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Portland’s housing inventory is at its lowest point in 7 years. In this post, we take a look at the numbers behind this trend and answer the question: why is Portland so popular now?

Portland Housing Inventory is Down. Prices Are Up

As we head into the summer, the housing inventory in Portland currently stands at around a 3-month supply, a level not seen since the peak of the housing boom in 2007. Inventory in months is a measure of sales activity that represents how long it would take to sell all listed homes in a given month’s rate of sales. Typically, 6 months of real estate housing inventory is a sign of a balanced market. Anything under 6 months is seen as a seller’s market. We have been in a seller’s market for approximately two years.

Portland housing prices are still rising. In February 2013, the cost of the average home was about $279,000. A year later, it’s up to $314,000. That’s according to the Regional Multiple Listings Service.

So, why are homes so scarce?

Portland is the place to be

Portland is hot. Not literally, but it is a popular destination for relocation. According to United Van Lines, during 2013 Portland saw 42 percent more inbound moves than outbound during the peak summer moving season, placing it second in the nation for net migration. This places it as the #7 most popular destination for movers (Seattle is #5). The thriving tech industry is considered the primary catalyst for this trend. While the tech epicenter remains Northern California, companies and workers are fleeing cost-prohibitive Silicon Valley in increasing numbers. Millennials and retirees alike are also being lured to Rose City by its green spaces, expansive mass transit, and vibrant arts community.

When homebuyers are vying for such a small supply of available homes, it is not uncommon for a couple to show serious interest in a home one day only to discover that it has been snatched up the next. Thus, some are looking beyond Portland’s borders, where inventory is a bit larger.

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