April 17, 2013: Apartment Market Grows Tighter, But Rent Increases Slower
It's getting increasingly difficult to find an apartment in and around Portland, but new construction may soon bring some relief.
The apartment vacancy rate across the Portland area has fallen to 3.55 percent, according to a twice-annual survey of apartment owners and managers by the trade group Multifamily NW.
That means fewer units actively on the market and short turnover periods for those that are. Across the Portland area, apartments are rented out again in an average of 39 days. But in inner Southeast Portland, for example, the average vacated apartment is rented out again in just nine days.
That's good news for landlords, who don't want to see units out of commission for long. But it means fierce competition between potential tenants.
That's resulted in rising monthly rents for several years. The most recent figures do suggest, however, that the growth seems to be slowing. Read more in The Oregonian...
March 23, 2013: Portland's Rental Market Madness
THE ONLY THING TOUGHER THAN buying a home in Portland right now might be trying to rent one. With citywide vacancy rates hovering at or under 3 percent (among the lowest in the nation), “competitive” doesn’t quite do the situation justice. Some tenants are offering larger deposits—or in some cases slightly higher rent—to make themselves more attractive, according to the Community Alliance of Tenants. “The market has been tight because it’s been a long time since anyone’s built rentals,” explains Jerry Johnson, principal at Portland real estate consultancy firm Johnson Reid. Mix in former homeowners out on their keisters after foreclosure with poor prospects for buying another home any time soon, and you’ve got a recipe for a rental market so tight it’s practically vacuum-sealed.
As demand has risen, of course, so have rents—generally about 7 percent a year since 2010, according to Metro Multifamily Housing Association’s fall 2012 apartment report. Some tenants—particularly those in studios—have even seen a 30 percent increase over the past two years. “When some of the jobs started coming back, there was a pent-up shortage of rent increases, and everybody took their jumps as quickly as they could,” says Mark Skelte, owner of Western Realty Advisors. Read more in the Portland Monthly magazine...
A Guide to Finding Out More About a Neighborhood
It's not easy to finding a place to live in a city if you're just moving into the city. I have done this a number of times so I can relate to the difficulties. Here are some ideas that will help you in your search. The suggestions are targeted for living within the city of Portland.
A good place to start your search for a rentals is Housing Connections. It has 43,000 plus rental units in its database. Its goal is to bring together people who need low/moderately priced or accessible housing and property managers/owners who have places to rent or sell. Listings are free for landlords. The site contains information on apartments, duplexes and triplexes, condos, and single family houses for rent. Housing Connections covers most of Multnomah County as well as some addresses in Clark County (Vancouver), Washington County, and Clackamas County.
- Portland Maps Once you have obtain an address from an ad or by searching different rentals Web sites such as Craig's List, visit Portland Maps to learn more about the neighborhood and community. All you have to do is insert the address and you can obtain a wealth of information. Information provided: neighborhood data, crime statistics, aerial photos, elevation, schools, parks, zoning maps, water/sewer, natural hazard, etc.
- School Report Cards The quality of the schools in a neighborhood will tell you a lot about the neighborhood so make certain you check out the school report card at the Oregon Department of Education Web site. Each property in Portland Maps will show the public schools (elementary, middle, high school) associated with the address. You should also visit The Oregonian's Web site as it has a online reference guide where visitors can search by a number of variable to obtain test scores, federal ratings, school demographics, staffing, and finances.
- City of Portland Neighborhood Information There are 95 officially recognized Portland, Oregon neighborhoods. Each is represented by a volunteer-based neighborhood association which serves as a liaison between residents of the neighborhood and the city government, as coordinated by the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI). You will find the following at city Web site: directory of contacts for neighborhood association, business district associations, map of the 95 neighborhoods, individual map of each neighborhood association, and links to neighborhood associations Web sites.
- Portland Bridges The site has good coverage on neighborhoods from someone who lives in Portland and knows his way around town.
- Public Transportation Visit the Portland area regional transit system called TriMet and use their "Trip Tools" to determine public transportation (MAX Light Rail and Bus) routes and times. Just insert your starting address, destination address, and time you want to travel.
- Sex Offenders ORS 181.592 authorizes the Oregon State Police to make information about registered sex offenders available to the public. Information is only provided for sex offenders who have been designated as predatory, as provided in ORS 181.585, who have also been determined to present the highest risk of re-offending and to require the widest range of notification; or found to be a sexually violent dangerous offender under ORS 144.635. Visit the public Web site at Sex Offenders Oregon. An address of a property is needed to complete a search.
- Apartment by Commute Time Walk Score has a new feature on their site that helps you find apartments by commute time. Whether you prefer driving, public transit, walking, or biking, Walk Score can help you find a commute that fits your lifestyle. Enter your work (or school) address, select your preferred mode of transportation, and set the time slider to how long you’re willing to commute. Apartment listings from craigslist are automatically sorted by estimated commute time and can be further filtered by Walk Score, price and size.
- Walk Score Apartment Search Walk Score Apartment Search lets you find apartments by commute time on public transit, driving, biking, and walking. Walk Score's apartment listings come from craigslist.org and they use a variety of data sources to calculate commute times. Their public transit data covers over 200 cities (including Portland, Oregon), where transit agencies have published their schedule data in an open format. If you can't search for apartments by public transit time in your city visit citygoround.org to support open data.
- Prometheus Prometheus is the largest private owner of multi-family properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm’s portfolio is comprised of properties throughout the Western United States. They list over 18,000 Bay Area, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles Metropolitan area apartments.
- PadMapper PadMapper is like Google for finding rentals. It's a free site that lets you search by location through home rental listings from a large number of different sources, including Craigslist, Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com, and others. It won the 2012 Webby Award for Best Real Estate site.
