I'm an Exclusive Buyers Agent working in the Metro Portland area. I've sold in the Pearl, South Waterfront, someof the re-habbed older buildings, etc. (as well as working the entire Metro PDX area). But for the sake of your question, there are buyers who bought at the height of the market, where waiting lists were the norm PRIOR to ground being broken. No one questioned if anything would go "off" kilter on that . . . i.e., the bottom dropping off. Same thing for homes, single family detached in the "burbs." I always tell people that I really don't have a crystal ball, but the main objective in buying is to know what you can afford, where you want to live, how long you are going to hold on to the property. If you buy what you can afford, then the down-turns will be already factored in and considered. If you buy where you want to live, you'll be happy in your HOME and not want to look for anything for a while . . . you're happy living there! The longer you live in a property -- any property -- the better off you'll be. The NAR states that property values double ever 10 years. The unfortunate side to the current market is that I see some sellers who just purchased, or maybe purchased in '05. Their values aren't nearly what they would have liked to have realized. But these are "homes" and if people continue to want to play "stock market" or "personal piggy banks" then sometimes there are more risks involved -- I knew one seller who had THREE mortgages on his place!! Talk about being 'top heavy."
Personally, I like the South Waterfront area. And since it's not far from the Pearl, it's really a matter of a 10 minute trolley ride to the nice restaurants,or shopping at the Pearl. Many of my clients like the water front, and the views on some of the units are truly unique.
The plus to having units that aren't selling is the old motto: Buy low, sell high. Hey, if you can find a great deal, and it works for you . . . then you're already ahead of the game.
You can check out my website for home buyer tips, http://www.EBAPortland.com
and I've added the South Water Front site, just in case you haven't seen that link. I've been to a few of their association meetings, and I really think that most of the owners are there for the long haul, love where they're living and have a "hands on" approach to their association. Which is a good thing
Carla Muss-Jacobs, ABR, CEBA, e-PRO
EBA Porltand, LLC