Mar 7, 2024 - Real Estate

What falling mortgage rates could mean for Portland buyers

Median home sales price in the Portland metro area
Data: Redfin; Chart: Alice Feng and Jared Whalen/Visuals

Lower mortgage rates could drive up home prices in the Portland metro area and nationwide if demand surges and inventory remains tight.

Why it matters: Steep borrowing costs are just one piece of the housing affordability crisis.

State of play: U.S. rates for 30-year mortgages are down from 20-year highs, but have crossed 7% again.

Zoom in: Experts predict Portland will have a much more active market in 2024, with more inventory in stock and less overall trepidation, as buyers continue to expect concessions from sellers.

By the numbers: Home prices jumped in Rose City when mortgage rates dropped below 3% in 2021. But as rate hikes locked current homeowners in place β€” with few wanting to give up their interest rate β€” prices remained elevated, and inventory diminished.

The fine print: Despite a stabilizing housing market, median home prices are still higher than they were before the pandemic.

  • The median home price in Portland hovered slightly below half a million dollars in December 2023, compared to $383,000 in December 2019, per Redfinβ€”a near 30% markup.

Flashback: In 2021, when rates were below 3.5%, bidding wars were rampant and home prices surged by double-digit percentages.

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