Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Census: Portland/Vancouver Vacancy Rate Falls to Nation's Fourth Lowest

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the rental vacancy rate for the Portland-Vancouver- Hillsboro metro area was 3.1% for the fourth quarter of 2016 - the nation's fourth lowest. Greater Portland's vacancy rates were pegged at 6.6% in Q1, 4.9% in Q2, and 5.6% in Q3.

Seattle Vacancies Nation's 7th Lowest
Census estimated Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue's vacancy rate at 3.4% up from 2.7% in Q3.

Metro areas with lower vacancies than Seattle were San Diego (3.2%), Minneapolis-St- Paul (3.2%), Portland (3.1%) San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward (3.0%), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (2.4%) and Worcester, Mass. (0.7%).

Average National Rental Vacancy Rate
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q4 2016 was 6.9 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units, roughly even with a year earlier. Vacancy rates remained lowest in the western U.S.

U.S. Median Rents
U.S. median asking price for rent was $864,

Greater Portland Rents
The national apartment research firm Reis reports that Portland metro rents increased 7.4% for 2016. The research firm Axiometrics reported a lower number, estimating that the year-over-year increase was 6.2%.

U.S. Homeownership Rate Rebounds SlightlyQ4 U.S. Homeownership rates rebounded slightly to 63.7% after hitting bottom at 62.9% in Q2 of last year -- its lowest level in 26 years. Homeownership remains lowest in the Western U.S. where the rate remained flat at 59%.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Homelessness, Affordable Housing at Top of City and State Legislative Agendas

The Portland City Council and Oregon State Legislature have adopted agendas for 2017, and both have made tackling homelessness and increasing housing affordability their top issues. The State Legislature cites the 13.8% increase in home prices and 6.8% increase in rents in Portland in 2016 as evidence of an ongoing affordability crisis. Meanwhile, the Oregon Ways and Means Committee released a budget that showed reduced funding for rent subsidies and affordable housing  projects. Coinciding with the state and city government announcements was a panel of leaders from six affordable housing agencies that met in downtown Portland. Read more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Video Surveillance Increasingly Used in Disputes over Rent-Controlled Apartments

The American Bar Association reports that video surveillance of tenants is increasingly being used in court to prove that rent controlled units aren't being used by the actual tenants. Read more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Proposal Would Require Landlords to Pay Moving Costs after No-Cause Evictions

Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Mayor Ted Wheeler proposed a new emergency ordinance that would require landlords to pay relocation costs to tenants after no-cause evictions, or after raising rent by 10% or more over the course of a year. Depending on unit size, landlords could pay anywhere from $2,900 to $4,500 to affected tenants. If adopted, the ordinance would only remain in effect until October 2017, when the housing state of emergency ends. Read more.

U-Haul Ranks Tualatin #2 on Its List of Top Mid-Sized Growth Cities

In its 2016 migration trends reports, U-Haul has ranked small, mid-sized, and large cities based on net gain of one-way U-Haul truck arrivals over the calendar year. On its list of cities with 10,000-50,000 residents, Tualatin, OR is ranked #2 while Longview, WA is #3. Spokane Valley is also on the list of mid-sized cities seeing a large share of moving trucks, earning the 21st spot on the list. Among the larger cities seeing strong growth trends are Olympia, WA (#8) and Tacoma, WA (#13). Read more.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Portland Saw Highest Increase in Home Prices, Second Highest Increase in Rents in 2016

A new report by Zillow ranks Portland #1 in the US for home price increases, and #2 (after Seattle) for rent increases. The numbers are based on December prices year-over-year. The average metro area home sold for $354,400 in December 2016, a 13.8% increase from December 2015. Average rent in the metro area was $1,805, a 6.8% increase from the year before. Both Zillow and the State of Oregon are predicting that these rates are not likely to be sustained through 2017. Josh Lehner with Oregon's Office of Economic Analysis has recently stated that additional apartment supply is causing the rate of rent increases to flatten. Read more.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

HFO January Roundtable Has Been Rescheduled to January 27th

Our January, 2017 event has been rescheduled from Thursday, January 12 to Friday, January 27. There is no change to the timing or content of the program. This event is filled to capacity.
If you were previously scheduled to attend and you have not yet reconfirmed your reservation with us, we are in the process of attempting to contact you via telephone and email. You may also email us at service@hfore.com or contact our office at (503) 241-5541 and speak to any broker or staff person about your reservation.

