Portland Rents Continue Decline During Pandemic

Rents in Portland continue to decline

Rents in Portland continued to decline in June, dropping another 0.1 percent after a 0.3 percent drop in May, according to the latest report from Apartment List.

Portland rents year-over-year have decreased by 0.4 percent in comparison to the same time last year.

Median rents in Portland stand at $1,119 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,321 for a two-bedroom.

“It’s important to note that the magnitudes of these rent decreases are all quite modest, but on the other hand, this may just be the beginning of a prolonged trend,” said Chris Salviati, Housing Economist at Apartment List.

“I would note that the areas where we’re seeing the most significant rent dips are in local economies that are heavily dependent on tourism, such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and Miami. Compared to those cities, Portland has higher shares of workers employed in knowledge occupations that can be done from home, so they’re a bit more protected from the harshest economic impacts,” he said.

Rents are also dropping rapidly in San Francisco and the Bay Area of California.

Rent trends vary across the Portland Metro

While rent prices have decreased in Portland over the past year, the rest of the metro is seeing varying rent trends.

Of the largest 10 cities that Apartment List has data for in the Portland metro, half have seen increases, while the other half have been decreasing.

Rents in Portland declined in June but a different story across the Portland metro.

Here’s a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Over the past year, Tualatin has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 3.1 percent. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,874, while one-bedrooms go for $1,589.
  • Forest Grove has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 2.6 percent. The median two-bedroom there costs $1,453, while one-bedrooms go for $1,231.
  • Hillsboro has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the Portland metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,053; rents went down 0.5 percent over the past month and 1.6 percent  over the past year.
  • Portland proper has the least expensive rents in the Portland metro.

Salviati said as far as longer-term impact, the pandemic’s effect on rent prices will depend heavily on how quickly the economy is able to recover.

“Even in the best-case scenario, it’s highly possible that we could see a protracted uptick in downgrade moves as many households facing financial hardship begin looking for more affordable housing,” Salviati said.

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