Portland-area homebuyers, on average, make higher down payments
People who bought homes in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties last year paid more than the national average to get into their new houses and condos, according to a new report. At the same time, roughly 10 percent or more of local buyers made down payments of 3 percent or less.
The data analytics firm RealtyTrac studied sales and loan records for 386 counties around the country and found that the average buyer last year made a down payment amounting to 14 percent of the value of the home or condo.
But buyers in the three Portland-area counties made higher initial payments. The highest ticket to homeownership was in Multnomah County, where the average down payment was 17.74 percent. RealtyTrac says Multnomah’s county median home price last year was $274,000, which means the average buyer of a median-priced Multnomah County house put down about $48,608.
In Washington County, where the median price was $270,000, the average buyer made a 16.18 percent down payment. In Clackamas County, the median price was $282,500 and the average down payment was 16.47 percent.
The Portland area represents a kind of Goldilocks climate in terms of the average size of down payment. In high-priced, competitive housing markets like New York and San Francisco, buyers put down $300,000 or more, on average, to make a down payment of from 30 to 37 percent. But recession-ravaged towns like Flint, Mich., last year put down less than 9 percent of the value of the home for an average down payment of about $6,300.
RealtyTrac also examined what percentage of buyers took advantage of loan programs that require a down payment of 3 percent or less. In Multnomah County, that percentage was 9.92 percent; 11.93 percent in Washington County; and 13.28 percent in Clackamas County.
— Mike Francis