Portland rents are coming down – for the wealthy

“Rents have fallen for the rich and risen for the poor.” – Quote in Portland Tribune report

After adding 15,000 apartment units since 2015, Portland’s rental market has proven that adding supply does address demand and lower prices — but the question is, for whom.

According to new data from Zillow, Portland prices have dropped 2.7 percent — but that drop is mostly in high-cost housing, which is where most of the units have been added.  From an article in the Portland Tribune:

Portland and many other major cities have been inundated with a glut of luxury housing in the last few years, and local developers are reportedly sweetening their deals with Amazon giftcard giveaways and related gimmicks in order to lure wealthy customers.

This seems to be a nationwide trend, but Portland is leading the way:

Zillow’s experts found declines in annual rental prices in more than half of nation’s 35 largest markets, but the Rose City led the way — with the biggest decrease between September 2017 and September 2018.

The article concludes:

As two freelance journalists recently put it: “Rents in Portland have fallen for the rich and risen for the poor.”

Who knew?  This blog, for one: we have been warning for some time that a “build, baby build” approach is dangerous, and likely counter-productive. We have to be much more strategic in how and where we build, and for whom.  Other more thoughtful voices have also been speaking out.

Read the full article:


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