Real Estate

As Temperatures Drop, the Real Estate Market Is Cooling Down, Too

Median prices keep creeping up compared to past years, but home sales in the Portland metro area are slowing down in a steeper version of the usual seasonal slump.

By Margaret Seiler November 9, 2022

Do those "for sale" signs in your neighborhood seem to be up for longer than usual? It's not just your imagination: sales prices might still be creeping up in many areas, but the Portland metro area real estate market is slowing down, according to newly released data from the Realtor Multiple Listing Service.

Continuing a trend seen in September 2022, there were fewer new listings, fewer pending sales, and fewer closed sales in October than there were during the previous month and than there were year to date through the same point in 2021.

The average total time on market increased to 38 days in October, up from 34 in September, and a comparatively brisk 26 days in October 2021. The metro area's housing inventory (the month's active listings divided by the number of closed sales) stretched to 2.4 months, the highest that figure has been since April 2020, just after the start of the pandemic.

While it's normal for home sale prices to see their annual peak in late spring and early summer and then dip in the fall, the past year saw a steeper climb than usual from last winter to the sunny season, matched by a steeper drop than usual from the summer till now. The median price of all Portland-area home sales in October is $537,000, down $11,000, or 2 percent, from September but up 4.1 percent from the median sale price of $516,000 in October 2021. The median sale price for the year to date for 2022 is $550,000, up 8.6 percent from $506,500 at the same time a year ago.

Here's a look at some of the numbers:

Still on top

Lake Oswego/West Linn: These southern suburbs are still home to metro area's highest median sales price, clocking in at $795,500 in October 2022, though that's well down from their July median sales price of $913,600. 

Ridgefield/La Center: Heading in the other direction on I-5, this Clark County zone north of Vancouver, Washington, is a rarity, with an October median sales price that's higher than July's. The difference is slight—$672,900 now vs. $671,400 then—but still enough to boast the second-highest median price in the metro area.

Slowest growth year over year

North and Northeast Portland: At the midpoint of 2022, these quadrants both had an average sales price year to date that was running about 6 percent higher than the average through the same point in 2021. That was the smallest increase in the metro area. By October, that year-to-date average sales price in North and Northeast has slowed even more and is now just shy of 4 percent higher than it was in October 2021. So far in 2022, the average sales price for just over 1,100 closed sales in North Portland is $528,400 (median $519,000). For just over 2,400 sales so far in 2022 in Northeast, the average price is $601,000 (median $542,000).