Portland gets a D grade for affordability, but a B+ overall

Grading Portland's rental market

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Despite the problems that come along with Portland's explosive growth, renters in the Rose City still feel generally good about where we're headed.

In the biggest national survey of its kind, ApartmentList.com says Portland respondents give the city a B+ overall for rental satisfaction.

But Portlanders graded rent affordability a big, fat D. It is a testament to the city that even with the frustration over prices, the good aspects outweigh the bad.

Here are the results:

The highest-rated category was access to public transit; Portland got an A. And renters seem to be generally satisfied with things like pet friendliness (B), safety (B), and state and local taxes (B). The biggest source of dissatisfaction is affordability/cost of living (D).

"Trimet is fantastic for getting around without a vehicle, lot of recreational options, very pet and bicycle friendly, but the rental rates have gone through the roof," said renter Bill Bradford.

ApartmentList.com says it's Portlanders' number one gripe.

"For overall quality I'd give it high marks. But for price? On a scale of one to 10, I'd give it a one, maybe a two," said homeowner Bill Robertson.

KGW asked followers on Twitter to grade their satisfaction with Portland's rental market in a poll.

In just a few hours, 117 people voted in our poll: 52 percent gave it a D, 32 percent a C, 11 percent a B, and only 5 percent of respondents gave it an A.

Fresh Utah-transplant Samantha Clement loves Portland because of the weather, the nice, welcoming people and family she has here. But for affordability, she says it's an F.

"It's hard for me with a child, to find somewhere cheap because I only make so much and the prices just are outrageous," she said.

The median price for a two-bedroom in Portland is $1,640. That's $300 more than the national average. But the city still doesn't come close to the Top 10 most expensive cities, according to ApartmentList.com. Seattle's the cheapest of them at nearly $2,400 for a two-bedroom.

"I looked at a couple places that I thought should have had condemned signs on them and they wanted $800 to $900 a month, and they were itty bitty things," Bill Bradford said.

About 200,000 new people will move to Portland in the next 20 years. The only hope is that all this new construction will level off prices, because there will be more supply. But there will always be the rain to complain about.

"I like the rain," said Robertson. "I like the green too. This is Oregon, if you want the green and all the other stuff that comes with it, we have to have the rain."

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