Portland in Top 10 List of Cities Where Land Value Exceeds Property Value

Using data from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Realtor.com compiled a list of the top 10 cities in the United States where the value of the land sitting under a property exceeds the value of the structure itself. Eight of the ten cities on the list are on the West Coast, with six of those in California (San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego are the top six cities on the list). Seattle is ranked #9 and Portland is #10, while Boston and Miami are the only East Coast cities represented. Read more.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gov. Brown's Proposed Ban on No-Cause Evictions Dividing Landlord & Tenant Groups

The Portland Mercury recently published an article titled "Eviction Wars," which covers the gulf between tenant and landlord groups regarding no-cause evictions.  Governor Brown is proposing a bill for the 2017 legislative session that would ban terminating month-to-month leases without "due cause." Portland Tenants United is accusing landlords of using rent money to "buy off" politicians, while Multifamily NW is encouraging politicians to look beyond anecdotal evidence. Read more.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


First in the office: Aaron Douglas, Marketing Director, followed by Todd Tully (L) and Camille Mayeux (R) and shortly after, Mary Beth Christopher (not pictured).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Housing Bills Coming Up in the 2017 Legislative Session

The Oregonian has published a list of 6 housing bills that will be proposed during the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session, which begins February 1st. Among the proposals are lifting the ban on rent control, a ban on no-cause evictions, a rent-guarantee program, and other initiatives that seek to assist homeowners. Speaker of the House Tina Kotek has already indicated her support for both rent control and the no-cause eviction ban. Recently, Representative Knute Buehler wrote an opinion piece in the Oregonian regarding the downsides of rent control. See the full list of proposed housing bills here.

Portland Named One of the Best Cities for Job Seekers

Employee recruiting website ZipRecruiter, which declared 2017 the "year of the job seeker," ranked Portland #3 on its list of best cities for job seekers. The ranking is based on the ratio of openings to job seekers in each city. Most of the cities on the list were in the Midwest region, where many tech companies have been setting up shop due to low cost of living. Seattle at #6 and Boston at #10 were the only other coastal cities in the top 10. Read more.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Willamette Week: "The Worst of Portland's Housing Crunch May Be Over"

In a story posted on Saturday, Willamette Week's Nigel Jaquiss reports that Portland's housing supply appears headed for stabilization as construction catches up with demand. Read more.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Rep. Knute Buehler: "Rent Control Will Produce Markedly Adverse Effects for Oregonians"

In an opinion piece for the Oregonian, Republican Representative Knute Buehler (District 54, Bend) argues that rent control is likely to hurt the most vulnerable residents in Oregon, and pit tenants against each other. He cites a survey of economists in which 93% agreed that "a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing," and points to failed policies in England, Massachusetts, and California. He also argues that increasing the housing supply is a proven solution that Oregon cities should be encouraging through public investment in infrastructure and modernizing the land-use system. Read more.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

United Van Lines National Movers Study: Oregon is #2 Moving Destination in the US

After three consecutive years in the #1 spot, Oregon continues its strong showing in United Van Lines' 40th Annual National Movers Study. Surpassed only by South Dakota, Oregon is the second most popular destination for people moving within the United States. As a whole, the West is experiencing a significant amount of migration, with Idaho, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona also recording a large number of inbound moves. The Northeast is continuing to lose residents, however, with New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania all at the bottom of the list. Fifty-three percent of people who move to Oregon move for a new job or company transfer, while 19% move due to retirement. Read more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wheeler Assigns Bureaus to City Commissioners - Eudaly to Run Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Bureau of Development Services

New Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced today the bureaus to be managed by each commissioner. After expressing the need for reform at the Office of Neighborhood Involvement last week, he has assigned new commissioner Chloe Eudaly to oversee the bureau. She will also be managing the Bureau of Development Services. Below is the complete list.

Chloe Eudaly: Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Bureau of Development Services
Amanda Fritz: Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Emergency Communications
Dan Saltzman: Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Fire & Rescue
Nick Fish: Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Water Bureau

Read more.

10,000 New Apartments Open in Seattle This Year: What It Means For Rents

More apartments are set to open in Seattle this decade than in the 50 previous years combined. This year alone will see the opening of 10,000 new units, almost twice as many as any previous year. So what does that mean for rents? The Seattle Times reports.