Millennials Are Buying Homes Because of Their Dogs – Not Their Children or Marriages

It’s no secret that millennials love dogs and now their four-legged friends are starting to influence the decisions they make about housing.

A recent survey by SunTrust Mortgage found that a third of millennials who had already purchased their first home said they were influenced by the need to have space for a dog.

The survey asked recent home buyers why they were buying their first home and their dog was the third most commonly cited reason, coming above children and marriage. Only more living space and the opportunity to build equity came above the furry companions.

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

The survey also found that 42% of millennials who had never bought a home said that their dog, or the desire to have one, would be a key factor in their decision to get on the property ladder.

Check out the video on TIME HERE

Let me know if you have any questions!


Posted on August 1, 2017 at 6:57 am
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Portland area remains near top in US home-price gains

The Portland metro area saw the second-largest jump in home values in April, trailing only Seattle.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!


Posted on June 28, 2017 at 6:50 am
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Q1 Report for Oregon & Southwest Washington

The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. I hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Oregon State has added almost 40,000 new jobs over the past 12 months. Although growth has slowed significantly, we can attribute this to the fact that the state has reached “full employment.” When this is achieved, growth has to rely on the population rising to drive jobs higher and, inevitably, the pace slows. Year-over-year, employment in Oregon rose by 2.2%.

In February, the state unemployment rate fell to 4% and is now at a level that has not been seen in more than four decades. Additionally, the number of people who are unemployed dropped to about 82,000—a figure last seen in August of 1995.



  • First quarter home sales fell by 4.5% compared to the same period last year. In total, 12,299 homes sold in the first quarter of this year.
  • Sales rose the fastest in Klickitat County, which saw a 50% increase over Q1 2016. There were also noticeable increases in sales in Skamania, Cowlitz, Klamath, and Tillamook Counties. Home sales fell the most in Jefferson, Crook, Hood River, and Washington Counties.
  • There were 11 counties where sales rose year over year, and 15 counties that reported declines.
  • The low number of homes for sale continues to affect the market and is pushing home sales activity lower. This means sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat.


  • The average home price in the region rose by 9.4% year-over-year to $334,299. This is down from 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Jefferson County took over as the market with the strongest annual price growth, with homes selling for 30.7% above the level seen a year ago.
  • All but three counties experienced rising prices when compared to the first quarter of 2016, and most of these saw significant, double-digit increases.
  • Despite rising interest rates, the lack of inventory continues to drive home prices higher.



  • The average number of days it takes to sell a home in the region dropped by five days when compared to the first quarter of 2016, but it took 17 days longer to sell a home than in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region was 98 days.
  • In several counties, days on market rose when compared to the same period a year ago. This is not too surprising given that the counties where sales slowed are small, which often leads to erratic demand.
  • Counties where homes sold the fastest were Washington and Multnomah Counties, where it took an average of 33 and 42 days respectively for homes to sell.


The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. Economic growth in Oregon State remains impressive, and the region’s housing market clearly continues to benefit from such robust growth.

Home sales have slowed, which has taken a little steam out of the strong appreciation rates we’ve seen over the past several months. That said, the market remains remarkably tight and unlikely to shift dramatically for the duration of 2017. As such, I have moved the needle slightly more toward sellers for the first quarter.



Posted on June 5, 2017 at 1:21 am
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Portland’s luxury real estate market makes impressive leap

High-end real estate brokers filed into a breakfast meeting for Windermere Real Estate’s Premier Properties program last month, eager to hear statistics and insights into a luxury market that has taken off over the last year. I had the pleasure of sharing my take on the rapidly growing market with the brokers; here’s some of the information they walked away with.

First of all, what is luxury real estate? The definition varies from region to region. In the Portland area, Windermere brokers base their luxury qualifying price on variables such as condition of the home and grounds, history of the home, architectural significance, location and more. Listing prices for luxury homes in Portland typically start between $750,000 and $1 million. To qualify for Luxury Portfolio International, a division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, home listings must be priced at or above $899,900.

This same group details the recent increase of luxury market activity, reporting that 25 percent of the U.S. wealthy plan to purchase luxury real estate over the next three years. Further, a whopping 45 percent of the global wealthy plan to purchase during the same period. This is already manifesting in Multnomah County — largely as a result of the increase of wealthy, international tech buyers flocking to the area — where transactions above the $1 million price mark increased 21.5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and transactions above $800,000 increased 27 percent over the same period. Among those high-end transactions, average sales prices skyrocketed nearly $50,000 over the course of the year.

