Home Prices Continue To Drop In Some Northwest Cities

Mar 28, 2012

Home prices continue to fall in much of the Northwest. New figures released Tuesday show yet another drop in both Seattle and Portland. 

The S&P/Case-Schiller Index measures housing prices in 20 large metropolitan areas around the country. The newest figures are through January and in them, both Seattle and Portland hit new lows for the current economic downturn. Average home prices in both cities are down about four percent from a year ago.

Steve Thoele is an agent with Keller-Williams Realty in Portland. He blogs about housing trends in Oregon.

"I think we're going to see a period where it's going to be kind of flat for a while before we see much price appreciation," Thoele says. "One of the unknown variables is how much distressed inventory is going to be coming onto the market in the spring and summer seasons. And by distressed, I mean bank-owned properties."

Seattle and Portland fared slightly worse than the nation as a whole in the latest Case-Schiller Index. Only three cities—Denver, Detroit and Phoenix showed improvement.

Boise did not appear in the Case-Schiller index because of its size. But the director of Brookings Mountain West tells our Stateimpact Idaho team, Boise is one of the western cities were the housing market is improving. Robert Lang says cities that fared the worst in the housing bust -- like Boise and Phoenix — are beginning to reap benefits from their dramatic falls.

It’s a competitive advantage, he says, to have cheap real estate when you’re recovering.