SALEM ECONOMIC INDEX: Salem’s housing market remains hot, good news on jobs

Daniel Molina, right, and Efren Garcia work on cutting a board for the ceiling of a home build on Vine Maple Street Southeast on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

In March, more houses sold for more money in Salem and Keizer. Fewer people are staying on unemployment benefits and more help-wanted ads are being placed online. The average hourly wage dropped, but Salem saw more businesses register. Salem area residents are playing more video poker. The city of Salem is issuing more building permits.

Home sales (lots under a half acre) – Salem/Keizer

March 2021: 273

March 2020: 278

February 2021: 195

January 2021: 173

Median price:

March 2021: $375,000

March 2020: $321,250

Source: Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service

Continuing claims for unemployment

Marion County

March: 3,054

February: 4,218

January: 4,730 (revised)

December: 3,909

April 2020: 12,948

January 2020: 2,268

Polk County

March: 712

February: 931

January: 1,034 (revised)

December: 828

April 2020: 2,925

January: 502

Source: Oregon Employment Department


Salem area average hourly earning

March 2021: $23.84

February 2021: $24.23

March 2020: $23.17

February 2020: $22.86

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


A chart showing online ads in the Salem area for March. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)


Salem area help wanted ads online

March: 8,750

February: 7,890

Statewide area help wanted ads online

March: 91,800

February: 80,400

Source: The Conference Board via Oregon Employment Department


Video lottery sales

Marion County

March: $11.8 million

February: $5.8 million

January: $212,084 (lottery locations limited)

Polk County

March: $1.3 million

February: $606,615

January: $27,453 (lottery locations limited)

Source: Oregon Lottery


Salem new business registrations

March: 766

February: 614

January: 582

March 2020: 457

Source: Oregon Secretary of State


Salem building permits

New single-family dwellings

January: 25

February: 59

Total value: $17.9 million

February 2020: 41

Total value: $11.9 million

New multi-family dwelling units

January: 0

Total value: $0

February: 246

Total value: $25.7 million

February 2020: 0

Total value: $0

New commercial/industrial permits

January: 7

Total value: $12.7 million

February: 13

Total value: $8.9 million

February 2020: 6

Total value: $14.1 million

Source: city of Salem

 Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.

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