I predict the luxury market will continue to increase moderately year-over-year. Further, job growth in the area should continue to support higher home prices as demand continues to exceed supply. Average listing prices on luxury homes in Portland are reaching $900,550 — well short of other major markets in the west, such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. With home prices expected to increase 7.9 percent in Multnomah County over the next year, now is a great time for buyers to enter the luxury market and watch their investments quickly appreciate.

Some may fear that all of this increased market activity signals a housing bubble, but I would be quick to dispel that apprehension. Housing prices continue to increase, but home values are protected by controlled national mortgage debt. This total has only jumped one percent since 2012, even when paired with the surge in home price growth. Stringent credit requirements also signal the absence of a bubble. In 2008, the loan qualifying process was fast and easy, but now banks are lending much more conservatively. So I would turn away from the fear of a bubble forming, but perhaps keep an eye on Portland’s housing affordability and accessibility.

The uptick in luxury market transactions is encouraging, but we want to make sure the average Joe can continue to afford real estate as well. While home prices begin to climb, they still vastly outpace income growth. As a result, average Portlanders are having a tougher time affording housing near their workplaces. Since businesses pay close attention to how much it will cost their employees to live in a given market, I worry that high housing costs could price Portland out of business.

There is much for Portland’s housing market to look forward to as we head into the summer months. The luxury market is inspiring for buyers who want to make a high-end purchase soon. However, they’d better hustle before the near-eight percent value increases set in. While I am encouraged to see that we are not on the verge of a housing bubble, we must be wary of housing affordability or risk the chance of Portland experiencing a stall in economic growth. With any luck, Portland will meet its continued expansion head on.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!


*from PBJ

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 8:31 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Tough Portland housing market stymies first-time homebuyers

Summary: Claire Anderson of Portland has a well-paying job at a local nonprofit, and she’s socked away thousands of dollars, but she still can’t find a home to buy in her price range. Portland’s stock of homes affordable to moderate-income first-time buyers is disappearing amid rising prices that have outpaced wages. April 18, 2017 Beth Nakamura/Staff

Though it seemed unlikely, Claire Anderson couldn’t shake the notion her real-estate broker had taken her to the scene of some terrible crime.

They’d crossed an unkempt yard to enter the rundown Southeast Portland home through a back door. Inside, splotches covered the walls and ceiling. The lights flickered gloomily.

“It was the creepiest horror scene,” the 29-year-old said. But “we still walked around and talked about what we could do to make this horror movie house work.”

That’s because after touring more than a dozen homes and trawling hundreds of others online, she could no longer automatically dismiss a house with an “Enter at your own risk” sign tacked to the front door. Not for her first home, and certainly not one within her price range.

The starter home has become an endangered species in Portland’s robust real estate market — even for middle-income earners with decent savings like Anderson.

Inventory in the ballpark of $300,000 is rapidly disappearing as prices far outpace wages, a scenario exacerbated by the continuing fallout of a homebuilding drought, the region’s surging population and the tendency of current homeowners to stay put instead of move up.

And rising interest rates threaten to further erode buying power, leaving first-time home buyers with even fewer options.

More competition, fewer homes

Portland has long held strong appeal for its relatively low cost of living — a West Coast outpost without Seattle- or San Francisco-level rents, where artists, entrepreneurs and working-class people could build a life and perhaps buy a home.

But homeownership has increasingly become out of reach in the metro area. Data from the real-estate firm Zillow show just 61 percent of today’s housing stock is affordable for median-income earners — around $64,000 today — compared with 76 percent in 2000.

That would put today’s share of affordable homes near levels last seen before the housing bubble collapsed in 2007-2008, and ushered in a wave of foreclosures and the financial crisis.

But today’s unaffordability is driven by a shortage of homes, both for sale and for rent. There’s also been far less construction of new homes as developers work to bring more rental units online.

Flash sales and bidding wars are no longer anomalies in the metro area, in large part because there simply isn’t much to choose from. A mere 3,300 homes were listed at the end of February, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service, or a six-week supply based on current trends. A more typical market would have a six-month supply.

Homeowners, seeing little reason to subject themselves to the stress and expense, are loath to re-enter the market

“People are buying their ‘starter home’ and living there forever,” said Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, a broker with Living Room Realty in Portland. “They don’t see themselves as being able to make the leap to the next level, so there’s less turnover.”

As a result, small homes in desirable neighborhoods are seeing prices bid higher. In many cases, first-time buyers are competing with investors, flippers, developers and other cash buyers.

Home sellers usually will opt for the cash offer, which promises certainty that someone in need of a mortgage can’t provide. And developers often bid more than the house is worth because the bigger one they plan to replace it with will fetch a much higher price.

