The story in Portland Oregon real estate for the last 3-4 years has been that first time buyers, and anyone purchasing homes for under $300,000, have been incredibly active. That market has driven home sales here. Homes listed over $300,000 have sold, but it has taken a bit longer, and the sellers have had to do more to compete. The really expensive homes, forget about it. Years on the market, hundreds of thousands of dollars in price reductions, and still not many sales. But, across the nation the rich have been buying houses and condos for the last few months.
“After four straight years of declines, sales of million-dollar homes and condos rose last year in all 20 major metro areas, according to DataQuick Information Systems. On average, these cities saw an 18.6% jump in high-end home sales. “It hasn’t been a good six months for all people, but it was a good six months for rich people,” said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin. “When Wall Street goes up, rich people buy homes.” The real estate industry may take some solace from the mini boom in high-end sales, but it does not necessarily mean good times are ahead for the rest of the market. In fact, the rest of the market is facing a potential 25% drop in prices and stalling sales. “There are not a lot of million-dollar home buyers even in the best of times,” said Bishop. “It’s always nice to see any segment come back, but it’s the middle of the market we would like to see set the pace.””