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Portland’s streak leading the nation in home-price increases is over

Oregon live discusses Portland housing prices according to the Case-Shiller home-price index.

The Portland area led the nation in home-price increases for 11 months, but Seattle took the top spot in September. Portland saw home prices rise 10.9 percent year-over-year, compared with Seattle’s 11 percent, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index. The two cities were only ones out of the 20 surveyed in the index to see double-digit annual increases.

Portland’s annual increases have slowed in recent months, which is welcome news for would-be homebuyers who have seen rising home prices take chunks out of their buying power.

But the housing market remains highly competitive, and costs are still rising at a rapid clip. Looming interest-rate hikes threaten to curb buying power more.

Nationally, the Case-Shiller index showed home prices had surpassed their bubble-era peak to reach a new all-time high. They’re also gaining ground at a rate not seen since 2012, when prices started a rapid rebound from the collapse of the housing bubble.

Case Shiller home price index

“We are currently experiencing the best real estate returns since the bottom in July of 2012,” said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee. “Given history, this trend is unlikely to be sustained.”

The Case-Shiller index measures relative changes in home prices using repeated sales of the same homes. It uses a three-month rolling average.

The median Portland-area home sold for $350,300 in September, an increase of 15 percent from a year earlier. It fell slightly to 350,000 in October, a typical seasonal decline.

— Elliot Njus

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