As a result, first-time homebuyers are looking farther from the city core to find affordability and less competition.

The Portland Housing Center, a nonprofit that works with first-time homebuyers, has sought to meet that need with new satellite offices in Beaverton and Vancouver.

“For a while the suburbs were the place to go,” said Felicia Tripp, the center’s deputy director. “But the inventory shortage is Portland metro-wide. It’s going to be difficult, even in the suburbs.”

Rising mortgage rates

What starter homes are available, however, remain within reach only because of low mortgage rates, which can dramatically affect monthly payments. But mortgage rates have been creeping higher. In March, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate for only the third time since the Great Recession, and most observers expect the central bank to raise rates at least two more times this year.

Should rates rise to 2006 levels — about 2 percentage points higher than today — the share of affordable homes would drop to just 41 percent, the Zillow data show. Such a jump could add nearly $300 to the monthly payment on a $300,000 home, and that’s without any increase in price.

Most forecasts call for a more modest rate increase over the next two years, but prices are expected to keep growing. The median Portland-area home price jumped 10.4 percent in March, year over year, and has surged nearly 72 percent since 2012, RMLS data show.

Such a dearth of starter homes is something the Portland real-estate market has never seen before, Tripp said.

“We’re bracing,” she said. “There’s always been, generationally, a market for first-time homebuyers. This is new to us.”

Anderson, the would-be homeowner, considers herself relatively lucky.

She has a job at a Portland nonprofit that pays well enough, and her rent held steady long enough that she could save up a healthy down payment. Her family can also contribute — increasingly the norm for first-time homebuyers.

And there’s no big rush, such as an expiring lease. But her relatively low rent recently jumped $200 a month, and the prospect of future increases might force her to find a different line of work, or leave Portland.

“It may be that I don’t find anything. Then we rent as long as we can, and then,” she said, “I don’t know.”

-From OregonLive


Posted on April 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Home values will soar in these 40 Portland neighborhoods…

If you own your home, you’re wondering how Portland’s skyrocketing sales are impacting the value of your place. If you don’t yet have a mortgage, but hope to, you may want to figure out which neighborhoods will take off this year.

No one can predict the future, especially when it comes to real estate investments, including sentimental properties such as your family home. But the data czars at Zillow crunched numbers at our request and came up with a ranking of what they predict could be the hottest Portland neighborhoods over the next year.

Scroll through this photo gallery to see the top neighborhoods.

They compiled the current median home value of each neighborhood, forecast the value in a year and calculated the percent of the increase. For example, the median home in the Southwest Hills could cost 3.8 percent more over the next year, bumping the cost up more than $36,000.

Topping the list with a predicted 5.2 percent jump: St. Johns (expect to pay a median extra of $17,539), Mount Scott ($18,412 more) and Brentwood-Darlington ($15,634 more). See other predictions on how homes in specific neighborhoods might appreciate.

Posted on April 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Oregon’s massive housing subsidy to the well-off deserves legislators’ scrutiny

As public policy goes, the state’s home-mortgage interest deduction that helps shrink Oregonians’ tax bills flunks the test of public benefit.

The practice, which allows homeowners to deduct the amount of annual interest they pay to mortgage lenders, will cost Oregon nearly $500 million in lost revenue this year. The subsidy largely benefits higher-income tax filers who are more likely to itemize their deductions and who are the ones securing larger mortgages in the first place. Renters, who arguably pay property taxes just as homeowners do through their rent payments, get no similar benefit.

It’s irrational, and several states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio, don’t allow taxpayers to deduct it in computing their taxable income for state purposes. But will legislators have the stomach to revise this practice?

 Despite the inevitable blowback, legislators should take on this challenge. With Oregon HB 2006, a bill sponsored by the House Human Services and Housing committee, lawmakers have the opportunity to at least start the work of breaking down resistance and educating the public why this deduction is not in their or the state’s interest. While imperfect, the bill offers some reasonable proposals for curbing an excessive giveaway that this state can’t afford in the face of far more pressing needs in housing and elsewhere.


The bill calls for capping the amount of mortgage interest that someone can deduct on their state tax returns to $15,000. That’s well above the average deduction claimed by the nearly 500,000 filers who submitted itemized returns in 2013, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue’s most recent tax expenditure report. It also calls for eliminating entirely the deduction on second homes. In addition, anyone whose adjusted gross income is $100,000 or more (or joint filers earning $200,000 or more) would not be allowed to claim any mortgage interest deduction for state tax purposes. The proposed changes would not apply to the mortgage interest deduction on the federal level.

