Moving to Portland
November 2015 Newsletter


Shelli Gowdy
Real Estate Broker
Windermere Stellar
Susan Marthens
Principal Real Estate Broker
Windermere Stellar

~ Happy Holidays ~

November's inventory in the metro area saw a slight increase to 2.0 months.  Activity in 2015 has been higher across the board than 2014.  Closed sales (2,153) represented the best November since 2006 when there were 2,163. 
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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 November 2015 Portland metro area home prices.
November 2015 Real Estate Highlights
November 2015 saw gains compared to November 2014.  Pending sales of 2,504 were the strongest  since November 2005. 

Closed sales of 2,153 were 11.2% ahead of November 2014's 1,937. The below chart shows the numbers for October and November of this year along with the year-to-date stats.

Click on image  to enlarge.

Activity has been higher in 2015 than in 2014 across the board. Pending sales (32,783) are up 23.0%, closed sales (30,415) are up 19.8%, and new listings (39,180) are up 8.7% for the year thus far.
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for November 2015.

Average & Median Sales Prices
Median Sale Price for a Home in the Portland Metro Area $306,000 in November.

Prices continue to rise in 2015 compared to 2014. Comparing each year through November, the average sale price rose 6.1% from $333,200 to $353,400. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 7.4% from $285,000 to $306,000.

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

Sales Price Percent Change
Average Sales Price Percent Change 6.1% in November 2015.

The Average Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (12/1/2014 - 11/30/2015) with 12 months before (12/1/2013 - 11/30/2014).
  • Average Sales Price Percent Change: 6.1% ($351,600 v. $331,300)
  • Median Sales Price Percent Change:  7.0% ($305,000 v. $285,000)
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for November 2015. 
 Metro Inventory November 2015
Pending sales (2,504) fared 19.8% better than November 2014 (2,091).  New listings (2,148) ended 11.8% ahead of November 2014 (1,922) but 29.9% below October 2015 (3,063).

Inventory increased to 2.0 months from 1.8 months in October. Total market time increased from 46 days to 52 days.  There are currently a total of 4,252  active residential listings in the Portland metro area.

Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for November 2015.
Cost of Residential Homes by Community
Below is the chart that displays the November 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 November 2015.

 Penrith Home Loans 
Penrith Home Loans  (PHL) Penrith was former called Windermere Mortgage Services, and  they changed their name in 2015. PHL is Northwest owned and operated and headquartered in Seattle with offices throughout Washington and Oregon.  PHL is a full service mortgage banker and direct lender - in addition, they have access to numerous other lenders which allows them to meet everyone's individual needs.
  • West Portland Contact:  Bertha Ferran, telephone (503) 464-9215. Address:WMS Series LLC/AT, West Portland Branch, 6400 SW Barnes Road, Suite 305, Portland, OR 97225.
  • East Portland Contact:  Tanya Elder, telephone (503) 497-5367. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, Lloyd Tower Branch, 825 Northeast Multnomah Street, Suite 120, Portland, OR 97232.
  • Lake Oswego Contact:  Clayton Scott,  telephone (503) 497-5060. Address: WMS Series LLC/AT, Lake Oswego Branch, 220 "A" Avenue, Suite 200, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.
Monthly Weather Summary

Below is the National Weather Service
weather data for the month of November 2015. These readings are from the Portland airport. 
  • Average Monthly Temperature for November 2015:  45.2  (1.4 degrees below normal of 46.6 degrees).
  • Warmest Day: 64 degrees on November 25 
  • Coldest Day:  24 degrees on November 30.
  • Most Rainfall in 24 Hours:  1.91 October 31 to November 1.
  • Rain Days: 19 days with light rain; 1 day with heavy rain; 0 days with thunderstorms,.
  • Clear/Cloudy Days for November 2015: 6 fair days, 8 partly cloudy days, and 16 cloudy days.
  • Average Wind Speed for November 2015:  7.3 mph.
December rainfall will most likely set records as half way through the month and we are at close to 10 inches of rain in the metro area. We have a couple days of dry weather and then on Thursday, another atmospheric river of subtropical moisture moves into the area and will merge with a warm front and create another round of heavy rain from Wednesday night through early Friday. Some rivers will return to flood stage. 

Dust off the Snow Boards and Skis: Time to Hit the Slopes!

Nothing like 2.5 feet of new snow on Mount Hood in the past 48 hours to get folks waxing up their sticks and boards to hit the slopes.

The first big winter storm in nearly two years walloped the mountain over the weekend, with 54 inches in the past 72 hours at Mt. Hood Meadows and eight lifts running Monday. There is 82 inches on the ground at 6,250 feet and 50 inches at 5,300 feet.

Timberline Ski Area picked up three feet in the past 72 hours and is running five lifts Monday.

Mount Hood Ski Bowl has about 2 feet on the ground, but it is waiting for more snow to open lifts. The Snow Tube and Adventure Park is open, however.

The winter storm warning issued for the north Cascades late last week was the first such warning issued by the National Weather Service in Portland since February 2014, officials said.

