Perhaps you, a friend, or a relative has been searching for a home to purchase in Portland. It’s tough, especially in our close-in neighborhoods. But as challenging as it is to find the right home to purchase, it’s even tougher for those who wish to rent. A recent Willamette Week story cited a 3% vacancy rate and an average rental rate of $1,100 per month. In short, we’re seeing the fewest number of available apartments for rent in over 10 years… at the highest price. Yes, there are more apartments being built today (518 rental units in 2011 to 4,413 in 2014), but the influx of new residents is substantially outpacing the growth. And, many developers have opted to replace single-family home sites with larger homes, skinny houses, or condos, as opposed to apartments. The competitive landscape of the rental market has increased in the number of potential homebuyers in our market, as renters weigh the pros and cons of renting vs buying.
Renters are being forced into split second decision-making, and are often subjected to the application process and associated fees without ever seeing their future dwelling in person. It’s a simple, yet painful, case of supply and demand, and prices in our city are likely to continue to rise for the foreseeable future.