Portland Region Home Sales Grew 9% In July

Home sales in the Portland, Ore., region jumped in July, marking the first year-over-year increase in sales for any month since early 2006. The surge in activity was strongest for homes selling below $300,000, and the shift toward more sales of lower-cost homes helped push the median sale price down nearly 2% from June, MDA DataQuick reports.

A total of 3,375 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow last month in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area. That was up 9.3% from June and up 5.8% from a year earlier.

The number of homes sold in July was the highest for any month since August 2007, when 4,242 were sold. July's year-over-year sales gain followed 14 consecutive months where sales were at a record-low level for that month since at least 1994, when DataQuick's Portland region sales statistics for all home types begin. In addition, up until July, sales had fallen on a year-over-year basis for 40 consecutive months.

Foreclosed properties continued to play a meaningful but lesser role in the Portland resale market last month, DataQuick says.

Foreclosure resales – homes resold in July that had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior 12 months – accounted for 14.2% of all resales, down from 16.4% in June and down from a peak of 18.9% in March. The July figure was the lowest since it was 10.1% last October, and it remained well below levels seen in many other major Western markets, where foreclosures accounted for 40% or more of all resale activity.

The regional median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos combined was $240,478 in July, down 1.8% from $245,000 the month before and down 12.6% from $275,000 a year earlier. July's median was 16.7% below the peak $288,858 median in August 2007.

Portland continues to post some of the nation's lowest price declines. The median price paid last month for resale single-family detached houses rose on a month-to-month basis for the third consecutive month to $249,925. It was down 10.7% from a year earlier and was 15.6% below its August 2007 peak.



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