Portland Rents Continue 9-Month Trend Of Declines

Portland Rents Continue 9-Month Trend Of Declines

Portland rents have declined 0.9 percent over the past month, and have decreased sharply by 7.0 percent year-over-year, according to the latest report from Apartment List.

This is the ninth straight month the City of Portland has seen rent decreases. The last time any rents went up was back in March of 2020.

Median rents in Portland are $1,119 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,305 for a two-bedroom.

“As we enter the New Year, our national rent index has begun to stabilize after a wild 2020. Rents are down 0.4% month-over-month nationally, a seasonal dip consistent with what we’ve seen in prior years,” said Igor Popov, Chief Economist, Apartment List.

“That said, there has been significant regional variation in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; while our national rent index is down by a fairly modest 1.5 percent year-over-year, many markets are experiencing greater volatility. The urban cores of San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and New York City continue to see rent prices fall rapidly, while many smaller markets and suburbs are actually getting more expensive,” Popov said.

Cities in the metro showing year-over-year rent growth

While Portland is seeing continuing rent declines, cities in the rest of the metro are seeing the opposite trend.

Rents have risen in 7 of the largest 10 cities in the Portland metro for which Apartment List has data..

  • Looking throughout the metro, Lake Oswego is the most expensive of all Portland metro’s major cities, with a median two-bedroom rent of $1,839; of the 10 largest cities in Oregon metro that Apartment List has data for, Beaverton and Corvallis, where two-bedrooms go for $1,529 and $1,147, are the two other major cities in the metro besides Portland to see rents fall year-over-year (-0.8 percent and -0.7 percent).
  • Bend, Vancouver, and Salem have all experienced year-over-year growth above the state average (9.4 percent, 5.2 percent, and 4.8 percent, respectively).

Portland Rents Continue 9-Month Trend Of Declines

Why is this happening?

Rents in outlying suburbs are growing much faster than rents in core metropolitan areas, according to research from Apartment List.

There are a number of reasons rent trends in principal cities do not mirror those of nearby suburbs.

The pandemic’s effects on everyday life have certainly been more pronounced in cities than suburbs. Shelter-in-place requirements and business restrictions have ground to a halt many of the events and amenities that attract people to cities in the first place: live entertainment, bars and restaurants, public festivals, and the like.

Many renters today are questioning whether it still makes sense to pay a premium for city living. As a result, migration plays a big factor in the urban and suburban rent divide, according to Apartment List research.

Portland Rents Continue On Downward Track For Another Month

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