Moving to Portland
June 2015 Newsletter


Shelli Gowdy
Real Estate Broker
Windermere Stellar
Susan Marthens
Principal Real Estate Broker
Windermere Stellar
Here we go again with some changes. The Moving to Portland monthly has an upgrade in order to make it mobile friendly. You should now be able to read the newsletter on your smartphone and tablet. 

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Market Action Reports 
The Market Action reports for the Portland metro area as well as all Oregon areas and Southwest Washington are also available to download. It also has the summary page for the June 2015 Portland metro area home prices.
June 2015 Real Estate Highlights

Portland continued to see strong real estate activity this June. Closed sales, at 3,302 for the month, showed an increase of 26.2% over the 2,617 closings posted in June 2014 and a 12.2% increase over the 2,942 closings posted just last month. The last time the region had this strong of a June was in 2006, when 3,352 transactions closed for the month.

Pending sales (3,605) bested last June's 2,965 by 21.6% and showed an increase of 1.7% over the 2,965 offers accepted in May 2015. Again, this was the best June for pending sales in some time--the last best June being in 2005 when 3,839 offers were accepted in the month. 

The 4,280 new listings bested last June's 4,078 by 5.0% and last month's (4,161) by 2.9%.

Inventory decreased downward once again in June, and currently sits at 1.6 months. Total market time decreased as well, now standing at 44 days. There are currently a total of 5,388 active residential listings in the Portland metro area.


Activity has been higher in 2015 than in 2014 across the board. Pending sales (18,264) are up 24.2%, closed sales (15,138) are up 20.9%, and new listings (21,962) are up 8.5% for the year thus far.

Click on image to enlarge.
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for June 2015.

Average & Median Sales Prices
Median Price for a Home in the Portland Metro Area $320,000 in June 2015

Prices continue to rise in 2015 compared to 2014. Comparing each year through June,  the average sale price rose 5.8% from $328,900 to $347,900.

In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 7.1% from $280,000 to $300,000.

Click on image to enlarge.
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for June 2015.

Sales Price Percent Change
Average Sales Price Percent Change 6.1% in June 2015

The Average Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rollng average sale price for the last 12 months (7/1/2014 - 6/30/2015) with 12 months before (7/1/2013 - 6/30/2014).
  • Average Sales Price Percent Change: 6.1% ($342,100 v. $322,500)
  • Median Sales Price Percent Change:  7.1% ($295,500 v. $270,000)
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for June 2015.

New Highs
The average sales price set a new high in June from the previous peak in August 2007 by $3,000. The new high is $369,500 whereas the August 2007 was $366,900.

The median sales price jumped $18,000 from its peak in July 2007. The new high is $320,000 and the 2007 price was $302,000.
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for June 2015.

Cost of Residential Homes by Community
Below is the chart that displays the June 2015 numbers by area or community. It includes the following:
  • Number of closed sales.
  • Average price of homes sold.
  • Year-to-date average price.
  • Year-to-date median price.
  • Average sales price percent change.

Click on image to enlarge or
click here to view the report (pdf).

Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for June 2015.

Freddie Mac released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) on June 9 showing an investor flight to safety for U.S. Treasuries is pushing average fixed mortgage rates lower and helping to keep buyer activity strong toward the close of the spring homebuying season.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending July 9, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 4.08 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.

Numbers for a 30-Year Mortgage in Portland

Taking the median home price in the Portland area of $320,000 for June 2015 and with 20 percent down payment ($64,000) and a mortgage of $256,000, the payment for a 30-year fixed loan is $1,185.58 per month (excluding property taxes and insurance) in Portland, Oregon. 

The interest rate is 3.750%, and the APR is 4.101%. Total closing costs are $11,748,00.


