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.