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Portland’s Best Neighborhoods for Renters

Portland rarely needs an introduction. Whenever you hear about this northwestern city, the first things that come to mind are a bustling art and theater scene, independent businesses, and great food — along with plenty of hipster jokes. And, if you’re thinking about moving to Portland or already live here, you know the neighborhoods are as diverse as the city itself. From the busy streets of Sunnyside to the calming parks of St. Johns, there’s a little something for everyone in this vibrant cultural hub. 

To find out the most popular neighborhoods for renters, we looked at Google Search data and picked the top 10 most-searched areas. So, whether you’re looking for a quaint residential spot or you want to live in the heart of the action, here are Portland’s best neighborhoods for renters:

Downtown Portland

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 60
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 6,497
  • Average rent: $1,656
  • Average apartment size: 652 square feet
  • Median age: 39.4
  • Share of renters: 67%

Unsurprisingly, Portland’s Downtown is the most popular neighborhood for renters. The famously walkable area has some of the most compact blocks in the nation — meaning that wherever you live, everything you could need or want is just a short and delightful stroll away. Living here, you’ll never be too far to grab tickets to a show on a whim, make a brief visit to an art opening or start a spontaneous retail therapy session. Plus, whether you want to grab a quick bite from a trendy food truck or take your time with a gourmet meal at one of the many upscale restaurants, you’re in for a treat. 

Naturally, all of these perks come at a price. While downtown rents are lower than those in some of the more upscale neighborhoods in the city, the average apartment rate still hovers around $1,656, above Portland’s $1,431 average. 

Goose Hollow

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 58
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 6,435
  • Average rent: $1,657
  • Average apartment size: 655 square feet
  • Median age: 37.3
  • Share of renters: 67%

If you’re a young professional looking for a trendy neighborhood where you can enjoy the best of both worlds, Goose Hollow is for you. This bustling neighborhood mixes the classic beauty of historic, residential housing with a modern twist offered by its stylish new condo buildings. You can feel this balance between new and old in its atmosphere, as well — Goose Hollow borders both the downtown area and Washington Park. 

Meanwhile, this gem of a neighborhood may be especially attractive to sports fans. That’s because Providence Park is home to the Thorns and the Timbers — the reasons why Portland is known as a soccer city. Of course, this also makes Goose Hollow a popular hangout for university students. 

Although it’s the bustling sports center of the city, Goose Hollow also comes with some of the best schools in Portland, so it’s still a great spot for raising a family. The beauty and liveliness this neighborhood has to offer do come at a price, though. Apartments here go for $1,657 on average.

St. Johns 

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 71
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 655
  • Average rent: $1,359
  • Average apartment size: 725 square feet
  • Median age: 32.4
  • Share of renters: 47%

St. Johns is the third-most popular neighborhood in Portland for a reason: It’s a nature-lover’s paradise. The neighborhood covers a peninsula nestled between two rivers, and is famous for the universally beloved Cathedral Park. Because it was once an independent city, St. Johns also has its own downtown area while still being a 20-minute drive from the heart of Portland. 

The neighborhood is also one of the famous transitional regions of Portland — shifting from a dingy, industrial area to a beautiful community with bustling new businesses and top-notch residential buildings. Of course, this urban regeneration comes with added perks, as well, such as local businesses, artisanal coffee shops and fantastic restaurants. 

But, the best part of this up-and-coming neighborhood is that it’s still developing, so chances are that you’ll find a rental at a reasonable price. The average rent in St. Johns is $1,359, below both the national and city averages.

South Waterfront 

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 62
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 2,589
  • Average rent: $1,651
  • Average apartment size: 776 square feet
  • Median age: 40.7
  • Share of renters: 46%

South Waterfront is one of the most well-known urban redevelopment projects in the nation, so you know it comes with excellent infrastructure and towering apartment buildings. 

If you’re looking for a place with a view, look no further than South Waterfront. The high-rise capital of Portland offers plenty of apartments with waterfront views, so you can truly enjoy the Willamette River in all its beauty. Speaking of the waterfront, the area also features plenty of pathways, so a nature walk is just a stone’s throw away, even in this urban hotspot. 

What’s more, South Waterfront’s modern apartment buildings also offer an abundance of amenities in an area with excellent connections to public transit. As a result, apartments tend to go for prices similar to those in more central places, renting for $1,651 on average.

Nob Hill

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 73
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 7,193
  • Average rent: $1,852
  • Average apartment size: 728 square feet
  • Median age: 37.5
  • Share of renters: 64%

If you enjoy the finer things in life and aren’t afraid to shell out a pretty penny to live in one of Portland’s most iconic neighborhoods, Nob Hill is a sight to see and live in. We’re not joking: This historic, northwest district is famous for its imposing Victorian homes, fine dining and chic boutiques, so you’d essentially be living on a movie set. Here, you can spend your afternoons gorging on exquisite food, people-watching from stylish cafes or strolling through its beautiful streets.

