Price of rent in Portland keeps going up, home values rise - KPTV - FOX 12

Price of rent in Portland keeps going up, home values rise

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If you're a homeowner in Portland you're likely enjoying the benefits of the seller's market, as home values continue to rise. But for renters in the city, it's becoming increasingly challenging to find a place to call home unless you're willing to pay top dollar.

It's hard to look around downtown Portland without seeing some kind of construction project working on the latest skyscraper apartment or condo.

It's no secret that Portland is a desirable place to live, and without many vacancies the price to rent a place just keeps going up.

How much are you willing to pay for this million dollar view?

"Ballpark, I would say $1600 to $1700 a month," said new Portland resident Frank Sutton.

Frank Sutton got a crash course in Portland's pricey rental market when he moved across the country to live in the Rose City.

"We like the location of the MAX, and it's a good location to access the rest of the city. It's expensive, but for what you get I'd say it's worth the money," said Frank.

Frank just moved into one of Portland's newest and biggest luxury apartments, Hassalo on 8th in the Lloyd District. And Frank represents a pretty big segment of folks, looking to live in Portland. And builders are happy to oblige.

"There's a very low vacancy rate in the city of Portland and the demand is high for apartments, so we feel as we add 657 apartment units, we help that supply somewhat," said Wade Lange with American Assets Trust.

Averaging about 50 new leases a week, the 657-unit complex is putting only a tiny dent in the high demand for housing.

"Right now we're about 40% full," said Lange.

And it's that kind of growing demand that has local leaders brainstorming.

"What's happening is, Portland is becoming a very attractive place and a lot of people want to live here, including rich people, and they build up the cost of housing for everybody else. So in a way we're kind of the victims in our own success," said Commissioner Steve Novick.

So Commissioner Steve Novick came up with a proposal to transform the Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a housing complex, with affordable options.
"It's an attractive enough place that we could probably make a deal with a builder and say you can build expensive condos, but set aside 30% of the housing for low and middle income people," said Commissioner Novick.

But it's a plan the City Council isn't buying, voting it down this afternoon.

While the search for affordable housing in Portland may be difficult, it seems like the search for housing at all is becoming just as tough as the population continues to grow.

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