Monday, April 30, 2018

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 30, 2018

This week: Housing activists in Seattle push for increased density in inner-city neighborhoods; Willamette week releases its endorsements for the May primary, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler will ask the City Council to halt spending of the $258 million affordable housing levy approved by voters in November of 2016 until next January.



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OR Ranks Highly on List of States with Strongest Renter Protections

The apartment listing website Rentcafé compared renter protection laws in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and found that Oregon is the 8th most renter-friendly state. The rankings were made using 10 common features of landlord-tenant relationships, including security deposits, rent increases, and eviction notices. Washington ranked 14th on the list. Read more.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

U.S. Census: Portland Posts Nation's Sixth Lowest Apartment Vacancy Rate

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the first quarter 2018 rental vacancy rate for the Portland-Vancouver- Hillsboro metro area was 3.6% percent -- an increase of 1% over the prior quarter and a 0.3% decrease from one year earlier.

The Spring 2018 Multifamily NW Apartment report released earlier this month surveyed nearly 58,000 units and reported a regional vacancy rate of 4.85%.

Seattle's Vacancy Rate - 4.6%
The Census Bureau estimated Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue's vacancy rate jumped 2.7% from a year earlier to 4.6%.

Metros with the lowest rental vacancies for Q1 2018 were:

  1. Fresno, CA (1.6%)
  2. Akron, OH (2.3%)
  3. Syracuse, NY (2.4%)
  4. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN (3.4%)
  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (3.5%)
  6. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (3.6%)
  7. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI (3.9%)
  8.  Tucson, AZ (3.9%)
  9. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC (4.0%)
  10. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN (4.0%)
  11. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (4.0%)
  12. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (4.0%)
  13. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (4.2%)
  14. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (4.3%)
  15. Worcester, MA (4.4%)
  16. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (4.6%)
  17. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (4.6%)
Average National Rental Vacancy Rate
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q1 2018 was 7.0 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units -- unchanged from one year earlier, despite ongoing delivery of multifamily units throughout the national market.

Year-over-year vacancy rates in the western U.S. increased slightly, from 4.7% to 5.2% and was down from 5.6% in the 4th quarter of 2017.

Click to Enlarge

U.S. Homeownership Rate Increases
After falling to a 26-year low in 2016, homeownership rates remain flat. The current homeownership rate in the West has increased by a statistically significant amount over the past 12 months--from 59% to 59.7%.

Click to Enlarge

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Portland City Council Set to Discuss 2035 Comprehensive Plan This Afternoon

The Portland City Council will begin its discussion of amendments to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Map Refinement Project at 2:00 this afternoon. The meeting will include public testimony, and will be streamed live here.

Urban Land Institute (ULI) Forecasts Stronger Than Anticipated Real Estate Industry Through 2018

ULI released its Spring 2018 Economic Forecast indicating that the outlook for real estate for 2018 is promising. A survey of 48 leading industry economists cited a boost from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.


Statewide Rent Control in California May be on the Ballot this November

The Coalition for Affordable Housing Supporters have announced the gathering of enough signatures to place a ballot measure repealing a ban on rent control in California this November. The group held marches in Sacramento, and at city halls in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Read more.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Portland Metro on Track to Add 900,000 People by 2040

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the Portland metro area grew by 1.36% last year. Read more.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 23, 2018

This week: the latest apartment survey indicates vacancy rates are on the rise in Portland but remain among the lowest in the country; baby boomers and millennials both want to live in walkable, close-in urban neighborhoods. After ten years of planning, this year will see the groundbreaking for the $70 million Rockwood Rising project in Gresham.



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Atlas and United Van Lines: Oregon Top Moving Destination for 2017

United Van Lines said 65 percent of moves involving Oregon were inbound, ranking Oregon 1st in terms of in-migration; while its competitor Atlas Van Lines said Oregon ranked 8th, with 57.5% of moves inbound. Oregon has remained among the highest ranking states for several years, including first place for two years running.

Oregon's population increased to 4.1 million in 2017, an increase of 65,000 from a year earlier, with more than 57,000 people added from in-migration.

