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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Please click on the below headlines for links to each story.

Hottest Hoods: The Portland-area neighborhoods where the most homes sold in 2018 (Portland Business Journal, Jan. 23)

The suburbs remain the hot ticket as inventory and pricing made it tougher to buy close in to the city.

  1. Vancouver, WA (98682): 1409 homes sold
  2. Forest Heights / Cedar Mill / Bethany (97229): 1402 homes sold
  3. Foster / Powell (97206): 919 homes sold
  4. Beaverton / Aloha (97007): 903 homes sold
  5. (TIE) Oregon City/ Happy Valley (97045): 903 homes sold


Fannie Mae: Housing market will stabilize in 2019 (Housing Wire, Jan. 22)

After multiple rate hikes brought volatility into the housing market, 2019 should see things stabilize as the pace of rate increases slows, according to researchers at Fannie Mae. In its 2019 Economic and Housing Outlook, Fannie’s Strategic Research Group said it continues to predict a slowdown in economic growth in the year ahead, projecting a 2.2% decline in growth that it attributes mostly to decreased consumer spending. But researchers also said that the Federal Reserve’s “dovish” stance on rate hikes in 2019 will help stabilize home sales. They predict only one rate hike in the year ahead.


Redfin: Home price growth reaches 6-year low (Housing Wire, Jan. 22)

New home sales fall 11% from previous month

In December, home sales climbed 1.2% year-over-year, marking the smallest increase since March 2012, according to new data from Redfin. Notably, Redfin also discovered that although U.S. home sale prices reached a median of $289,000, they fell in nine of the 75 largest metros the company tracks.


Affordability, rising costs impacting the Portland housing scene (Portland Business Journal, Jan. 22)

Here are 4 takeaways:

  1. Building permits are dropping off.
  2. Home prices are softening.
  3. Affordability issues are real.
  4. Single-family will rise again.


These 3 U.S. cities make list of World’s 10 Least Affordable Housing Markets (Housing Wire, Jan. 21)

Among the top 10, San Jose ranked No. 5, Los Angeles No. 6 and San Francisco No. 8. on a list compiled and released this week by urban planning consulting firm Demographia.


Harvard: Home remodeling will slow down significantly by year’s end (Housing Wire, Jan. 18)

Still, improvement and repair spending will be considerable, with the year expected to see homeowners shell out $350 billion to update their homes. It just won’t be above average.


Federal Reserve says student debt has hampered housing market (Housing Wire, Jan. 17)

Student debt has impacted the housing decisions of young Americans, the Federal Reserve said, delaying homeownership and prompting a significant number of college grads to move away from rural areas. In two papers published Wednesday, the Fed said homeownership for adults ages 24 to 32 fell 9% from 2005 to 2014, landing at 36%.


Housing activity declines, recession probability increases (Housing Wire, Jan. 16)

Housing authorizations are also an early indicator of a recession, according to BuildFax, which said that based on the new data, the probability of a recession could double between 2019 and 2020 if trends persist. Assuming a number of indicators follow a projected pattern, BuildFax said there is a 43% probability of an economic recession between 2019 and early 2020.


Just for Fun

America’s Most Expensive Home Sold to Billionaire Ken Griffin (Bloomberg, Jan. 23)

The Citadel founder set a U.S. record with the $238 million penthouse at 220 Central Park South. The approximately 24,000 square feet (2,200 square meters) apartment will give him a place to stay when he’s working in New York, a Citadel spokeswoman said. The price makes it America’s most expensive home.


Thanks for reading!