rate of sales continued, it would take 2.7 months to sell all 6,550 homes listed at the end of the month. A supply of less than five to six months suggests a seller’s market, and that figure hasn’t climbed above four months since 2014.

The homes that sold in October, however, spent 53 days on the market from listing until an offer was accepted. That’s a week slower than a year prior.

Matthew Gardner, chief economist for Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate, said the numbers show Portland is moving toward a more balanced market.

“Perceptions are being skewed by the fact that the area has not experienced a balanced market since before the ’08 bubble burst,” he said.

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