Portland, OR ranked the 3rd “quirkiest” city in the US

Keep Portland Weird sign on building in Old Town Portland

Keep Portland Weird sign on building in Old Town PortlandTravel and Leisure, often known for creating rankings of cities based on traits they are commonly known for (features such as romance, thrift shopscraft beers) has recently put out its rankings of cities that have been shaped by its “kookiest denizens.” You are probably not surprised that Portland is on the list of top 20 cities, but in fact, Portland out-ranked San Francisco this year coming in at #3, while San Francisco came in at #6.

The top two cities were Austin, Texas at #2 and New Orleans taking all the honors as the quirkiest city in the country. Following is a quote from the article in Travel and Leisure describing some of the reasons why Portland was among the top 5 quirkiest cities.

“Portland, Oregon

The legendary community of hipsters ranked at the top of this year’s survey for being pedestrian-friendly—and perhaps, by association, unicycle-friendly, too. The independently minded locals are known for their passion for sourcing: the store MadeHere PDX boasts all local (and often kind of bizarre) products, like mustache wax or a wood-and-leather six-pack holder for cyclists. Readers also awarded Portland the top spots for its tasting-room coffee (like Coava) and craft beer (like the inventive brews at Coalition Brewing), but the City of Roses even offers a tasting-room experience with salt. At Jacobsen Salt (which shares space with the artisanal honeys of Bee Local), you can sample, say, the Smoked Cherrywood or Stumptown Coffee Flake salts. Unicycling is clearly good for your core: the locals also ranked No. 3 for being buff.”

Austin beat out Portland, perhaps because among its other notable features is the annual live armadillo race. Do we need to discuss more why New Orleans continues to rank #1 year after year?

Keep Austin Weird/Keep Portland Weird/Keep Louisville Weird?

Did you know that Austin was the first city to claims the motto “keep Austin weird” which was created in 2000 by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin? Portland unofficially claimed the same motto to promote businesses in this city in 2003, though, like Austin it has evolved into a mantra for both cities, and was even later picked up by Louisville, KY sometime late in 2005-2006.

Please like & share:

Freddie Mac ranks Portland as the most improving housing market in 2015

Freddie Mac says there are 5 metropolitan areas, including Portland, that are out-pacing the rest of the country this year.

Those at the top include:

1. Portland, OR

2. Riverside, CA

3. San Jose, CA

4. Nashville, TN

5. Baton Rouge, LA

Freddie Mac ranks Portland as most improving market nationwide in 2015Yes, you read that right. Portland metro housing market is the leading improving metro area in the country right now. Freddie bases its statistics on what it calls the MiMi (Multi indicator market index). According to Freddie, the MiMi hit a high of 121.7 in April 2007, while it hit its low of only 57.4 in October 2010. Since then the housing market has rebounded approximately 31% and nationwide currently stands at 75.4%. That is still considered a weak housing market by Freddie Mac standards, but Portland now sits at 80.5% which is considered the low end of what Portland’s range should be. Still, we are a hot market, so that standing should continue to improve as we move into the summer months, typically the “busiest season” housing season of the year.

Please like & share:

Projections show Portland metro summer housing market will continue to be hot and competitive

Sold - Sale pending signAccording to Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive , the Portland housing market is “fierce” and has been “the most competitive since the housing market began its recovery in 2012, with cash offers, above asking-price bids and rapid-fire negotiations marking desirable properties. New numbers from the Regional Multiple Listing Service this week suggest that won’t let up as the year’s busiest buying season begins.”

RMLS show that there were 2,734 homes sold in April 2015, and 2691 in May. While new houses are being listed all the time, at this pace, we will be out of houses to sell by the end of the summer because new housing is definitely lagging behind demand.

We know that over the last few years there have been approximately 30,000 new residents settling in the Portland metro area every year. It is forecast that this number will increase as we continue to see weather extremes across the country. From my own personal experience, we are seeing a major influx of residents relocating from California. This is being driven by their very high home prices as well as the extreme drought causing a lack of water, even for residential use. Other realtors I have talked with recently are also seeing far more residents relocating here from the east coast after the last two years of extreme winters.

A six month supply of inventory is generally considered a healthy market, while Portland numbers are less than 3 months at this time, and have dropped as low as 1.8 months earlier this year.

So “fierce” market competition is likely to continue throughout the summer and into the fall months as buyers rush to lock in purchases before the Feds raise rates and price many would-be buyers out of the market. As it is, mortgage rates are creeping up. Last year many home owners were able to lock in refinance rates as low as 3.5%, but most lenders are now quoting 4%* and even higher as rates continue to creep up anticipating the Fed announcement.

Another factor driving the market competition is the huge number of cash buyers we are seeing this year. Where the cash is coming from is irrelevant. What is unusual is that cash buyers are not seeing the advantage they had seen in the past where they could offer less and their offers were accepted because they could pay cash.

For sellers, weighing various offers can be complicated. Cash offers foster deal making with less chance of running into a snag, but sometimes the offers are lower. Meanwhile, high bidders — whether paying cash or using a mortgage — sometimes get cold feet and pile on additional demands.

And then, there’s the matter of whether the seller can find a place to move once their house belongs to somebody else.

The market is definitely very complicated for both buyers and sellers right now. But we seem to be seeing prices hitting a plateau finally. Hopefully this will continue as the summer progresses.

*rates for best qualified buyers

Click here to read more about how to qualify for the best mortgage rates

Please like & share:

Which areas in Portland are among the 25 hottest markets in 2015?

It’s no surprise to those buyers who have been active in the market this year. The market is hot and buying a house is very competitive. In fact, some buyers have found themselves bidding on multiple homes only to find themselves outbid again and again.

So which areas are the hottest this year? According to Portland Business Journal, the 25 hottest markets in 1st quarter (based only on the number of houses sold) in 2015 are:

Top 25 neigborhoods 1st quarter 2015


It’s interesting to note that the majority of the most active neighborhoods would be considered higher priced, but there are also lower priced areas in the mix. Foster Powell at #3 on the chart above, has been historically somewhat of a sleeper neighborhood, and in fact, all of 97206 has seen a real surge in buyers this year. Also note that Gresham, generally considered an area to seek out homes in the far east part of Portland is on this list twice, so home buyers who can no longer afford close in east Portland are moving further east in order to find homes that are more affordable. This is driving up prices in outer east Portland neighborhoods.

The 2nd quarter of 2015 has been equally active, if not more so, and it will be interesting to see which areas are, according to Portland business journal, the most active. In fact, the forecast is that the number of buyers out there is increasing as the year progresses. With an almost historic low inventory of houses available, this might turn out to be a year for the record books in the Portland metro area.

Stay tuned. I will keep updating information as it becomes available.

You might also like to Oregon ranks 10th in the nation among states for appreciation in house prices, according to the federal report.

Oregon home prices increase by 6.4%

Oregon ranks 10th in the nation among states for appreciation in house prices, according to the federal report.

Please like & share: