Portland Metro/Tigard Real Estate News

In this forum we will offer discussions on a wide variety of subjects, but focus on Portland Metro and real estate. Hopefully our insights and experiences will inform, educate, challenge and entertain our readers week after week.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Portland Street Naming History

Before 1913 North Interstate Avenue was called North Patton Avenue after Matthew Patton. Matthew Patton's family owned land in the West Hills and North Portland but then the street was connected to a new bridge over the Columbia River. I guess the City Council felt that a name change was in order.

Once upon a time there were three cities called Portland, East Portland and Albina. In 1891 these cities were combined to make Portland forcing The Great Renaming. Over the years after Portland became one big city, Eastside Portlanders became resentful that their streets started with "east" while West Portland streets had no directional description. So in 1933 all the streets were given the N, NW, SW, SE and SW declaration.

German sounding names were changed during World War I, like Frederick which was named after Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. It was decided that it sounded better as Pershing in honor of the general who was leading the Americans.

MLK Jr. Blvd used to be Union Avenue but in 1989 Martin Luther King Junior needed to be recognized.

Part of Front Ave was changed to Naito Parkway the year Bill Naito died, 1996. Bill was a developer and civic leader whose company was on Naito Parkway along with the Japanese-American Historic Plaza.

Last year marked the death of Rosa Parks who has long been known as one of the great Civil Rights leaders. In her honor North Portland Boulevard was renamed Rosa Parks Way.

Source: Eugene Snyder's book, "Portland Street Names and Neighborhoods" for the early history

Tigard Real Estate


Monday, November 19, 2007

October Market Report

October Residential Highlights

October’s statistics show similar patterns to September, as the number of transactions continue to drop and sale prices continue to see appreciation. The number of closed sales fell 25.5% and pending sales declined 22% However, the number of new listings dropped for the first time since February of 2006, decreasing 5.1% this month when comparing October of this year with October 2006. At the month’s rate of sales, the 15,567 active residential properties would last approximately 8.4 months.


Using the average sale prices for the twelve months that ended with October 2007 compared to the twelve months ending in October 2006, the average sale price appreciated 6.7% ($339,300 v. $318,100). Using the same formula, the median sale price also appreciated 7.3% ($287,500 v. $267,900).

Year-to-Date Trends

When comparing the period of January 2007 through October 2007 to the same time a year ago, pending sales have decreased 13.9% and closed sales declined 11.3%. New listings, on the other hand, are up 8.8%.


After its lowest reported rate of 88% in July, affordability improved to 94% in September carried by lower interest rates and a lower median sales price. This means that a family living in the Portland Metro area making the median income ($63,800 per HUD) cannot afford to purchase a median priced home in the area ($283,500 in September). According to the NAR formula, a median income family can only afford 94% of a monthly mortgage payment with 20% down and a 30-year fixed rate (6.38%, according to Freddie Mac). For more information, see graph and notes on last page.


Friday, November 16, 2007

No Slump in Salem Market!

SALEM, Oregon isn't the hippest town around but medium sized cities like Wenatchee, Washington and Provo-Orem, Utah still have quite active real estate markets. There are plenty of homes on the market and the prices haven't nose-dived like in much of the country. In fact housing prices are growing at double-digit rates according to a recent federal study.

Many of these towns are still showing population growth due to things like proximity to nature, main freeways and more major cities. Most of them were not even a part of the original housing boom so they didn't have any where to go but up. The Pacific Northwest in particular was slow to catch on to the extreme home appreciation which might be why it's not being hit as hard now.

"Fifteen out of 20 metropolitan areas with the highest rates of home appreciation in the country were in Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Colorado or New Mexico, according to the federal study, which looked at markets with at least 15,000 transactions over the last 10 years." Associated Press

Oregon itself had 10.77 percent growth in home prices while the whole country averaged only 0.5 percent. Salem alone reached 13.4 percent from the being of 2006 to the beginning of this year. The state capitol continues to see rising prices because it goes overlooked so there are still bargains to be found.

That's not to say that it can't or won't happen here too, we just won't be taking the brunt of the force. It's always best to be prepared because our market will be effected. If you have the resources and time to spare, now is the time to buy.


Tigard Real Estate