AP Nation / World

Apr 21, 3:17 PM EDT

Portland housing market challenging for beginning homebuyers


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland housing market has become a tough place for first-time homebuyers.

Homes within a $300,000 price range are quickly disappearing from the market, making starter homes unaffordable to middle-income families, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2pmcSpr ). Data taken from housing website Zillow shows 61 percent of today's housing stock is within reach for median-income earners in the metro area. The current prices are close to ones seen during the housing bubble collapse in 2007-2008, according to the report.

Prospective homeowner Claire Anderson said she has begun looking at Portland homes that have been crime scenes because they are some of the few properties still within her price range.

"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."

People who are able to buy starter homes have plans to live there forever, instead of upgrading in the future, Living Room Realty Broker Alyssa Isenstien Krueger said. "They don't see themselves as being able to make the leap to the next level, so there's less turnover," Krueger said.

With more first-time homebuyers looking for options away from the city, the Portland Housing Center, which works with that demographic, is looking to set up Beaverton and Vancouver offices.

"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."

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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