I have now written many blog posts about the Oregon housing market. In them, I inevitably talk about some new data that have been released and what they mean. But out of loyalty and devotion to you, dear readers, I have decided to go one step further - I have conducted my own field experiment. Well, okay, it is not exactly an experiment.
I am moving to Portland so that my wife can continue her career as a non-profit fundraiser. This means that I had to sell a house in Corvallis, find a rental in Portland and will soon begin the search for a house to purchase. The Corvallis end went shockingly fast - we had an offer accepted the very day it was listed - no sign of a housing slump from my experience. Talking to the realtor I think our experience, while exceptional, is evidence of a real estate market that is fairly solid in Corvallis. The supply of new houses slowed quickly as the market softened and now the market for the stock of existing houses is fairly strong.
The Portland side also looks pretty strong in relative terms, but nothing like two years ago when we were deciding between Portland and Corvallis as a place to live. As we are focused on a close-in neighborhood (Sellwood), the softness of the suburban developments is not very apparent.
What was striking was the trouble we had finding a decent rental. I have a theory: because the credit crunch is national many would-be buyers, even in Portland, are being pushed onto the rental market. However, as the market, especially in near-in neighborhoods, is still pretty robust, there have not been many houses pushed into converting to a rental. So tight supply versus strong demand make for a tough rental market.
By the way, I am still keeping my position at Oregon State, so thank goodness I have a very fuel-efficient car. Our families carbon footprint is going to be slammed by my energy profligacy. But we should come out ahead, I reckon, because we can walk everywhere in Sellwood to get what we need, and my wife, who will work in Old Town, plans on commuting mainly by bike and bus.
[By the way, this explains recent and near-future spotty blogging - my apologies]