Moving to Portland
 January 2016 Newsletter


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

January 2016 at a Glance

There are many ways to measure housing activity and one of the better methods is simply to look at the closed sales - the number of homes sold during a given period. You can see by the Closed Sales graph below that the Portland metro area housing activity didn't miss a beat in January.

The Portland-area housing market posted more closed sales in January than any other January since the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) began issuing its monthly reports in 1992. The 1,859 closed sales reflected a 25.9 percent annual increase over January 2015.
 Click on the image to enlarge.

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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 January 2016 Portland metro area home prices.
January 2016 Real Estate Highlights
January brought some relief in the form of new listings to the Portland metro area. At 2,519, new listings increased 63.8% over the 1,538 new listings offered last month in December 2015, although 8.8% under the 2,762 new listings offered in January 2015. 

Pending sales, at 2,243, ended 2.2% under the 2,294 offers accepted in January 2015 but 15.9% over the 1,936 offers accepted last month in December 2015. 

Closed sales, at 1,859, ended 25.9% higher than in January 2015 (1,477) but 31.4% lower than last month in December 2015 (2,710). It was still the strongest January for closed sales since at least 1992- edging even over the 1,843 closings posted for Portland in January 2005.

Click on image  to enlarge.
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action  report for January 2016.

Average & Median Sales Prices
Median Sale Price for a Home in the Portland Metro Area $310,000 in January 2016.

Comparing the average price of homes in the twelve months ending January 31st of this year ($355,700) with the average price of homes sold in the 12 months ending January 2015 ($333,400) shows an increase of 6.7%. In the same comparison, the median has increased 8.1% from $286,800 to $310,000.

Click on image to enlarge.
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for January 2016.
Sales Price Percent Change
Average Sales Price Percent Change 6.7% in January 2016.

The Average Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months (2/1/2015 - 1/31/2016) with 12 months before (2/1/2014 - 1/31/2015).
  • Average Sales Price Percent Change: 6.7% ($355,700 v. $333,400)
  • Median Sales Price Percent Change:  8.1% ($310,000 v. $286,800)
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for January 2016. 
Inventory January 2016
Inventory in the Portland metro area increased slightly in January to 1.8 months. Total market time rose by one day in the same period, landing at 57 days. There are currently a total of 3,305 active residential listings in the Portland metro area..
Above based on information from the RMLS™  Market Action report for January 2016.
Cost of Residential Homes by Community
Below is the chart that displays the January 2016 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 January 2016.

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) on February 11, showing mortgage rates moving lower for the sixth consecutive week amid ongoing market volatility. The average 30-year fixed is hovering just above its 2015 low of 3.59 percent.
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.65 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending February 11, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.72 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.69 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.95 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 3.01 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.99 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.83 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.85 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.
Penrith Home Loans 
Penrith Home Loans  (PHL) Penrith was formerly 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 NE 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 January 2016. These readings are from the Portland airport. 
  • Average Monthly Temperature for January 2016:  42.6  (1.2 degrees above normal of 41.4 degrees).
  • Warmest Day: 59 degrees on January 24th. 
  • Coldest Day:  28 degrees on January 1st.
  • Most Rainfall in 24 Hours: 1.42 inches on 1/12-01/13.
  • Rain Days: 24 days with light rain, one day with heavy rain, 2 days with light freezing rain, one day with light snow.
  • Clear/Cloudy Days for January 2016: 3 fair days, 5 partly cloudy day, and 23 cloudy days.
  • Average Wind Speed for January 2016:  10.2 mph.
Portland's rainfall is measured by the "Water Year" which is from October 1 to September 30. The normal precipitation for a "Water Year" in downtown Portland is 42.85 inches and 36.03 inches at the Portland International Airport (PDX).
  • January 2016: Normal precipitation at the airport is 4.88 inches, and we had 7.23 inches in January.
  • Airport Water Year:  Normal precipitation for the water year from October 1 through January 31 at the airport is about 19 inches. We have had just over 30 inches of precipitation during the same period.
Rain is a part of life during the winter months. Nearly 90 percent of the annual rainfall occurs between mid-October and mid-May. In fact, only about three percent of our rain occurs in July and August. It is not uncommon to see relatively dry summers in Portland. 