The Legislative Revenue Office has not yet analyzed the proposal. But the Oregon Center for Public Policy, one of the members of the coalition that developed the proposal, estimates it could bring upwards of $200 million or more per biennium for the state, Juan Carlos Ordonez, spokesman for the center, told The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board. That money would then fund assistance for down payments, initiatives to build starter homes and other programs that increase the supply of housing, said Jes Larson of the Welcome Home coalition, another member organization of the network behind HB 2006. Addressing supply is key – there is no way to legislate our way out of this housing crisis if nothing is done to significantly increase the inventory of places for people to live.

That said, this bill is far from perfect. The revenue office’s vetting could change some of the projections. And other provisions, such as the arbitrary $100,000/$200,000 income cut off could be problematic. While Ordonez maintains that six-figure Oregonians can easily absorb the hit, his conclusion seems driven by assumptions that anyone of that income level is immune to financial strain and can adapt in a heartbeat. Good public policy calls for objective consideration of how best to limit fallout when longstanding rules suddenly change.

Yes, mortgage interest deductions are a form of welfare for the better off. But the threat of immediately revoking it from people who may have based significant financial decisions on the promise, is bound to trigger unintended consequences. Not the least of which might be sparking opposition from those who might otherwise support the $15,000 cap. And this proposal needs all the support it can muster.

Legislators also must recognize the multi-faceted budget disaster that Oregon faces. While the mortgage interest deduction is a worthwhile debate, they must also confront thornier issues as easing the public-pension burden on public employers and raising new revenue from businesses.

Oregonians can be stubbornly protective of irrational, nonsensical policies that mask their destructiveness with short-term sweeteners (see: personal kicker rebate). That does not give legislators a pass on addressing it, however, particularly when the state faces a $1.6 billion budget deficit. Start the work toward a saner system, pair it with real change on pension reform and corporate taxation, and show Oregon what true leadership and progress looks like.

Let me know if you have any questions!



 From The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board 

Posted on March 21, 2017 at 8:08 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

The Annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

The National Association of Realtors® recently published their annual profile of home buyers and sellers. This report provides insights into the unique buyer/seller experience from YOUR perspective, as well as emerging trends. It covers information on demographics, housing characteristics and the experience of consumers in our housing market.

While I am not allowed to share the 144-page report in its entirety, here is a great overview that provides some helpful highlights.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Posted on February 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

Can You Guess What the PDX Median Sales Price was in 1960?

Can you guess?

We sure do love historical statistics that prove how amazing an investment real estate can be.

It’s our sincerest belief that every family in America who otherwise saves for retirement should also consider owning a rental property….and the historical statistics sure do seem to support this belief.

Below is a link to the Portland median selling price back to 1960.  Check out what happens reliably every decade for the last 56+ years.  Also consider that at the end of every decade (just like some of our clients now), there were most likely those who believed prices had moved up so much in the last decade that they couldn’t possibly increase in the future.

Boy were they wrong!

PDX Median Sales Prices 1960-Present

Want to know how much YOUR home is worth? I’m simply an email or phone call away.



Posted on February 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized

The Windermere Foundation


Dear Clients and Friends,

Thanks to continued support, the Windermere Foundation has raised over $33 million in total donations since 1989. These donations have helped us support many local non-profit organizations over the years, which provide services to low-income and homeless families. Organizations like Project 150, which provides food, clothing, school supplies, and scholarships to homeless, displaced, and disadvantaged high school students, to help them stay in school and graduate.

“Thomas” was going to graduate high school with honors, but wasn’t planning to walk at graduation because he didn’t have a cap and gown. He had been living in a weekly-stay motel with his two younger siblings for six months, after their mother left them. With funding from the Windermere Foundation, Thomas, along with 40 other students, received a cap and gown and other needed supplies through Project 150, and was able to walk at graduation with his classmates.

Although the Windermere Foundation has helped many families have their most basic needs met this year, many more children and families in our communities still need your help.

There are only five days left in this season of giving to make a special gift to the Windermere Foundation. Any gift received before December 31 will be counted towards the 2016 tax year. More importantly, your gift will directly help local children and families in need.

Can I count on you to make a gift today?

100% of your gift will be used to help people in your community. In doing so, you will provide additional life-changing help to the same organizations that your office already supports.

Your financial gifts to the Windermere Foundation truly make a difference in the lives of others.

Make a gift today online or by mail to Windermere Foundation, 5424 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. If sending your gift in by mail, it must be postmarked by December 31 in order to be counted towards this tax year.

Thank you for your generosity and compassion.


William Gilliland

Posted on December 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm
William Gilliland | Category: Uncategorized