City Council Plans to Vote on Central City 2035 Plan This Wednesday

The Portland City Council has scheduled a vote on the Central City 2035 Plan for this Wednesday, April 25th. A comment period is open until 5pm on Tuesday, and the final vote will not take place until June 6th. The Current Central City 2035 Plan increases height limits and bonuses in the RiverPlace district, Old Town Chinatown, and the Morrison Bridgehead. It also requires that 100% of rooftops meet eco roof standards and supports the I-5 Rose Quarter freeway expansion. Read more.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Multifamily NW Apartment Report: Metro Vacancy Rate Increases to 4.85%

The Multifamily NW Spring 2018 Apartment Report was released on Wednesday, April 18th. Vacancy rates in area sub-markets, in the southern Willamette Valley and in Bend/Redmond was reported as follows:


Average rent per sq. ft. for all areas combined was reported at $1.56, reflecting a 3.31% increase from a year earlier. The 3.3% average rent increase is consistent with data reported by the national data collection firm REIS Inc. for the most recent 12-month period.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

HFO Announces Annual Charitable Contributions

The HFO team volunteers at Oregon Food Bank (Feb. 2018)
At the close of each apartment transaction, HFO Investment Real Estate contributes to a charity selected by the firm’s client.

In addition to distributing thousands of dollars in this manner each year, HFO contributes large lump sums to charities suggested and voted on by its team members.

In 2017, the HFO charitable fund  focused making major donations to organizations serving homeless families. The HFO team continues that trend in 2018 and voted to continue supporting organizations serving homeless youth and families of the Portland metro area.

Recent major donations of cash and/or volunteer time have been made to:
  • Outside In
  • Morrison Child and Family Services
  • Providence Cancer Research Center
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Columbia Northwest
In the past 12 months, HFO and its partners and managers have supported local charities with cash donations exceeding $65,000.

Additional non-profits supported by HFO and its 2017 charity fund include:
  • American Red Cross
  • College Housing Northwest
  • Community of Hope
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Friends of the Children
  • Junior Achievement of Oregon and SW Washington
  • Rose Community Development
  • New Avenues for Youth
  • Oregon Food Bank
  • Oregon Humane Society
  • Portland Rescue Mission
  • Randall Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Royal Rosarian Foundation
  • Shriners Hospital for Children
  • Stand for Children
  • United Way
  • Wounded Warrior Project
HFO specializes in multi-family investment properties, and passionately pursues client success through strategic collaboration. The company is known for its ability to attract the largest possible pool of buyers. HFO is a thought-leader in its category and offers additional client benefits, including complimentary industry-specific events, market news, and original programming via HFO-TV and its Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast. From its inception, HFO has operated in sharp contrast to most of its industry competitors, using intra-office collaboration to provide service to a wider range of customers, through sales velocity and loyal client relationships.

Oregon Unemployment Rate at 4.1% for Fourth Straight Month

Oregon's state unemployment rate is 4.1% for the fourth straight month, and the rate remains the lowest on record. The state added 4,200 jobs in March, with retail, auto sales, and manufacturing seeing the highest gains. The U-6 rate, which tracks discouraged workers who have dropped out of the labor force, is also at a historically low rate of 8.3%. Read more.

Meet HFO's Jennifer Shuch, Senior Research Analyst

HFO Senior Research Analyst Jennifer Shuch is profiled in this HFO team member introduction video.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 16, 2018

This week:Seattle has passed a law requiring landlords to separate rent and parking fees, allowing renters to opt-out of paying for parking; the Sherwood City Council wants Metro to expand its urban growth boundary by adding 373 acres south of Sherwood High School and a study by CityLab indicates housing scarcity and affordability are more global than local in nature.


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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Nation's Largest Bedbug Judgment Against Landlord Occurs in California

A $1.6 million judgment against a landlord was handed down last week by a California jury. The $1.6 million judgment was the largest in U.S. history for a single infestation. Read more.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

U.S. News and World Report Ranks Portland #6 "Best Places to Live" for 2018

Portland's weirdness--including Voodoo donuts, the adult soapbox derby, annual naked bike ride and even our average commute time--all figured into U.S. News and World Report's ranking of the city as a Best Place to Live in 2018. Read More.

Update from More Housing Now! [Video]

Creating the political climate that will increase, rather than restrict, housing construction may be even more difficult in 2019 than during the 2017 legislative session.

The key to creating more affordable housing remains construction of more housing. HFO Partner Greg Frick and John McIsaac of More Housing Now! discuss the issue.



