It’s official. Throughout the Portland-Vancouver metro area, home prices have hit new median highs as of the end of 2015. All four counties have surpassed the values and prices last seen prior to the housing crash of 2007.
What’s driving all this growth? I’ll recap some of the reasons covered in the past, and add a couple new reasons that aren’t as common knowledge.
- Approximately five hundred new people are taking up residence in this area every week and they need a place to live.
- More high paying jobs are being created as technology businesses create outposts and new offices in the Portland area.
- The extreme volatility in the stock market has many investors re-thinking the wisdom of investing on Wall Street. Institutional investors are buying up the Portland housing market and are aggressively competing with all cash offers often at premium prices as they consider our market a better investment than Wall Street. Portland is currently the 2nd most desirable area for institutional investors in the country.
- Mortgage rates remain low for those still financing their purchases.
- Millennials have entered the housing market.
- Record low housing inventory has buyers driving up prices with bidding wars as new buyers try to get into the housing market. This is especially true for houses priced at or below $400,000.
- Builders have been very much behind the eight ball in catching up to housing demand; though big developers such as DR Horton and Lennar Homes just completed purchases of huge tracts of land. Still it will be a couple years before they are able to sell houses on those parcels because plans must be submitted to cities for approval of developments and of course the infrastructure has to be completed before they can even start building houses.
It seems that every day new articles cross my desk talking about just how hot the market is in Portland, but the prognosis for how long this housing boom will last continues to be extended. Last year the “experts” were saying that we would see a robust market at least through 2016, but now some experts say that with the unprecedented job growth, low housing inventory, and rate of migration to this area, our housing market may very well not slow down until sometime in 2018!