Estimated closing costs are as follows: 
  • WMS Series LLC's origination charge: $945.00
  • Your charge for this interest rate: $9,280.00
  • Required services we select: $545.00
  • Title services and lender's title insurance: $847.00
  • Owner's title insurance: $990.00
  • Government recording charges: $131.00
  • Fees typically paid by Seller: ($990.00)
This fee estimate does not include advances that may be required at closing, such as interest due at closing or initial deposits for escrow accounts, if applicable.

Sixty days rate lock. Escrow fees are not waived. FICO credit score is 720-739.

Conveniently located in real estate offices throughout the Pacific Northwest, Windermere Mortgage Services (WMS) is a full-service mortgage banker providing home buyers with complete real estate financing expertise over the entire home loan process.

Contact Clayton Scott (503-497-5060) at Windermere Mortgage Service in the Windermere Stellar Lake Oswego and Raleigh Hills offices for the latest rates. You can also email Scott at


Snowpack Disappears, Experts Predict Another Low-Snow Winter


With the exception of high-mountain glaciers, Oregon's snowpack has disappeared well ahead of schedule.


None of the state's 81 SNOTEL snow-density monitoring stations has registered a single flake since early June. 


By this time in a normal season, most lower-elevation sites would be bare, but the Mt. Hood test site, for instance, would still be snowy for a few more weeks.


Streamflows statewide are low - historically low in some places including the Clackamas River - and will only get weaker with nothing left to feed them.

But you likely didn't need monitoring station reports to know that. Just visit Bagby Hot Springs, where the hot water is flowing but there's almost no cold surface water to mix into tubs to keep them at a bearable temperature.

Or stand on any high point in Portland. It's easy to see Mount St. Helens is nearly bare. Hood and Adams don't look any better.

The drought is evident in the fish dying of heat stress in the Willamette River and the wildflowers blooming in high-elevation meadows that most years would still be thawing out.

Hoping to avoid additional heat-related mortalities in the Umpqua River, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife restricted fishing near the river's tributaries to protect fish as they congregate near them in search of cool-water relief. 

Source: "Oregon drought: As snowpack disappears, experts predict another low-snow winter," by Kelly House, July 2, 2015. The Oregonian.


Monthly Weather Summary

Below is the National Weather Service weather data for the month of June 2015. These readings are from the Portland airport.
  • Average Monthly Temperature for June 2015: 70.3 (6.7 degrees above normal of 63.6 degrees).
  • Warmest Day: 95 degrees on June 26. 
  • Coldest Day:  51 degrees on June 13-14.
  • Days of 90 Degrees or Above Temperatures in June 2015:  9.
  • Most Rainfall in 24 Hours: 0.30 inches on June 1.
  • Rain Days: 0 days with thunderstorms, 0 days with heavy rain, and three days with light rain.
  • Clear/Cloudy Days for June 2015: Sixteen clear days, 10 partly cloudy days, and four cloudy days.
  • Average Wind Speed for June 2015:  7.0 mph.

June 2015 started with highs in the 60s and three days of rain -- a typical start to the month often referred to as "Juneuary." After that it was all heat and dryness as temperature and rainfall records for the month were record breakers in Portland and across much of northwest Oregon. 


The June 2015 highlights, from the weather station at Portland International Airport unless otherwise indicated, include:

  • Warmest June on record at the airport and in downtown Portland with, respectively, average temperature of 70.3 degrees (6.7 degrees above average) and 69.1 degrees.
  • Warmest overnight low ever for June: 71 degrees on June 27. The former record was 68 degrees in 1948.
  • Record for consecutive days with a trace or less of rain: 27 days. The former record was 23 days in 1985.
  • Record for days with no rainfall: 24 days. The former record was 18 days in 1951.
  • Record for days with high temperatures of 80 degrees or higher: 21 days. The former record was 16 days in 1987; the average is 7 days.
  • Record for days with high temperatures of 90 degrees or higher: Nine days. The former record was 6 days in 1970 and 2003; the average is one day.
Portland's rainfall is measured by the "Water Year" which runs from October 1 - September 30. As of the end of June we are about four inches below the normal amount of rain we should have received by this time. The average rainfall for the month of June is 1.77 inches and we received only 0.40 inches of precipitation in June 2015. A shortfall of 1.37 inches.