--By Stuart Tomlinson | The Oregonian/OregonLive. "Mt. Hood ski areas exult under snow onslaught; more to come," December 14, 2015.
South Waterfront Booming Again 
After World War II, Emery Zidell founded what would become the nation's largest ship dismantling operation on Portland's South Waterfront.

Eventually, he started using scrap metal from demolished ships to build barges, too. By the time his grandson, Matt French, was growing up in the 1980s, the South Waterfront was flourishing with heavy industry.  

French, now 32 and managing director of the Zidell family's real estate company, said he couldn't have imagined then what the riverfront area south of downtown Portland would look like these days.  Or what it's going to look like in the next 20 years.

An agreement the Zidell family has reached with the City of Portland will fill in the last remaining undeveloped part of the area, and bring in 20 to 25 more buildings.

"It's kind of amazing how quickly things can happen," said French, looking toward the Willamette River from the balcony of the family's first residential project, the Emery Apartments.

In the dark days of the recession that began in 2008, lenders wrested control of South Waterfront high-rise condo towers from developers, condos were converted to apartments amid a sluggish sales environment and construction in the whole area ground to a halt. But that feels like a distant memory now, with the economy back in full swing.

In addition to the Zidell deal, a new wave of construction is also being driven by an expansion at Oregon Health & Science University and the completion of the Tilikum Crossing bridge. There will be nine new buildings under construction next year alone, said South Waterfront-based real estate broker Sean Z. Becker.

But as the neighborhood bustles with new residents and retailers, a few things are different from the last wave of South Waterfront development, from 2004 to 2008. This time, new residential development has been limited to apartments, and high-rise towers have given way at least temporarily to more conservative mid-rise buildings.

The Zidells' 33 acres make the family the largest owner of undeveloped land in South Waterfront. The deal with the city includes at least $23.8 million in public money, which will be used for infrastructure like roads and parks. The "greenway" along the Willamette River, now accessible from the condo towers, will be extended north toward the Marquam Bridge.

"You couldn't build this anywhere else in the city," French said. "So when you talk about a blank canvas, our imagination can stretch a lot further."

The seven-story Emery Apartments opened in 2013. There's a new food cart pod called the Gantry nearby. And the next project, a five-floor office building dubbed "Block 6" for the time being, is pre-leasing. The target client is a tech or healthcare firm, French said.

While the zoning allows for buildings far higher than five or seven stories, the market currently favors mid-rises, French said. The family also wanted intriguing and site-specific design over maximum height, he added.
"We're fans of density," French said. "We like mixed-use. But there's a balance."

Portland developer Homer Williams - who helped get South Waterfront off the ground in the early 2000s and was one of those hit hard by the recession - said banks aren't as keen on financing large towers these days. He'd like to see more of them, he added, because it's a more efficient use of the available land, but he predicted it would be years before they begin to return.

Williams also said it's nearly impossible to finance condominiums at the moment, though he guessed that might eventually change, too. The first Portland condo project in years was recently announced in the North Pearl.
"Eventually, somebody's going to start building some smaller [condo] projects - 50 units, 75 units," Williams said. "Real estate has the herd effect like everything else."

French said the Zidells, though, aren't going to do condos "anytime soon."
"But is there a place for ownership in the district?" he asked. "Definitely."
Last month, Becker said, only four of the 762 condos in the neighborhood were for sale.

"I think a critical mass in this neighborhood - more retail, more people, more mass - will lead to a more vibrant, complete neighborhood," Becker said.
Becker recently sold a condo in the Atwater Place building to Carl Polesky, 75. Polesky and his wife moved to South Waterfront from the Bay Area in California, where he retired in 2005 after a career in sales. The couple came to Portland to be nearer to their son, who has lived here more than 20 years.
Plus, Polesky said, he and his wife "wanted a diversity of life."

"We wanted to have city life for once," he said. "We had been in the suburbs all those years."

Polesky enjoys the South Waterfront. He hops on the streetcar to audit classes at Portland State. He's been over Tilikum Crossing - "it's just given me more accessibility," he said.

Portland Metro Area Climbs to 8th Spot in 'Best Performing Cities' Report
What drives the economic momentum of the most dynamic metros in the United States? Each year, the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities report identifies the latest trends and most relevant factors powering regional growth. The index uses a comprehensive, fact-based set of criteria to rank the nation's metropolitan areas. Among them are job creation, wage gains, and technology trends that shape current and potential patterns of growth. For metros looking to craft cohesive economic strategies, the report provides valuable data and insight. For job-seekers, the report provides where the best employment opportunities exist.

Portland was paired with the cities of Hillsboro and Vancouver, Washington as one metro area for the sake of the study

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington, climbed eight spots to eighth place this year. Solid job and wage growth supported the metro's exceptional performance in the index's high-tech measures. It came in fifth for the concentration of its high-tech sectors, which continue to expand faster than the national average, though the gap has closed in recent years. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Susan and Shelli
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