RMLS Market Action for October 2011 was released yesterday. The average price of residential property in Portland is $258,700. The median price is $221,000. So what does the NBA lockout have to do with that? CNBC reports that the average NBA player has lost $220,000 in wages thus far due to the lockout (Kobe has lost over a million dollars). That means the NBA’s 450 players could have purchased 5% of Portland’s housing inventory and reduced the current 6.8 months of inventory to 6.5 months just by playing some basket ball.
In reality most of that salary income would not have been spent in Portland and it is not the players losing out. The economic impact to Portland is of far greater concern than the impact to millionaires fighting with billionaires. The NY Times which has a documented love affair with Portland reported on how cities that are a one-team-town suffer the most (they failed to acknowledge the Timbers). Joe Freeman at the Oregonian also wrote of the impact to the local economy which was repudiated by economist Patrick Emerson. The Rose Garden employs 900 people a night and the City gets $77,000 for its coffers on games days. Six games of revenue would have paid for the police overtime last weekend at Occupy Portland protests. All the money referenced above will be spent one way or another but a large portion probably won’t be spent in Portland.
Moving off the soapbox, let’s go back to RMLS Market Action. The average and median prices referenced above are both declines on both an annual and monthly basis. Inventory has pretty much remained static, up just one tenth of a month. 6.8 months of inventory is lower that it was at any point in 2010. A positive note is both pending and closed sales are up compared to October 2010 and year-to-date compared to 2010. More houses are selling but for less money.