One of the most asked questions we receive from our readers is whether there are parts of the area where the rainfall is lower. Rain varies across the Portland metropolitan area. Some areas of the West Hills receive over 40 inches of rain per year, but the airport receives about 36 inches and downtown almost five inches more.  The Bonny Slope School at 10351 NW. Thompson Road receives just over 27 inches of rain in a "Water Year" according to measurements provided by the HYDRA rainfall network that is operated and maintained by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

The winter season is characterized by mild temperatures, cloudy skies, and rain. Winds are predominantly either southerly during the mild rainy spells, or easterly during the colder dry spells. Outbreaks of cold arctic air from east of the Cascades will occasionally spill into Portland, bringing cold blustery east winds. If the east winds occur when the rain is falling over the metropolitan area, a shallow layer of sub-freezing air forms along the Columbia River. In this cold layer, freezing rain and even snow at times will occur over eastern and northern Portland. 

The cold easterly winds also bring the coldest air of the year to Portland. Temperatures below zero degrees are rare, occurring only six times since 1871. Most temperatures during the winter reach the 40s and lower 50s in the daylight hours, then fall into the 30s at night. 

Gardner Report on Real Estate
The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market for the 4th quarter 2015 is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. 

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.


I'm happy to report that employment in Oregon continues to grow at a fairly healthy rate. Through November of 2015, the state added 51,000 new jobs for a growth rate of 2.9 percent. As we move into 2016, I anticipate that the region will continue to expand its job base, but at a slightly more modest pace.

In November the state unemployment rate was measured at 5.7 percent-down from 6.2 percent seen in September. In my last report I suggested that the increase in the unemployment rate was a temporary "blip" and it appears as if I was correct. I expect that this rate will also continue to contract as we move through the year.

Homes Sales Activity
  • Sales activity rose by 11.9 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, with 14,600 home sales.
  • As we have seen in the past, sales rose at the fastest rate in smaller counties, with Hood River, Columbia, and Marion Counties leading the way.
  • Double-digit percentage increases in closed sales were seen in a majority of the counties, but we did see modest declines in four counties.
  • It was interesting to note that we are starting to see home sales slow in select counties. I believe this is due to a lack of inventory rather than any other reason.
Home Prices
  • Average prices in the region rose by 7.1 percent year-over-year to $308,373. We are starting to see a slowdown in price growth, but I attribute this to a lack of inventory.
  • When compared to fourth quarter of 2014, Skamania County continues to see the strongest price growth with home prices rising by 34.3 percent. This remains a function of the size of the market, which allows for substantial swings in price.
  • All but three counties saw prices rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, with eight counties showing double-digit percentage gains.
  • Prices fell in three counties, but again, these are counties where relatively few transactions take place so they are prone to extreme swings.
Read the full report...

Oregon Economic & Revenue Forecast

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has posted the latest Economic & Revenue Forecast (released February 10, 2016). You can read the full report or the Powerpoint slide presentation at their website.
How Portland's 100-year-old Alpenrose Went From Dairy to Institution

Photo courtesy of Alpine Rose Dairy
As with many 11-year-old boys in the 1950s, Carl Cadonau Jr. and Rod Birkland loved baseball. But their big league dreams ended up trampling grandma's rosebushes.

She decided they needed a new place to play.

Even in its heyday as a working dairy farm, when it housed more than 200 cows, Alpenrose Dairy didn't cover all 55 acres of the property. So their grandfather, founder Henry Cadonau, dedicated some land just below the dairy barns to a rudimentary field.

That caught the attention of the brand-new Beaverton Little League team, who needed a diamond. Cadonau figured that could be his way to give back to the community that supported his business. A dugout was built. Lights were installed. Children came, and played.

Today, the Alpenrose field is home to the Little League Softball World Series.
That field was the beginning of Alpenrose's change from milk company to Portland institution. The business turns 100 this year, not an easy feat in the ruthless dairy industry. When Henry Cadonau started Alpenrose in 1916, as many as 80 small Dutch, German and Swiss family dairies dotted the Portland region. Most of those are gone. Alpenrose remains.

That longevity is in no small part because, for many Oregonians, the Alpenrose brand invokes not just milk, but hot summer nights and freshly cut grass. To the Cadonau family, that nostalgia is a bonus for business -- albeit an unintentional one.

"There's brand loyalty and brand concerns, and that's always part of it. But none of it was started that way," said Carl Cadonau Jr., who now runs the business with his cousin and fellow former rosebush marauder Birkland. "It's a real responsibility I feel we have as long as we're here to continue doing these things."

Source:  "How Portland's 100-year-old Alpenrose went from dairy to institution," by Molly Harbarger, The Oregonian/OregonLive, February 2, 2016.
Enjoy Valentine's Day & Presidents' Day
Susan and Shelli
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