Traffic, homeless crisis, home prices has some Portlanders going rural

Portland home sellers choosing rural areas

PORTLAND, Ore. -- There's an interesting new trend going on in Portland's growth.

Realtors say more Portlanders than ever are getting fed up with the traffic, homelessness and expensive housing market, and going rural.

"Moving out of city into the country, they want a little acreage," said John L. Scott principal broker Michelle Maida. "I'm seeing a lot of one to three acre parcels people are looking for, and I think they just want some space."

The housing market means you can sell a house in a matter of weeks for a lot of money, and afford something outside of Multnomah County.

"I love it, we've done a lot to it, it's our home, but now we're moving," said Greg Carrigan of North Portland.

For Carrigan, change is heartbreaking.

"It's very bittersweet, it's definitely a hard decision. I wanted to live here the rest of my life. That's why we bought the house."

A few weeks ago, Carrigan put his bungalow of 18 years on the market. It's already gone pending, with eight more buyers on a wait list, despite a tall, new apartment complex looming next door, and busy traffic out front.

The biggest reason Carrigan is moving to Astoria? He owns the home outright, but the property taxes have shot past what his fixed income can afford.

"So we're being displaced along with thousands of other people who are being displaced in this city," he said. "It's a shame because it's a beautiful city but it's not our city anymore, so we're leaving town."

It's a trend realtors are seeing a lot of right now. Sellers are saying Portland's homeless crisis has become too much, they feel unsafe and feel like the city hasn't done enough to help people off the streets. Traffic is awful, not to mention all the apartments allowed to have little or no parking.

According to the newest report from the RMLS, the median home price in Portland jumped 9.6 percent in April to $375,000, which you'd be lucky to find much at that price because of the severe shortage of homes under $500,000.

But out past the suburbs, places like Damascus, Boring, Canby, Woodland or Astoria...it's a fresh start.

"You definitely get more for your money," said Maida, who sees Portlanders in their 40s and above who have become disillusioned and trading the rat race for a little acreage.

"What I'm seeing are people who are still in the job market, who are still working downtown and wanting to move further out and probably getting a jump on where they're going to retire," Maida said.

Of course all that said, still more people are moving into Portland than out of it.

Realtors say what's also a tell-tale sign of a hot housing market, if a house hasn't sold in a month, buyers automatically think there's something wrong with it.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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