Unsurprisingly, half of the apartments you can rent in this neighborhood are high-end, and the neighborhood’s apartment rates reflect the upscale housing. Thus, the average rent in Nob Hill is $1,852 — well above the city average.

Troutdale

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 25
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 298
  • Average rent: $1,268
  • Average apartment size: 983 square feet
  • Median age: 34
  • Share of renters: 34%

You might be wondering why a suburb made it on this list of popular Portland neighborhoods. Well, the answer is that Troutdale is a great community to live in if you’re working in Portland but looking for a fantastic deal on rent. In fact, most of the residents in this small town spend their days in Portland, which is only natural since it’s only 20 minutes from the downtown area. 

This suburb also comes with easy access to parks, shops, and restaurants and has a distinctly small-town feel. All of these features make it a top location for raising a family — without straying too far from the heart of the city. 

However, rents in Troutdale are lower than in all of Portland’s most popular neighborhoods. Specifically, rentals here go for $1,268 on average — well below the city and national average rents. So, if you’re looking for a great deal and don’t mind the commute, Troutdale should fit your needs perfectly. Bonus: living in the suburbs also comes with much larger apartments than usual.

Fairview 

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 79
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 900
  • Average rent: $1,432
  • Average apartment size: 955 square feet
  • Median age: 39.8
  • Share of renters: 40%

Fairview is yet another suburb at the top of the list when it comes to the best places to live in Portland. Located right on the Columbia River, this small, charming suburb should be your first choice if you want to live within a walkable distance of plenty of parks and lakes or go out on the water on a whim. While there are enough coffee shops and restaurants to keep you well-fed and caffeinated, Portland’s downtown is a short, 20-minute drive if you want to enjoy what the city has to offer. 

Fairview is truly a nature-lover’s paradise. Minutes from the Cascade mountains, it’s perfect for families who enjoy the outdoorsy life. Plus, apartment rents here are below the national average, with rentals going for $1,432 on average.

Sunnyside

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 423
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 7,386
  • Average rent: $1,446
  • Average apartment size: 799 square feet
  • Median age: 37.2
  • Share of renters: 38%

Sunnyside is a unique neighborhood, even by Portland’s standards. Known for its strong sense of Portland individuality, the area boasts beautiful Victorian homes and a wide range of cultural hubs and independent businesses. It’s also home to two of Portland’s most famous districts: Belmont and Hawthorne. Sunnyside is also where you can truly get to know the vibrant, eclectic identity of the city. Yet, it’s still relaxed enough for residents to enjoy a community feel — especially if you hit the market from time to time.

While there aren’t any green spaces in the neighborhood per se, Laurelhurst Park borders Sunnyside to the north, while Mt. Tabor Park is just a five-minute drive away. And, while you might think this unique neighborhood would be on the pricey end, its apartment rents are still below the national average, circling around $1,446.

The Pearl

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 58
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 6,236
  • Average rent: $1,911
  • Average apartment size: 751 square feet
  • Median age: 38.9
  • Share of renters: 73%

This wouldn’t be a list of Portland’s best neighborhoods without The Pearl district. The neighborhood is easily the most high-end area in Portland, known for its fine dining, upscale boutiques and world-class art galleries, all located in the heart of the city. What was once a decrepit warehouse area is now the most desirable neighborhood in the city, with a bustling, urban feel and an abundance of high-end apartments. 

The Pearl is also filled to the brim with finance, real estate and advertising companies, so it’s the perfect spot for up-and-coming young professionals. And, as you might expect, the neighborhood is also the priciest in the city, with apartments here going for $1,911 on average.

Overlook

 

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  • Number of large apartment buildings: 27
  • Number of apartments for rent in large buildings: 2,506
  • Average rent: $1,623
  • Average apartment size: 737 square feet
  • Median age: 35.8
  • Share of renters: 39%

Last, but not least, if you’re looking for a view, Overlook should be your top choice. This residential neighborhood lies just north of Portland’s urban core, 10 minutes from the downtown area. Overlook is perched on top of the Willamette River, so you’ll get a fantastic view of downtown Portland, especially from the famous Overlook Park. Plus, you’d get to live in the home of Overlook House, a beautiful venue for residents to use that’s also known throughout Portland for its Tudor architecture and rich history. 

This lovely area also has the highest concentration of high-end apartments of all of Portland’s neighborhoods, which explains why rentals here go for $1,623 on average. 

Looking for the perfect new place in this diverse and vibrant city? Browse through thousands of verified apartments in Portland and find your ideal home in a snap. 

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About the author

Irina Lupa

Irina Lupa is a creative writer for RENTCafé, where she covers market trends and topics relevant to today’s renters. Before developing a passion for real estate, she focused on fields ranging from automotive electronics to digital business development, digging into tech news from a critical perspective. Irina holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication. You can connect with Irina via email.

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