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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland - March 21-28, 2009

I just have to say, I am so excited at the arrival of spring in Portland. I feel like a bear coming out of a long winter hibernation, and I'm hungry: hungry to get back outside and enjoy all the great outdoor events that Portland has to offer! And, today heralds the opening of the Portland farmer's Market downtown at PSU South Park Blocks! I spent many Saturday mornings at the market last year, enjoying all of the people, music, food, and all the fresh goodies I got to take home each weekend. If you haven't been to the Portland Farmer's Market, you are missing out on a weekend tradition. Actually, there are great markets scattered all around the Rose City, this one just happens to be one of the largest, and a nice bike ride away for me. Visit their website to find all the markets, so you can visit one close to your Portland neighborhood: http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/
Speaking of getting out and enjoying our great city, we had our first meetup in the Portland Beer Group at Laurelthirst last weekend. We had a great time, and look forward to many more meetups and events. An invite for the next invite will be coming out soon.

Portland Events - Our Picks of the Week - Featured Portland Events:
Portland Farmers Market - The wait is almost over. Spring is around the corner, and heralding the season is the opening of the Portland Farmers Market, which brings the best of the country to the heart of the city. A venerable city institution celebrating its 18th season, Portland Farmers Market’s five weekly markets serve as community and culinary focal points, cultural destinations, incubators for small businesses and a billboard for the city’s sustainability movement. The organization’s Saturday Market, planted in the Park Blocks at Portland State University between SW Harrison and Montgomery, will celebrate its opening day on March 21, the first day of spring.

Spring Break Volunteer Week - All local moms and kids are invited to work our MomsLikeMe.com Spring Break Volunteer Week March 23-27, 2009. We have partnered with Hands On Greater Portland! All moms that volunteer will receive free tickets to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival or a MomsLikeMe.com sweatshirt! Instead of admiring your Spring Break tan, you could be teaching your children the valuable lesson of community service. How cool is that? Visit MomsLikeMe.com to register.

Pooches on the Green - Furry, short-haired, small or large, bring your dog the first-ever Pooches on the Green event, a St. Paw-trick’s day celebration for dogs and their friends. The festivities will feature a Wearin’ o’ the Green parade and costume contest for dogs (and their owners!), a K-9 demonstration by the Beaverton Police Department, a demonstration and dance-a-long with Murray School of Irish Dance, an appearance by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums, a dog ear art project with the Beaverton Arts Commission, a dog rally course, pet look-a-like contests, best kisser contest, doggie treat giveaways, a dog ear art project for kids, great prizes and more. The first 100 dogs registered will receive goody bags with treats.

Girl's Night Musical - A touching and hilarious 'tell-it-like-it-is' look at the lives of a group of female friends, GIRLS NIGHT: THE MUSICAL promises to have audiences around the country laughing, crying and dancing in the aisles! Follow five friends as they re-live their past, celebrate their present and look to the future on a wild and hilarious karaoke night out ... and you'll recognize every one of them! Carol who was born to party, blunt Anita who says it like it is, Liza and her 'issues', boring Kate the great designated driver and Sharon, the not-so-angelic angel who just couldn't resist tagging along!

There are a LOT more great Portland Events this week, just visit the Portland events calendar, and of course add your own events too!

Portland Photo of the Week
Portland Bridges, by nzaier. Nice shot!

Don't miss our March Photo Contest. Go upload your photos!

Portland Blog, Forum, and Group Chatter

Beer Drinkers of Portland Beware!

Portland Water Bill Increases?

Get a Free Brownie from Helen Bernhard's Bakery

Come Help Plan the Next Beer Meetup

Ross Seligman's March 2009 Portland Real Estate Market Report

A note about my Portland real estate market statistics:

They are a comparison of Feb 2008 - Feb 2009 for all of Multnomah County and are
taken directly from the RMLS. What follows is my own analysis of these
statistics. For our purposes, I thought it best to analyze Multnomah County as a
whole. Each neighborhood, however, is a little micro-universe and has its own
market. Changing the parameters of the zip codes, price variables, or time
periods can lead to very different results. This analysis is of all homes sold
in all price ranges in Multnomah County. If you have any questions about
specific zip codes, or any questions about the market in general, please reply
to this forum with those questions or feel free to contact me at: http://www.propertiesofportland.com.
Since Portland is a neighborhood city, you can now search by "Irvington,
Alberta, etc.". You can check it out here:

What's happening?

We are now emerging from the slowest months in the yearly real estate cycle and
headed towards the Spring. In all of Multnomah County, inventory of homes for
sale on the market have increased a bit after many months of decline. The good
news is that both closed and pending sales are up from last month. In last
month's report, I said that we will see numbers rise every month now as we head
into the Spring. Why? It happens every year in the Spring and we can see it in
the pending sales last month to close this month. Combine this with the lowest
interest rates we will ever see again in our lifetime, prices that have
plummeted, and $8000 payable to Mr. and Ms. First Time Homebuyer courtesy of our
rockstar Prez and we have a stimulated real estate market. Also, this is
Portland. Everyone wants to move here. Ever since Obama signed the stimulus, my
own business has picked up with first time homebuyers so, thank you Mr.

See about the Obama stimulus tax credit here: http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/09/real_estate/tax_credit_near/index.htm

Unlike buyers, I have spoken before about how it is a more challenging time for
sellers and, unlike when everyone was drinking the economic kool aid a few years
ago, there are certain things you need to do to sell right now. If you do these
things, you WILL sell and get the value you have gained in your house. These
three things are:

1. Interview a few agents and then pick the one that has a proven track
record of being able to sell a home in this tough market. I might have someone
in mind for you... (sorry once again, I can't help it.)

2. PRICE! Your pricing has to be aggressive. Buyers have a lot to choose
from but, if your house is priced correctly, it WILL sell. Request a free CMA
(Comparative Market Analysis) from an agent (I can send you one by request). A
CMA will show you exactly what has been happening in your local real estate
market for homes that are comparable to yours. Forget the headlines. Forget what
your neighbor says. All that matters is the raw data. A CMA is it and will help
you formulate an accurate price.

3. Staging. Gone are the days when all you had to do was put a sign in
front of the house and it would sell above asking price. Now it takes savvy and
skill to sell your home. The internal and external emotional appeal is crucial
to making a buyer feel that yours is the right one.

On to the report:

After many months of declining closed an pending sales, we have now had two
solid months of gains. 266 homes sold in February and 423 are pending for sale
in March. This should continue for months to come. Watch what happens as we
approach the end of the year and Obama's $8000 tax credit gets set to expire.
Can you say bidding wars over homes $300,000 and under?

Yearly change from Feb 08 to Feb 09:

For Sale: 3365 in Feb 08, 3523 in Feb 09. Inventory is up 4.7%

Sold homes: 479 sold in Feb 08, 266 sold in Feb 09. Sales have fallen 44.5%.

Pending sales: 575 pending for sale in Feb 08, 423 pending for sale in Feb 09.
Pending sales have fallen 26.4%

Click here to read the full Portland March real estate report.

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Have a great week, Portland!

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Comment by nzaier on March 23, 2009 at 5:29pm
oh.. my photo was selected as photo of the week.. thanks!

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