Portland-area home prices climb at slowest rate in six years

Register now

Home prices in the Portland metro continued their upward climb in January but at their slowest rate since 2012.

Portland-area home values rose 3.3% in January compared with a year ago, according to the S&P/Case Shiller home price index. That's slower than national gains of 4.6% year-over-year.

Prices rose fastest in Las Vegas (up 10.5% over the past year), followed by Phoenix (7.5%) and Minneapolis (5.1%). Home prices rose in all 20 cities included in the index, but most saw prices rising more slowly than a year earlier.

The rise in home prices is cooling across the country but particularly in cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco that saw prices rise by 10% or more in recent years. That pushed prices out of reach for many of the cities' residents, who haven't seen wages rise as quickly as housing costs.

"Formerly scorching hot, in-demand markets have seen home value growth steadily slow over the past few months," Matthew Speakman, an economic analyst for the real estate website Zillow, said in a statement.

A rise in mortgage rates also helped price out some buyers through 2018, putting pressure on sellers to lower prices.

"It came as a culture shock to sellers and builders," said Kevin Hanna, the Northwest regional executive vice president for Tennessee-based Churchill Mortgage. "Buyers are always really heavily motivated by rates."

Mortgage rates have since returned to lower levels — 4.28% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan last week, according to the government-backed mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

Home prices in Portland remain 24% higher than their 2008 bubble peak and 79 percent higher than their low in the housing crash.

The Case-Shiller index uses repeat sales of the same homes to measure changes across the market. Its numbers reflect a three-month rolling average.

The median home price in the Portland metro was $384,900 in January, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service. It rose to $399,900 in February.

Tribune Content Agency
Home prices Housing market Purchase Real estate Oregon