Portland’s average rent at the end of 2017 was $1,425/month, 1.2% less than the year-ago figure. Meanwhile, rent prices in the metro area overall posted a 0.8% increase over the year, to an average of $1,331/month at the end of December. The national average rent is 2.5% higher than it was in December 2016. Over a 3-year period, the average rent in Portland city increased by $210 or 17.3% and by roughly the same amount at the metro level, $210 translating into a 19.1% increase in proportional terms. Meanwhile the average rent at national level has increased by 12% since December 2014, according to Yardi Matrix apartment data.
The past two quarters brought some relief for renters in Portland, and it was a much awaited one as the previous two years had been particularly painful on their wallets—the average rent had increased by 4.8% during 2016 and a whopping 12.7% in 2015. It’s now back to roughly the same level as in April 2016, but still far above the national average which it had passed in February 2015, and worked up a significant lead since. But despite prices recently turning upwind in Portland, the city remains one of the most expensive for renters among cities of its size, such as Baltimore, Las Vegas, Memphis, Nashville or Oklahoma City, where apartments cost on average between $730 and $1,230 per month.
Fairview posts outstanding rent grow, Clackamas and Sherwood go neck-and-neck
The Portland area has followed the general trend of metro cores gradually cooling down in terms of rent growth and outer neighborhoods experiencing larger increases. Apart from the city proper only two smaller markets of the metro, Tualatin and Lake Oswego have seen their rents drop by 1.1% and 1.7% year-over-year, respectively.
The northeastern suburb of Fairview led the pack in absolute as well as relative terms. The average rent in the 9,000-resident community has reached $1,435, $128 more than a year prior, translating into a 9.8% Y-o-Y increase. The second and third highest rent increase in the area was in the Clackamas community and in the city of Sherwood, where apartments were 4.2% and 4.1% more expensive at the end of the year compared to 12 months earlier, respectively, with Clackamas clocking in at $1,214 and Sherwood reaching a $1,417 average rent price. Also worth mentioning that despite West Linn being the most expensive area of the metro, the southern suburb ranked quite high on the list with a 2.5% increase in rents.
Top 5 most expensive and cheapest places to rent in the Portland Metropolitan Area
Although Fairview experienced by far the fastest rent growth last year, it is only the fourth most expensive city of the metro, after West Linn, Sherwood and Hillsboro. Its rent prices are still higher than those of the city proper, however, if only by a small margin—a difference of $10 on average.
The 1.2% decrease in Portland’s rents, coupled with the steep increases experienced in Sherwood’s and Fairview’s monthly rents resulted in the main city dropping two positions over the previous 12 months from 3rd to 5th place on home turf.
To date, the cheapest place to rent in the metro is the Milwaukie suburb, the only one with rents averaging below $1,200/month, closely followed by Gresham with $1,206.
Lower Southwest Portland hit by the biggest rent increases in the city
The highest rent increases at ZIP level were recorded in 97219 within Portland’s city limits, which marks off the lower end of the Southwest Portland Neighborhoods. Being a relatively affordable area, though, the average rent in 97219 still remains below Portland’s average rent of $1,425 and even the metro-level average of $1,331, and despite a 6.4% increase it only just passed the $1,200 threshold, reaching $1,226. Hot on its heels is an even more affordable area surrounding Maywood Park, ZIP code 97220 where the average rent saw a 6.1% increase from $889 to $943 over a year.
A total of 11 Portland ZIP codes have seen their average rents decrease. ZIP code 97227 covering parts of the Eliot and Overlook neighborhoods posted the steepest decrease rate, rents there are 6.8% lower than a year ago. 97232 has experienced the second largest drop in relative terms, 5.1% from $1,652 to $1,568. Covering Lloyd District, the Kerns neighborhood and most of Laurelhurst, the ZIP is still among Oregon’s most expensive zip codes.
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RENTCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.
The report is exclusively based on apartment data related to buildings containing 50 or more units. Rent data was provided by Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors. Rental rate coverage is for Market Rate properties only. Fully Affordable properties are not included in the Yardi Matrix rental surveys and are not reported in rental rate averages.
Starting with the January 2017 rent survey, Yardi Matrix is using a methodology that incorporates more properties into the sample which caused slight changes in overall rents and year-over-year changes compared to the previous reports. We expect this methodology adjustment to produce more accurate averages at the national and metro levels.
*National averages include 127 markets across the US, as reported by Yardi Matrix.
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