- HotPads: Rent or Buy? Map it to Find Out! In these uncertain times, people weighing rent vs. buy may find help with heat maps on HotPads. Visitors can create customized, color-coded state and city data maps ranging from population density to per-capita income to median rents. One of the most useful heat maps is the rent ratio, which is an area's median home price divided by the median annual rent. The lower the number -- and the bluer the color on the map -- the better to buy. The higher the number -- and the redder the color -- the better to rent. Green and yellow are in between the extremes. To see how the nation's housing bubble affects your area, HotPads offers what it says are the first interactive maps of the crisis. In the Portland area, foreclosure heat maps color the city mostly blue or green, indicating it has mostly escaped the bubble. Newberg, in contrast, is nearly red, indicating a high foreclosure rate.
- Apartments.com The national site that offers apartments in most USA metro areas including Portland. You have to complete a number of parameters (e.g., size, rent price, location, etc.) before you can obtain any listings.
- The Apartment Finder Magazine with with a Web site that offers interactive maps, virtual tours, and a map-based keyword search tool.
- The Apartment Guide You can search by cities within Oregon as well as by zip code.
- Craig's List National site that posts lists (e.g., services, for sale items, events, etc.) in major metro areas in U.S.A. Usually has over 400 rentals in the Portland Metro area.
- Green Rentals GreenRenter™ is an online directory of "green" or environmentally conscious commercial and residential rental property. GreenRenter™ helps renters find properties that meet their environmental requirements. Property owners with green features can create a building profile. It's fast and free.
- House for Rent You can search by community or county for homes for rent in Oregon.
- My Apartment Map They plot available and affordable housing on an interactive map across the U.S. so that seekers can easily find housing near their desired location. They show nearby grocery stores, schools, public transportation, and other amenities.
- NW Rental Service NW Rental Service is an apartment finding service for the NW neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. They offer a finder's fee based search to help you find a rental in Northwest Portland.
- Portland Apartment Finder Portland Apartment Finder is a locally owned and operated apartment finder service specializing in relocation to the Portland Oregon area.
- Rental Ads Apartments, home rentals, condos, townhomes and other properties for rent in Portland.
- Rental Data They offer a service that matches renters with landlords based on their area, bedrooms, price, dwelling type and pet preference. Over 4,000 listing in the Portland metro area.
- Smoke Free Rentals The Portland-Vancouver Metro Area Smokefree Housing Campaign is working with landlords and property managers to encourage them to adopt no-smoking rules for their buildings. This Web site will answer frequently asked questions, show you how to make quick fixes, how to talk to your landlord, describe your rights, and help you find non-smoking housing.
Extended Stay Apartments
- A&G Rental Management A&G has a number of units in the downtown area for short-term and long-term rental. One of the buildings is the Harrison Condos which is an ideal location (just south of downtown between 1st and 2nd Avenues on SW Harrison) with the streetcar line running in front of the three buildings. Telephone (503) 241-0676 .
- Bridgestreet Worldwide A corporate housing and furnished apartments company with properties in the US and all around the world. In addition to apartments in the Portland area, Bridgestreet also represents the Kearney Plaza and the Burlington Tower in the Pearl neighborhood.
- Execustay 222 S.W. Harrison, Suite G02, Portland, OR 97201. Telephone (503) 499-6625 or (206) 889-0866 . Fax (503) 499-6626. Execustay, a division of Marriott Hotels, has six locations in the Portland metro area.
- Oakwood Oakwood is the world's largest rental housing solution company, providing high-quality, furnished and unfurnished accommodations throughout North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. It has over 700 units for rent in the Portland metro area - many are in downtown. Call Mark Holland at (503) 582-9229 .
- Portland Hawthorne Guesthouse There are four guestrooms. Rooms are furnished and carpeted. Linens and towels are included. Each room has a full-size bed, a desk with a chair, a closet and a television set with a DVD player and 70 channels of cable TV. High-speed wireless Internet access is included. The Guesthouse is located at 1235 SE Salmon Street which is just 5-7 minutes from downtown.
- U.S. Suites, Inc 10220 S.W. Nimbus, Suite K-7, Portland, OR 97223. Telephone (503) 443-2033 or (800) 877-8483. Fax (503) 620-8593.
- American Property Management 2154 N.E. Broadway. Telephone (503) 281-7779 . APM offers free apartment information and has more than 300 complexes to choose from. They cover a wide range of neighborhoods in the metro area.
- Bluestone & Hockley (800) 859-8043 or 503) 222-3800. Office is at 3835 SW Kelly Avenue, Portland, OR 97239-4312. Over 30 years in business and over 1800 residential and commercial management units.
- Gearin Properties Located in Beaverton. Telephone (503) 626-7544 . Home rentals on the west side (SW Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard).
- College Housing Northwest CHNW is a 501 (C) (3) private, non-profit corporation headquartered in Portland, Oregon. CHNW provides an educational living environment for students, faculty and staff of PSU and other institutions of higher education.
- Dwell Management This Portland rental services manages rental properties in and around Portland, Oregon. Rental properties include single bedroom apartments, rowhouses, and large homes. Dwell Management is pet friendly in all of their rental properties. They also manage rental office space.
- The Management Group (TMG), founded in 1985, is a full service management company for residential and commercial properties, including single family homes, apartment communities, office and retail property. They service the Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon metro areas. You can search for apartments online at their site.
- Performance Properties Located in 1637 Laurel Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034. Telephone: (503)635-0099 . Their tenant screen criteria (credit reports, criminal, civil, rental & employment history) helps finding qualified tenants who will pay rent on time and respect your property.
- VRBO has 265,000+ properties in 100 countries.