Business as (Un)usual – Neighbors in Need Campaign

We are into week six of Oregon’s Stay at Home Order and we hope you are not going too stir-crazy! It looks like we have some nice weather headed our way so we can get out into our yards next week to work on our gardens, play, and relax in the sunshine.

Statistics for March 2020 from RMLS were made available last week so we’d like to provide you with a detailed market update based on these recent statistics.

from Kathy MacNaughton

Better News!!

After a steep and abrupt drop in market activity in mid March, the number of new listings and new pending sales have been consistently stable. On top of this, throughout the Greater Portland area market values have been remarkably resilient with declines between 1% to 7% from where they were before COVID-19. The amount of  depreciation is unique to every home and is related to price range, area, and property type-in other words, it depends on demand vs supply.  New listings and new pending sales have remained remarkably similar week after week over the last 6 weeks and just last week, I have seen a notable increase in broker/buyer showings and a small uptick in pending sales. Right now, showings are up 35% from their lowest point, which was in early April.

I predict that showings and sales will continue to increase. Right now there are just 2 months of inventory (4 to 5 months of inventory is considered a balanced market in Portland). I don’t think market values will significantly increase over the rest of this year, but clearly many Buyers still want to buy and Sellers are successfully selling their homes. Residential real estate in Greater Portland is solid!

Below is a chart detailing market and sales information for March 2019 vs. March 2020 in areas of the Portland Metro.

from Breylan Deal-Eriksen

In short, the answer is yes. But overall, many loan products are still available today that were around 90 days ago, for example:

Jumbo financing (mortgages above $510,400) can be more difficult to find in the broker market as most correspondent lenders have backed off on these for now. They are still widely available from banks and credit unions. Umpqua Bank is still offering a jumbo loan product with as little as 5% down for many buyers. As always, jumbo loans have more strict qualifying requirements. If you need a referral to a great lender offering jumbo financing, please reach out. We know where to find this product!

First-time buyer programs are still widely available, in fact, there are still a few products available to first-time buyers and folks who haven’t owned property for the last three years that do not require a down payment at all. Generally, we recommend a down payment of at least 3%, but there are grants available that are relatively easy to qualify for that cover the down payment requirement. In some cases, a buyer is able to get into a new home with less than $2,000 total out of pocket. This can be a great option for someone currently renting in a high-cost area, that hasn’t been able to save enough for a down payment.

Investment properties and second home purchases are still available as well! A second home purchase only requires 10% down for conventional financing, and investment properties range between a required 15-25% down payment, dependent upon the property type.

Refinances are going strong, although slowly. With reduced staff in lending and title offices and appraisers being very busy, we are hearing that refinance transactions can take up to 60 days to complete. Buyers can expect great rates if they’re just refinancing their current balance owed, but know that lenders are being cautious with cash-out refinances right now, and charging a higher interest rate for these types of loans to mitigate risk. Many homeowners have more equity now than at any time in the past 20 years, lenders would like to keep it that way.

If you’re thinking about refinancing or purchasing, we would love to help you strategize! Whether it’s a Market Analysis to help you figure out what your home is worth, or simply providing contact information to a lender we know and trust, we are happy to help! Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can be of service.


In our last update, we included information about donating to the Oregon Food Bank and Meals On Wheels People. Since then, Windermere has launched a campaign to also raise money to support our local food banks and we’d like to ask you participate in this campaign that ends on May 5th.

We’re on a mission to help our local food banks keep their shelves stocked through our “Neighbors in Need” campaign. Between now and May 5th, for every dollar our offices raise, the Windermere Foundation will match up to $250,000. The need has never been greater, so let’s all do our part so no one goes hungry.

Not even a week into our challenge, and we’ve already surpassed $100,000 for our Neighbors in Need! You can help us reach our matching goal of $250,000 by donating here.

On the donation page, you can enter my office, Lovejoy, when you make a donation.

Thank you for supporting the Windermere Foundation. You are making a positive difference in the lives of local low-income and homeless families in our community.


Since our update two weeks ago, we’ve had two more listings with accepted offers!

3 beds | 2 baths
2,881 sq. ft.



4 beds | 4 baths
3,938 sq. ft.



We are here to help you with your real estate needs. More than ever, our Concierge Real Estate Services truly set us apart and define our commitment to you and your family.

Please continue to practice physical distancing, but keep in touch with me socially! Call me and let’s talk!