Portland leads West Coast metros in rising home prices amid slowdown
Portland-area home price growth held steady in June amid a nationwide slowdown.
Home prices in the metro area grew by 2.4% during the 12 months that ended in June, the new numbers from the S&P/CoreLogic Case-Shiller index show. Portland leads the languishing West Coast, though prices are climbing here at a slower rate than the national average.
Nationally, home prices rose 3.1% year-over-year, half the rate of a year ago.
Among the 20 cities surveyed, Phoenix saw the fastest annual growth, with prices up 5.8%, followed by Las Vegas (5.5%) and Tampa (4.7%). Only Seattle saw prices fall. There, home prices were 1.3% lower than a year earlier.
The more meager gains reflect a slowdown in home sales over the last year, particularly among the most expensive homes and the most expensive cities — including Seattle and California's biggest cities.
The slump could level off or turn around, economists say. Falling mortgage rates have again boosted sales, while a decline in new home construction has left buyers with fewer options and revved up competition.
"While housing has clearly cooled off from 2018, home price gains in most cities remain positive in low single digits," said Philip Murphy, the global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Therefore, it is likely that current rates of change will generally be sustained barring an economic downturn."
The slower annual returns come after years of soaring prices, and the Portland metro continues to set new record highs. Home prices today are 29% higher than at the July 2007 peak of the housing bubble. They've climbed 42% in the last five years.
The Case-Shiller index is based on repeat sales of the same homes to measure changes across the housing market, not just those listed for sale or recently sold. It uses a three-month rolling average.
The median price for Portland-area homes sold in June was $420,000, according to the listing service RMLS. That fell to $411,600 in July.