Long, long gone: Author recalls move to the coast

Matt Loves loft in the Pearl District of Portland in the 1990s.

Submitted Photo

Matt Love’s loft in the Pearl District of Portland in the 1990s.

The author and his dog, Sonny, enjoy a sunset together.

Submitted Photo

The author and his dog, Sonny, enjoy a sunset together.

A couple of months ago, my ex-wife Cindy Popp mailed me a Polaroid of the loft I once owned in Portland’s Pearl District and where we once lived. (She apparently found the photo in an old book of ours.) I am so glad she sent it to me because I have very little recollection of who I was in those days and I think it’s important I be reminded every now and then what Portland once meant to me.

Today, I can hardly believe

... read more at: http://www.dailyastorian.com/friday-extra/20160429/long-long-gone

Will Portland’s housing crisis become a housing bubble?


With skyrocketing home prices, high demand and low supply, there's no denying Portland is experiencing a housing crisis. (KOIN)
With skyrocketing home prices, high demand and low supply, there’s no denying Portland is experiencing a housing crisis. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With skyrocketing home prices, high demand and low supply, there’s no denying Portland is experiencing a housing crisis.

As the city grows in popularity and size, prospective homebuyers are feeling the brunt of the pain.

Samantha Gladu moved to Portland from Colorado 8 years ago. She and her husband decided to buy their first home earlier this year.

But it hasn’t been an

... read more at: http://koin.com/2016/04/28/will-portlands-housing-crisis-become-a-housing-bubble/

It’s percolating: Coffee culture hits Ottawa full-steam

On a grey Wednesday in late March, on an evening when snow and freezing rain were predicted, a new kind of event for Ottawa was planned for Art-Is-In bakery in the City Centre building off Scott Street.

“We didn’t know if anyone would come,” said Stephanie Mathieson, co-owner of the bakery and café. “We didn’t advertise the Latte Art Throwdown much — it was mostly word of mouth. There was no pre-registration.” 

Soon after the doors opened at 6 p.m., the place turned into part mosh pit, part coffee love-in, as spectators crowded around to the beat of live bands to see which baristas could create the best patterns in the steamed milk floating in cups of coffee.

“The place was packed — you couldn’t move,” says Mathieson. “We maxed out on the number of baristas who could compete, with 32. The turnout was amazing — over 300 people

... read more at: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/its-percolating-coffee-culture-hits-ottawa-full-steam

Street Roots pop quiz: Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson is an active community leader and volunteer, and is a partner in a small multifamily housing and medical clinic development company. He is known for helping get the Sellwood Bridge project on track and leading a multiyear effort to secure stable and dedicated funding for the Multnomah County Library. 

He is active on several community boards, including Our House of Portland and Portland Center Stage. As the former Portland Housing Bureau commissioner, he says housing and homelessness are key policy areas he has worked on for decades. 

He lives in Southwest Portland with his cat, Ava, and when not working or volunteering, he enjoys time remodeling his home and gardening.

Wilson is running for Multnomah County commissioner in District 1. Here are his responses to Street Roots’ candidates pop quiz — a mix of short-answer, yes-or-no, and multiple-choice questions. (Read other candidates’ responses.)

 

QUESTION 1

What area of the county government are you most

... read more at: http://news.streetroots.org/2016/04/26/street-roots-pop-quiz-brian-wilson

More Homes Homes Go Under Contract—Except in One U.S. Region


pending home sales in March

Courtney Keating/iStock

Home buyers have been out in force this spring, as the number of homes under contract got a boost last month—except in the Western swath of the country, where the cost of buying is intimidatingly high.

March pending home sales, which are purchases that have yet to close, were up 30.1% from February and 2.9% compared with a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors® Pending Home Sales Index.That’s looking at the actual numbers, instead of the seasonally adjusted ones that compensate for the different pace of home buying at different times of the year.

“Everything points to a very strong spring and summer for real estate,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. He adds that sales typically go up as the

... read more at: http://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/march-2016-pending-home-sales/

Homes Under Contract Are Up—Except in One US Region


pending home sales in March

Courtney Keating/iStock

Home buyers have been out in force this spring, as the number of homes under contract got a boost last month—except in the Western swath of the country, where the cost of buying is intimidatingly high.

March pending home sales, which are purchases that have yet to close, were up 30.1% from February and 2.9% compared with a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors® Pending Home Sales Index.That’s looking at the actual numbers, instead of the seasonally adjusted ones that compensate for the different pace of home buying at different times of the year.

“Everything points to a very strong spring and summer for real estate,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. He adds that sales typically go up as the weather

... read more at: http://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/march-2016-pending-home-sales/

In Some Markets, Home Prices Rise 5 Times Faster Than Inflation


Home prices are up year-over-year but were relatively flat in February compared to the previous month.

Justin Horrocks/iStock

It should come as no surprise that home prices continue to soar as the economy improves and more people enter what increasingly seems like an elbow-throwing, cash-hurling scuffle to secure the few homes available for sale.

But one region is seeing particularly dramatic gains. In the Pacific Northwest, homes are appreciating several times faster than inflation.

Nationwide, home prices jumped 5.3% in February compared with a year ago, according to the most recent data from the SP/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. But they remained relatively flat from January. The report looked only at existing, detached, single-family homes and not newly constructed residences.

“In a number of markets, especially in the Pacific Northwest, prices are rising quite

... read more at: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/february-2016-home-prices-case-shiller/

US home prices rise at solid pace, even with flat sales

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices continued their steady upward march in February as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties.

The Standard Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.4 percent that month compared with a year earlier, according to a report released Tuesday. That’s down slightly from January’s 5.7 percent rise.

Prices are rising even as sales have leveled off in recent months. The number of homes for sale last month was 1.5 percent lower than a year earlier. That’s pushed buyers to act quickly, with homes on the market just 47 days in March, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Svenja Gudell, chief economist at real estate website Zillow, said the problem is particularly acute for first-time buyers and those looking at mid-level homes.

“Heading into spring, buyers looking for the most expensive homes will find somewhat softening prices, a larger selection of homes to choose from and more

... read more at: http://www.startribune.com/us-home-prices-rise-at-solid-pace-even-with-flat-sales/377112041/

Demand for Portland houses nearly outstrips supply


A house for sale in Portland, April 25, 2016 (KOIN)
A house for sale in Portland, April 25, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland housing market isn’t for amateurs. Homes are selling for thousands of dollars more than the listing price, sometimes in cash.

Keller Williams real estate agent Andrew Berlinberg told KOIN 6 News the inventory of homes for sale is the lowest the city has seen since 1999.

“If no more houses went on the market and the pace of sales continued the way they are, we’d run out of houses in less than a month-and-a-half,” Berlinberg said.

A neighborhood in Southwest Portland, April 25, 2016 (KOIN)
A neighborhood in Southwest Portland, April 25, 2016 (KOIN)

Jessica Ramseier and her family just sold their home in Southwest Portland.

“We just

... read more at: http://koin.com/2016/04/25/demand-for-portland-houses-nearly-outstripping-supply/