Market News August 20, 2015

Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update


The Oregon economy has regained its traditional job growth advantage relative to the nation with employment growth running about one percent higher than a typical state. With the expansion in employment—in concert with rising wages—the economy appears to be in good shape. Although not yet at full employment, the direction is very positive.



  • Sales activity rose by 20.9% compared to the second quarter of 2014, with 16,871 homes closing.
  • Sales rose at the fastest rate in smaller counties, with Lincoln, Klickitat, and Marion leading the way.
  • Double-digit percentage increases in closed sales were seen in all but two counties across the region.
  • Equally impressive was the fact that no county saw an annual drop in sales.




  • Average prices in the region rose by 7.2% year-over-year to $310,576.
  • When compared to second quarter of 2014, Skamania County rose to the top with price growth of 34%. This is attributable to the size of the market which allows for substantial swings in price.
  • All but five counties saw prices rise compared to the second quarter of 2014 with six showing double-digit percentage gains.
  • Prices fell in five counties, but again, these are counties where relatively few transactions take place so they are prone to wild swings.




  • The average days it takes to sell a home in the region dropped by 16 days when compared to the second quarter of 2014.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region was 103 days.
  • There are still a few markets where the length of time it takes to sell a home did rise, but they were modest increases in smaller counties and not a cause for concern.
  • Only 13 counties saw sales take over 100 days or more to sell—down from 18 in the second quarter of 2014. In Portland, it now takes less than a month for homes to sell.




The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, sales velocities, interest rates, and larger economics factors.

As mentioned in last quarter’s Gardner Report, inventory constraints persist, which continues to drive prices higher. Additionally, home sales continue to rise while simultaneously the number of days on market continues to fall.

Because of all of this, I have moved the gauge a little further in favor of sellers. It would have moved even further had we not seen interest rates rise (albeit modestly) during second quarter.

About Matthew Gardner

Mr. Gardner is a land use economist and principal with Gardner Economics, considered by many to be the foremost real estate analysts in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past 25 years he has served on many industry-related panels and has been cited regularly in local and national media.