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One year after bottoming out, Portland-area home prices continue to rebound as the shortage of homes for sale continues.


The rebound has been boosted by strong demand from buyers, in part fueled by low interest rates. In Portland last month there were only 3.1 months worth of homes on the market, indicating a strong seller's market. Would-be buyers are finding themselves competing over desirable listings, and bidding wars are increasingly common.


The decreased impact of foreclosure sales has also impacted the averages. Foreclosures and short sales, which often sell at a discount, make up a smaller percentage of sales overall.


A growing number of homeowners are listing their homes for sale, but new listings are still not keeping pace with the number of buyers looking for homes.


At the same time, home prices diminished by the crash are keeping many homeowners locked into place. A recent report by the real estate website Zillow said 25.5 percent of Portland-area homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth -- meaning they can't easily sell -- and more than 45 percent may not have enough equity in their home to sell it at enough of a profit to cover broker fees and a down payment on a new home.


Home prices in Portland are currently 21.6 percent below their peak in September 2007, and they aren't expected to return to that level anytime soon.


See full article by Elliot Njus, The Oregonian, May 28, 2013