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Portland Metro Year-End Rent Report: Rents in Lake Oswego Outpaced the Rest of the Metro

portland skyline

The end of 2018 saw the national average rent go up to $1,419 per month, which stands for an increase of 3.1% compared to the previous year. As an overall trend, the highest spikes in rent prices were registered in small cities, three of which witnessed double-digit increases: Odessa, TX, Midland, TX, and Reno, NV. Meanwhile, only two cities—Baton Rouge, LA, and College Station, TX—saw rents go down, by 2.4% and 1.1% respectively, while Queens in New York City was the only large market to register stagnating rents.

The rental market in Portland metro reflects the same general tendency of higher increases in smaller cities that we saw in the rest of the country last year. Apartments in Lake Oswego stood out with a 15.7% increase in rent prices in one year, the highest in the entire metro area and 10 percentage points ahead of any other Portland-area town. A 20-year hiatus in apartment construction created an imbalance of supply and demand in the Portland suburb, pushing prices to $1,654 per month. Additionally, the completion of a large new apartment development — the green, LEED-Certified Gold Windward apartment building — also played a role in raising the average price of rent in the area. However, a significant number of new units are in the pipeline, which should help ease the rapid rise in prices over the next few years.

Happy Valley and Tigard apartments saw more moderate increases in monthly rents, up 5.5% and 5.3% respectively, although still above the national average. With a 4.7% increase in the average rent, Gresham is 4th in the top 5 for fastest growth, followed by Wilsonville, with a 4.4% increase.  Apartments for rent in Portland are now 3% more expensive compared to last year’s prices.

portland metro rental market overview

At the opposite end, only 5 cities in the Portland metro area registered a below-the-national-average rent increase, with Tualatin and Oregon City apartment rents increasing by less than 2%. Milwaukie and Clackamas rentals saw a 2.2% and a 2.9% rent growth respectively.

In terms of the highest average rents in Portland metro, Lake Oswego takes the lead again, with its $1,654 average monthly rent, surpassing both Portland and Hillsboro, where the average cost for renting an apartment in 2018 was $1,490 and $1,495 respectively. Wilsonville renters pay an average rent of $1,424, while those in Happy Valley shell out $1,403 each month on rent.

To compare the rental market in the Portland area with other metros in the U.S., check out our national report here.


RENTCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.

To compile this report, RENTCafe’s research team analyzed rent data across the 252 largest cities in the US. The report is exclusively based on apartment data related to buildings containing 50 or more units. Our report includes cities with populations over 100,000 and a rental stock of at least 2,900 apartments in 50+ unit buildings.

In this report, large cities are cities with a population of 600,000 people or more, mid-sized cities are cities with a population between 300,000 and 600,000, and small cities are cities with a population of less than 300,000.

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.

About the author

Mihaela Buzec

Mihaela is an online content developer for RENTCafé.com. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and is now studying for an MA in Current Linguistics. She is a passionate reader, writer, and researcher, with a background in academic writing. You can get in touch with Mihaela at mihaela.rentcafe@yardi.com.

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