Gay Realty Watch: Portland, Oregon

Gay Portland Real EstateWe continue our look into local real estate markets with large gay and lesbian communities. Today, Portland, Oregon: the little Seattle.  Seriously, Portland is hip, progressive and green – what more could you want? Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in the Portland real estate market at the moment:

Portland-area home prices, sales continue to slide in September – Portland-area home prices continue to descend for the third year, and now have reached levels not seen in a decade. It’s not news that home prices are falling. They have been in decline since the summer of 2007. But they are now reaching levels veteran brokers thought they’d never see again in their lifetime.

Waterfront luxury condos will be auctioned Saturday‎ – About 30 luxury waterfront condominium units will be put up for auction Sunday by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson and Portland-based Taylor Group Realty. The units are part of The Waterside, which opened on Hayden Island in 2006 with 84 high-end units in a complex on the edge of the Columbia River. At the time, the condominiums were selling for between $375,000 and $840,000. Minimum bids will range from $165,000 to $300,000 during the auction.

With critics on all sides, Portland area’s long-range growth plan faces a hearing this week – It’s a vision of the future that has everybody squinting. Metro and its regional partners – Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties – spent two years deciding which land will be urbanized and which will remain farms or forests for the next 40 to 50 years. In the wonk world of land-use planning, designating long-term urban and rural “reserves” is like a moon shot, the boldest of bold adventures. No other region in America has attempted such a thing; most of them don’t even have Oregon-style urban growth boundaries.

Falling home values won’t cut Oregon property taxes – unless you live in Bend – For the second year in a row, home values fell across Oregon in 2009. So the silver lining for homeowners should be a break on property taxes, right? Well, probably not. At least for most Portland-area homeowners, tax bills that began hitting the mail Friday will show tax increases. The big exception is in the Bend area – one of the state’s hardest-hit real estate scenes after years of explosive growth – where market values have fallen far enough to reduce taxes for a significant number of property owners.

Oregon ranks No. 6 for business‎ – A new study by Forbes magazine ranks Oregon the sixth-best state for business and careers. Oregon ranked No. 10 last year. Utah received the No. 1 rank, taking the top spot from Virginia. Maine ranked last.
The study is based on six categories: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

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