 Oregon Blue Book Still Available in Print

Printed reference works are vanishing in the 21st century - the days when families would fill a bookshelf with a set of World Book encyclopedias, or even possess an unabridged dictionary, have given way to the era of Wikipedia and spellcheck. 


This bodes ill for the Oregon Blue Book, first published in 1911 as a biennial compendium of facts and figures about the state. Why pay $18 for the recently released 2015-16 edition when all its content and more is available at for free?


The physical fact of the Blue Book itself answers the question. It has qualities that can't be replicated by the online version, qualities that are not entirely the product of a newspaper editor's bias in favor of print. Unlike a website, a printed book has a beginning, a middle and an end. The Blue Book offers in compact, finite form more than a century's worth of judgments about what citizens need to know about Oregon. The prospect that the printed Blue Book may one day be supplanted by the boundless, continually updated and lower-cost electronic version makes the new dead-tree edition all the more welcome.


The limitations of the printed Blue Book, however, are visible from the very beginning. Preparation of the 2015-16 edition was supervised by Secretary of State Kate Brown in her role as state archivist. But wait - Brown isn't secretary of state anymore. As a one-page insert explains, Brown became governor on February 18 after Governor John Kitzhaber resigned. The insert introduces Jeanne Atkins as Oregon's new secretary of state, appointed by Brown and sworn into office on March 11. The online version can be updated instantly to include such information, making what was a traumatic transition seem smooth.


Read the full story...


Source: "An Evolving Blue Book," Editorial, March 26, 2015, Register Guard


Portland Inner Eastside Changing

Portland's Inner Eastside "industrial sanctuary" has been a raving success in attracting new jobs throughout the Great Recession.


Now the city is finalizing a 20-year land use and development plan aimed at keeping the new jobs coming, without pricing out old-line companies which the sanctuary was designed to nurture.


That could be a tall order.


Portland's Inner Eastside has become trendy in recent years, attracting distilleries, software, food, and design companies - neatly sandwiched amidst light-industry and warehouse operations.


This summer the district takes a leap forward, with new MAX and trolley service, plus the opening of Tilikum Crossing bridge. Those will improve pedestrian, bike, and transit access to and from downtown, bringing more gentrification pressure.


There are two main bones of contention in the 213-page Southeast Quadrant Plan - the culmination of two years' effort by planners and community stakeholders. The main one, says senior planner Troy Doss, is how much rezoning should be allowed to accommodate newer companies flocking to locate there, without hurting existing industrial businesses.


There's also opposition to planners' proposal to bar OMSI from building residential towers on vacant land near its waterfront science museum.

The Inner Eastside, 588 acres between the Willamette River and 12th Avenue and between the Banfield Freeway and Ross Island Bridge, gained about 1,000 new jobs during the Great Recession, and roughly 1,000 more since the recovery. The city hopes to attract 9,000 more by 2035, but the current zoning won't allow that, Doss says.


The main issue facing the city's Planning and Sustainability Commission is whether to allow more flexible zoning on about 200 acres zoned for industry, which would permit some employers shut out by current zoning. "We have had to turn multiple tenants away," Michael Tevis of Intrinsic Ventures testified before the Planning and Sustainability Commission recently.


In 2006, the city tried such flexible zoning on 48 acres between Southeast Water and Third avenues, and it was a smashing success.


The Southeast Quadrant Plan also lays the groundwork for new zoning surrounding two new MAX stops on the Inner Southeast MAX Orange Line that opens in September. The stop near OMSI stands to set primarily employment-related zoning, and the Clinton Street stop would have a mix of housing and other uses. The plan also calls for new parking spaces, new traffic signals, and one-way streets to foster freight movement, and improved flow for biking and walking. 

Source:  "City mulls policy for trendy area north of OMSI," by Steve Law,  July 2015 edition, The Bee.

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