After a torrid spring, the Portland real estate market cooled off ever-so-slightly in May, potentially signaling a start to a slightly slower summer season, and propping open the door to more potential buyers—even if only just a sliver.
In May, there were 3,853 new listings in the Portland metro area, a 4.6 percent increase over the previous month (although less than the 3,971 new listings that came on the market in May 2021, per new data available from the Real Estate Multiple Listing Service, or RMLS).
Pending and closed sales in May followed a similar pattern: up from the April 2022 figures, but less than they were a year ago. Perhaps the most encouraging sign is a slight overall increase in available inventory: if no new houses were to come on the market, it would take a full month for all of the current ones to be sold.
A healthy market has six months of available inventory at any given time, but still, a month is better than just a couple of weeks. It’s the first time since August 2021 that there has been at least a month’s worth of inventory available to home seekers.
And yes, supply is still tight enough that prices are continuing to climb. The median sale price in May 2022 was $549,000; in May 2021, it was $490,200. That’s an 12 percent jump.
Here’s a look at where year-over-year average sales prices grew the most in the Portland metro area in May, which is a bridge month for real estate between a typically frenetic spring and a more measured summer. (Those who have followed our previous coverage will spot some familiar places on this list, but different areas have moved up or fallen back on our heat map.)
Those wondering about Portland proper should know that price growth within city limits remains slower than in the suburbs, but is highest in Southeast Portland, where prices have grown 11.2 percent year over year. Prospective buyers can take half a beat in West Portland, where homes are on the market for an average of 30 days; things move more quickly on the east side and in North Portland.
5. Gresham/Troutdale: First-time buyers can still find a toehold in these eastern Multnomah County burgs (and you’re in close proximity to the cool new food hall in Rockwood). But just like last month, when Gresham/Troutdale was number four on this list, it might not be known as a haven of affordability much longer. The average sale price here in May was $504,100; that’s a 16.6 percent jump, year over year. And homes here tend to move on and off the market fast—the average was 16 days in May, according to the RMLS numbers.
4. Oregon City and Canby: The holder of last month’s second slot slipped back on our list (and in fact, barely missed coming in fifth), but it’s still clear that buyers are attracted to the slower-paced lifestyle in these more rural areas. Prices in these Clackamas County markets are up 16.7 percent year over year, and the average sale price in May was $613,700, per RMLS.
3. Beaverton/Aloha: No. 5 last month, Beaverton is moving on up—maybe it’s all that publicity lately around the inner-ring suburb’s food scene? Regardless, you’ll need to be prepared to put your best offer forward if you’re looking for a home here. Houses move on and off in the market in an average of 10 days' time, one of the fastest paces in the entire metro area (though not faster than the no. 1 slot on our list.) Buyers in May paid an average of $609,400 here in May, a year-to-year price jump of 17.7 percent.
2. Lake Oswego/West Linn: Clackamas County’s election woes—and our contention that it is in fact Oregon’s version of Florida—notwithstanding, these well-heeled suburbs continue to be highly desirable for buyers. Last month these markets were at no. 1 on our list; this month, thanks to a year-to-year price jump of 19.1 percent and an a by-far-the-highest-in-the-metro-area average sale price of $1,028,600, they’re clocking in at no. 2.
1. Northwest Washington County: What’s behind the rising profile of the northwest slice of Washington County? Could it be that it’s about as close as you can live to Portland without paying Multnomah County taxes? Maybe it's the comparative lack of inventory here. There were only 168 new listings here in May, by far the lowest of anyplace on our list. Scarcity breeds demand: prices here are up 19.5 percent year over year, and the average sale price in May was $841,800. Homes here get snatched up in an average of nine days—again, that's the fastest of any location on our list.