Our View: Housing crunch extends beyond Portland as a regional problem

It’s not news that there’s a shortage of reasonably priced places to live in Portland. But the city can’t accommodate everyone in southern Maine who needs affordable housing. That’s why it’s good news that officials from five surrounding communities joined their Portland counterparts this week to share strategies to address the shortfall. This is a regional problem that demands a regional solution.

The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram’s “No Vacancy” series has documented the city’s housing crisis: low supply, high demand and rising costs. Similar concerns are being voiced in South Portland. And pressure on the housing market is likely to keep spreading geographically, given that the Portland metro area – which encompasses a region between Freeport and Kennebunk – dominates the state’s economy.

In fact, over the next three years, 6,000 new housing units (both for-sale and rental) will be needed in York, Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties, ... read more at: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/03/25/our-view-portland-housing-crunch-also-a-regional-problem/

Playing Home Price Hopscotch in US and Canada (Part 1)

While there may be no definitive answers to that question, since there are so many different agencies calculating and publishing statistics on the subject, this Economy at a Glance will provide guidance through cataloguing many of the latest findings.

(Note of caution: one has to stay sharp to spot when the data changes between ‘new’ and ‘existing’ and with respect to ‘single-family’ versus ‘all’, which includes multi-family units.)

In the U.S. existing homes market, the SP Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city composite indices are recording year-over-year rises of 5.1% and 5.7% respectively. These indices are based on repeat sales of single-family homes.

The major U.S. cities with the fastest rates of year-over-year increases according to this standard, December 2015 compared with December 2014, are: Portland (+11.4%); San Francisco (+10.3%); and Denver (+10.2%).

None of the 20 cities in the

... read more at: http://dailycommercialnews.com/Economic/News/2016/3/Playing-Home-Price-Hopscotch-in-US-and-Canada-Part-1-1014508W/

Reliant Group Sells Portland Asset for $58M – Multi

Portland, Ore.–Russellville Commons Apartments in Portland was recently acquired by a San Diego-based investor and operator. MG Properties Group expanded its multifamily portfolio by 283 units after paying $57.85 million for the community. Acquisition financing, in the form of a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage, was provided by PNC Real Estate’s Joe Briganti.

The seller was The Reliant Group, represented by HFO Investment Real Estate. Reliant acquired the property in 2011 when the company paid Rembold Properties roughly $31.6 million for Russellville Commons.

Russellville Commons Apartments, Portland, Ore.

Located on a 7.8-acre lot at 10320 SE. Pine St. in the city’s Gateway District, the asset was originally developed as a luxury community in 1999. The property offers units with an average size of around 878 square feet, and claims average rents of roughly $1,470, according to real estate data provider Yardi Matrix. Resident amenities at

... read more at: https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/russellville-commons-is-the-latest-addition-to-mg-properties-portfolio/

New owners confirm that Portland’s 40-year-old downtown grocery store is closing

A city renowned for its food will, for the first time in 150 years, not have a traditional grocery store in the heart of its downtown.

Paul’s Food Center, a Congress Street mainstay, plans to close its doors in a few weeks after the building in which it’s been housed since 1975 was sold to a pair of firms with ties to a popular indoor flea market.

A new owner of the historic building said the restaurant Vinland and Yes Books, which share the building, will remain, as will current tenants of the apartments on the upper floors.

Hammond Heirs, LLC and Paul’s Boutique, LLC — partnering firms managed in part by Erin Kiley, owner of Portland Flea-For-All — closed on the 585-593 Congress St. property Thursday. The sale price was not disclosed, but the property’s assessed value is more than $1.3 million.

Shoppers on Friday said that loss of a grocery

... read more at: https://bangordailynews.com/2016/03/18/news/portland/new-owners-announce-plans-for-landmark-portland-grocery-store-building/?ref=topStories1

Start the presses: Longmont’s first cidery to open in Times-Call’s former home

LONGMONT — A couple plans to unveil Longmont’s first hard cidery in mid- to late-May in part of the building that until recently housed the city’s daily newspaper.

Dean and Cindy Landi are working to open St. Vrain Cidery and Taproom in 2,300 square feet of the former Times-Call building’s first floor. The building is at Fourth Avenue and Terry Street, but the cidery’s entrance and patio will be off the alley on the east side, toward Coffman Street, Cindy Landi said.

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... read more at: http://bizwest.com/start-the-presses/

In Our View: A Catch-22 in Housing

Statistics about housing markets inevitably represent a bit of a Catch-22 for an urban area.

Developing a locale that is a desirable relocation spot can boost the local economy, attract people who work in growth industries and increase home values for those who already live there. At the same time, rising home values can price many people out of the market, contribute to an increase in the homeless population, and eventually drive away young workers suited for those very growth industries that are necessary for a thriving community.

So it is that differing conclusions can be reached about the latest analysis of Vancouver’s housing market. The numbers from February showed an 11 percent increase in new listings over the previous year, and a median sales price of $266,300. That price was slightly lower than the January median, but still represents a 6.6 percent increase from a tear earlier.

Undoubtedly, this area is desirable

... read more at: http://www.columbian.com/news/2016/mar/18/in-our-view-a-catch-22-in-housing/

Think Sex Offenders Drive Down Home Prices? Not Necessarily

For sale sold

Martin Barraud/Getty Images

4:00 pm ET
March 17, 2016March 17, 2016

It’s a claim to fame that no city—or the parents who live there—ever wants: home to the most sex offenders. But even the most loathsome criminals need to live somewhere, and a recent report from housing data provider RealtyTrac shows which cities have more than their fair share.

And while areas where you’re at highest risk for living near a criminal offender have lower home values and less home equity than those areas with the lowest risk, here’s a surprise: They’ve also seen better home short-term price appreciation in recent years.

In a double blow to South Carolina, two of its cities (including the

... read more at: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/cities-with-the-most-sex-offenders/

Portland is a Hot House Flipping, but Salem is Much Hotter

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Portland’s housing market is hot — up more than 14% year over year, but Salem’s house flipping is close to leading the country. In the Western portion of the U.S., Salem’s 28% year-over-year increase in averange housing price is second only to Salt Lake City’s 32%

... read more at: http://www.golocalpdx.com/business/portland-is-a-hot-house-flipping-but-salem-is-much-hotter

Online house-flipper may list Portland homes

New single family homes are getting increasingly expensive in Portland, April 28, 2015 (Pamplin Media Group/Robert Johnson)
New single family homes are getting increasingly expensive in Portland, April 28, 2015 (Pamplin Media Group/Robert Johnson)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new house-flipping company from San Francisco may soon start buying houses in the Portland area.

The Oregonian reports the company, Open Door, may begin operating in the region soon.

On its website, Open Door says it is the first company to put the rest of the home shopping process in the buyer’s hands by allowing buyers to find an Open Door home on its website, see the home in person, and buy the home with a simple online process.

If it comes to Portland, Open Door would be coming to one of the strongest housing markets in the nation — with

... read more at: http://koin.com/2016/03/15/online-house-flipper-may-list-portland-homes/