Portland area home sales drop 7% from a year ago
Home sales in Oregon's five-county Portland region fell 7% in December when compared to the same month of 2009, according to real estate data released by DataQuick on Friday. The San Diego-based analytics firm said the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area experienced a 16.2% hike in sales between the months of November and December, with the area recording 2,142 home sale closings in December alone. But along with the yearly drop in sales, falling home prices also dampened the region's end-of-the-year report. Portland's median home price fell to a five-year low in December, with the median price on new and existing properties hovering at $222,000, DataQuick said. The previous record was set in June 2005 when the median home price in the area fell to $220,000. That compares to Portland's peak median price of $289,000, a level reached in October of 2007. In December, absentee buyers – comprised mostly of investors – accounted for 19.4% of the region's total home buyers, with the average Portland-area absentee buyer paying $190,000 for residential property. The counties included in the Portland area metro report include Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington state. Write to Kerri Panchuk.