PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Many high and mid rise apartment buildings in Portland are offering free rent incentives to help get people to move into vacant units.

Melissa Lunden, a rental and real estate broker with Team Arrive Portland and Neighbors Realty says there’s more supply than there is demand.

“It’s the perfect storm of a lot of inventory plus COVID really changing the market and what people want,” she said. Lunden says the free rent are concessions designed to help lure people back into these buildings that were built before the pandemic.

“Investors and the companies that own these big buildings to make their balances pencil they need to have these rents at certain point so these buildings can be profitable so the dance that they’re doing is keeping the rent what they were before COVID but getting tenants in with free rent,” Lunden said. She said because of the pandemic changing almost everything in our lives, many people are leaving for more space.

“People were frankly traumatized by being stuck in their small apartment without having anywhere to go and feeling unsafe in hallways and elevators,” she explained. “So there’s been a demand for private outdoor space.“

But are these rent concessions really worth it?

“The best way to kind of figure that out is just doing a little bit of math and adding up how much you’ll pay over the term of your lease and then divide that by ten months rather than the twelve months since you’re getting a two month free rent,” Lunden explained. She said to keep in mind when your lease expires, you likely won’t start with the concessions a second time. She said even individual landlords are following suit.

“What I’ve heard from landlords is that because everyone else is doing it they have to start doing it too just to say competitive,” she said.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(8) comments


Cool. I can get free rent for a couple of months, then "lose my job" because of the Pandemic (the fact I was late to work every day, skimmed the till, and complained about my pay all the time had nothing to do with it) and continue with my free rent until the Politicians decide to allow evictions again.


Everyone on this comment string gets it: the vacancy rates are tied directly to the ever-increasing crime rates in the city. Wheeler has abandoned Portlanders, let's be honest. Citizens do not feel safe anymore, so many are moving out. Can't blame them for getting outta Dodge!


Probably has more to do with riots every night, rather than Covid-19 fears.


One of those articles where the comments just kind of self populate in people's minds :)

Lexx Luthor

WHy not rent them apartments to BLM. Maybe if they had to live in them(downtown) they would see what a miserable life is to be had in Portland 'Thunderdome' , Oregon !

Eliza Cassan

HA, too bad, for the past 10 years there has been a new apartment development on every block, what did they think would happen? Mix in the riots, shootings, an insane city council, and skyhigh property rates for the landlords, they will not recover their costs for many years if at all.


I feel so bad for those investors. NOT. The writing was on the wall for over a decade...


Funny, the article avoids the topic of violent riots in Portlandia. People must love living with mobs of antifa roaming the streets and destroying property.

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