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Where in the World is Portland, Oregon?

“Portland real estate.”  We use the phrase all of the time. So where exactly is Portland? Wikipedia lists 21 Portlands in the United States but what is that we are talking about once we decide we are talking about Portland, Oregon real estate?

The Case Shiller Index uses the Portland MSA, the 23rd largest in the country, for its reporting on the Portland real estate market. It encompasses seven counties. The is a map of the Portland MSA on last week’s post. A drive from the southwest corner of the MSA to the northeast corner would be over 140 miles.

RMLS, according to Market Action: “Statistics reflect reported activity for the greater Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, to include Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Yamhill, & Columbia counties; Lane, Douglas, Coos & Curry Counties in Oregon; portions of other Oregon Counties; and Clark, Cowlitz & Pacific Counties in Washington.”

So how local do we need to be? How broad of a brush stroke answers your questions? Case Shiller Index numbers are national news. RMLS Market Action stats are big news here each month An appraisal looks at houses within a half mile of a property.  Market data is readily available for zip codes as well.

If we take RMLS Market Action from April, the report shows Portland has a 7.3 months inventory, the ratio of active listings to closed sale. But if we take a closer look at the five RMLS areas that make up Portland another picture is painted:

Active Closed Inventory
141 North Portland 498 88 5.7 Months
142 NE Portland 1056 201 5.3 Months
143 SE Portland 1373 283 4.9 Months
149 West Portland 1847 198 9.3 Months
149 NW Portland 571 101 5.7 Months
5345 871 6.1 Months

This means if the theory that the shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market at six months is accurate, four of the five Portland areas were in a seller’s market in April and the fifth, West Portland, is more of a buyer’s market than the overall picture shows . When May’s numbers are published, I’ll run the same calculations.

The most important consideration is that you understand what the data is reporting for any given report.

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