Monday, February 23, 2015

Portland's 2014 Year-End Rental Vacancy Rate Falls, Reflecting NationalTrend

The U.S. Census Bureau is reporting that the rental vacancy rate for the Portland/Vancouver /Beaverton area fell to 2.3 percent in the final quarter of 2014, falling 2.5 percent from Q3.

The Portland metro area tied with the Nashville, TN area for the 5th lowest vacancy rates among the top 75 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

This estimate has moved below the 3.66 percent vacancy rate reported by the MultifamilyNW Association in its Fall, 2014 survey.

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ranked 16th with a Q4 2014 vacancy estimate of 4.3 percent, down 1.0 percent from the prior quarter.

The nation's 10 lowest vacancy rates were as follows:
  • Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NJ - 0.0%
  • Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI - 1.6%
  • New Haven-Milford, CT - 1.7% (tie)
  • Raleigh-Cary, NC - 1.7% (tie)
  • Bakersfield, CA - 2.2%
  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, TN - 2.3% (tie)
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA - 2.3% (tie)
  • Denver-Aurora, CO - 2.5% (tie)
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA - 2.5% (tie)
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 2.7%
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA - 3.0%
  • Akron, OH - 3.3% 
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI - 3.4%


The average national rental vacancy rate for Q4 2014 was 7.0 percent and was 1.2 percent lower than a year earlier. The U.S. rental vacancy rate has been falling since 2009. It is at its lowest level since 1993 and far below the 11 percent average vacancy rate of 2009.

Homeownership rates, meanwhile, have fallen from 65.1 percent at the end of 2013 to an estimated 63.9 percent at the end of 2014. In the Western U.S., homeownership is at 58.6 percentits lowest level since 1991.