Jan 8, 2024 - Real Estate

What's next for Portland real estate in 2024

Animated illustration of a real estate sign with the year 2023 on it flipping over to reveal the year 2024.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Real estate in Portland last year was shaped by climbing interest rates and low inventory that pinched the market and slowed home sales, but local Realtors expect the trend to shift in the new year.

Why it matters: Experts predict falling rates will open the door for a much more active market in 2024 with more inventory in stock and less overall trepidation.

What they're saying: But don't expect sales to go bananas, Jimi Hendrix, a broker at Neighbors Realty, told Axios.

  • "Everyone's feeling pretty certain that lower rates will kick up the frenzied fire sale vibe we had in the past," she said.
  • Those looking for a new pad, though, have "more caution built into their psyches now, especially in this economy," Hendrix added.

And despite lender incentives like temporary buydown and refinance programs introduced earlier last year in hopes to light a fire under the market, both first-time buyers and sellers were wary of high monthly mortgage payments on everything from condos to fixer uppers, Brittany Matthews, a broker with Think Real Estate, said.

  • "Gone were the days of getting $50,000 to $100,000 over asking price and all contingencies waived," she told Axios. "Buyers had a lot more skin in the game and expected sellers to provide concessions."

Driving the news: If the economy is steady in 2024, rates could land around 6%. If the economy stumbles, mortgage rates could fall more significantly, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, told Axios' Brianna Crane.

  • No one can say with certainty just how much mortgage rates will change because they are impacted by inflation and the Federal Reserve.

What's happening: Lower mortgage rates won't clear all buyer hurdles and could push home prices higher if demand surges and inventory remains low.

The intrigue: Those Portlanders who are in the market to buy, however, are leaning more toward thoughtful renovations — seeking out "remodelistas" who are putting "thought, character, color, and personality into the homes they're flipping," Matthews said.

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