Portland Real Estate Vis-a-Vis Price Ranges

Has the change in market conditions changed what is selling in the Portland housing market?  I thought we’d take a look this morning at four price ranges from this year and last year.  I used January of this and last year as our time frame.  I searched RMLS areas for North, Northeast, Southeast and West Portland.  The “total” in the graph is the total residential sales for those areas, not the entire RMLS market.

We see that closed sales are down across the board but that the lower price ranges have done “better.”

Closed Sales Jan- 08 % of 2008
Jan- 09 % of 2009
20009 drop in
sold sales
$200k-$400k 290 67% 163 77% -44%
$400-$600 66 15% 29 14% -56%
$600k-$800k 66 15% 17 8% -74%
Over $1M 12 3% 4 2% -67%
Total 434 213 -51%

There’s little doubt about the downward pressure on the real estate market. Senator Jeff Merkley held a forum over on BlueOregon yesterday discussing the mortgage crisis.  (Needed) new lending rules appear to have really hurt the sale of the $600,000-$800,000 homes.  I think it is because these were the “stretch” homes for a lot of buyers that regardless of the details of their loans qualified then and not now.  With conventional loan limits in the $417k ($625k in high cost markets, of which Portland is not one) and 20% down, anything over $500,000 is probably coming straight from cash in the bank.  The cycle becomes vicious once those are in and want/need to get out can’t because those that want/could get in can’t or don’t want to.

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