PORTLAND - The Rose City has one of the tightest rental markets in the country, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Portland and and second place with Minneapolis tie, just behind New York, with a vacancy rate of 2.5 percent.

This means less to choose from. and higher monthly rents. When there are rare vacancies, they don't last long, experts said.

It's rented even before they're moving out, said Gail Jarvi, manager of 27th East Apartments in Portland.

Adding to the increase in the rental pool has been a drop in home ownership, according to Greg Frick, partner with HFO, Portland's largest apartment investment firm

Typically we'll do 4,000 to 5,000 new units into this market, he said. The last two years combined, some 1,500 have been added, he said.

After two years of no apartment construction because of the recession, some new projects are now under way.

The easy answer is there's a lack of supply, said Mill Creek developer Sam Rodriguez.

A $33 million project in Northwest at 23rd and Savier Street has moved ahead, with higher rents making the construction financially feasible.

An average rent in this building will be somewhere about $1,400 a month, said Rodriguez..

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