Relocation Fee Flow Chart and Exemption Application

Certain rental housing providers are exempt from having to pay relocation fees. Those exemptions include:






  • Rentals outside the city limits of Portland
  • Week-to-week tenancies
  • Tenants who live in the same dwelling unit as the landlord
  • tenants who live in a duplex unit with the second unit occupied by the landlord
  • Tenants who live in an ADU on a property occupied by the landlord
  • A landlord that rents out his or her principal residence during the landlord's absense of not more than 3 years
  • Landlord that rents out a residence due to active duty military service
  • A unit where the landlord is terminating the rental agreement for an immediate family to replace the tenant
  • A dwelling unit regulated as affordable housing for at least 60 years
Download the relocation exemption application here. 

Otherwise, rental housing providers are required to pay out relocation fees as follows:

Relocation Assistance Flow Chart courtesy City of Portland


Click here to download a PDF version of this chart.

New Rule Requires Seattle Landlords to Separate Rent and Parking Fees

The Seattle City Council passed an ordinance last week that requires landlords to separate parking and rental payments. Landlords of buildings with more than 10 apartment units will no longer be able to bundle parking fees into rental payments, meaning that those tenants who do not own a car will not be required to pay for a parking space. The City Council voted 7-1 in favor of the new law, which also allows for flexible use parking and eliminates parking requirements for affordable housing units. Seattle has been working to decrease congestion and carbon emissions in the city, and council members hope that this new rule will provide an additional incentive to residents considering giving up their cars. Read more.

Monday, April 9, 2018

City Observatory's Joe Cortright on Portland's Housing Problems [Video]

Joe Cortright joined HFO Partner Greg Frick in a discussion of Portland's housing crisis and what's needed to solve it.


Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 9, 2018

This week: A recent third-party study of Portland's proposed Residential Infill Project concludes it will reduce demolitions and increase housing; A Washington State Judge rules that Seattle's law requiring landlords to accept tenants on a "first-come-first-served" basis violates the state constitution; Oregon sees the return of middle-wage jobs.



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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Pearl District Development May Get a Second Chance

After voting last month to overturn the Design Commission's decision to approve the Fremont Place apartment development, the City Council voted to re-open the record rather than requiring the developer to start the application process from scratch. The Lincoln Property Company will be able to submit a new design for the site in May, addressing the Council's concern over the greenway. The 275-unit development was first proposed in 2016, and has gone through both a design review process and an appeals process. While the City Council was able to list a number of public discussions it had held on the topic, the Council did not work directly with the developer or neighborhood association. Commissioners Fritz and Saltzman voted against reopening the record, with Fritz calling the decision "crazy." Read more.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Seattle Law Requiring Landlords to Accept Tenants on "First Come First Served" Basis Ruled Unconstitutional

Since the beginning of 2017, a Seattle ordinance passed in late 2016 required that landlords choose among qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. That ordinance was ruled unconstitutional last week. The City is considering an appeal. Read more in the Seattle Times. Read more in the Rental Housing Journal.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Historic Landmarks Commissioner Argues against Development across the Street from Her Condo

Northwest Housing Alternatives has proposed a new affordable development serving seniors and low-income residents on NW Hoyt Street in the Historic Alphabet District, but the developer continues to face push-back from the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. The development would preserve the historic Buck-Prager building, and include 149 units in a 5-story structure. Now the Oregonian reports that Commissioner Wendy Chung, who owns a condo across the street from the proposed development, has chosen not to recuse herself from discussions regarding the project. Her husband, Tony Schwartz, has even testified against the project while Chung was sitting as a commissioner. Despite the fact that Northwest Housing Alternatives has already reduced the height and number of units in the building on the advice of the HLC, Chung still believes that the 5-story building is incompatible with the neighborhood. Portland attorney Alan Kessler, who filed a complaint against Chung's involvement, claims that the HLC has demonstrated a pattern of NIMBY and protectionist policies that negatively impact development in the city. Read more.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - April 2, 2018

This Week: Candidates to replace Dan Saltzman on Portland's city council are profiled; regional government announces plans to develop affordable housing on the SW corridor ahead of new MAX line construction; proposed building height increases in Portland's old town comes up for a council vote on Wednesday.



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