Rental market tight in Portland Metro area

Rental market tight in Portland Metro area

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by Joe Smith, KGW business reporter

kgw.com

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 17 at 6:58 PM

PORTLAND – The Portland area apartment market is just as tight as the housing market right now, according to real estate experts, with a vacancy rate of only about three percent.

That translates into higher demand. There is an apartment building boom going on right now, but it’s still not enough to meet what's currently needed in the Portland Metro area.

Experts explain that on average, it takes 4,000 new units a year to meet demand in the Portland Metro area.

There are some 5,300 units under construction, but they won't be ready until later this year and into the next.

Vancouver-based Holland Partner Group is the largest apartment developer in the Northwest. They have about 20,000 units in the area with more on the way.

That includes a 300-plus unit complex being built at Orenco Station in Hillsboro which will be ready next spring.

With new construction also comes higher building costs and lumber alone has doubled over the past year. To recoup costs, developers say they must raise rents. Consumers are seeing them go up – slowly.

“We want to be thoughtful and find the appropriate balance between rent growth - to cover the costs side of the equation - and what's available,” said Holland Partner Group CEO Clyde Holland.

Rents overall in the past six months in the Portland Metro area have increased less than one percent.

The average one-bedroom costs $784 a month, according to a new survey from Multifamily Northwest.

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