December was a surprisingly active month for home sales throughout the country. The western quadrant of the country was especially active, including metro Portland real estate. Prices rose 8.2% from December 2014 to December 2015. Additionally, existing home sales jumped 11.9% in comparison to December 2014. This was in part because of a holdover from November, with home closures delayed by the implementation of the new Know Before You Owe rules. However, buyers were also motivated by increasing mortgage rates. While experts predict that the 2016 Portland home market might not reach the same level as it did in 2015, there is still much to be positive about right now.
People who desire to move to a larger Portland home will create inventory for those who are just entering the market. Low supply in general, and especially in the lower price brackets, has led to stiff competition. Buyers and sellers should also be aware that the new rules are leading to longer closing times. If you need to buy or sell on a specific time frame, consider starting a home search sooner rather than later. Be sure to work closely with your real estate agent so you can meet your deadline.