Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New Supply Easing Rents in Portland, but Slowing Development Activity Could Reverse the Trend

The Willamette Week reports that a number of newer luxury apartments in Portland's Central City are offering concessions to renters, and in some cases even lowering rent, in order to fill vacant units. As large numbers of new units are coming on line, they are becoming harder to fill. While renters at the lower end of the market are still scrambling to find affordable options, rent growth for that segment of the market was only 2.3% year over year as of June 2018 - a far cry from the double digit rent increases seen in 2015 and 2016. But as the market balance begins to swing toward renters, developers and investors are becoming less confident about projects in the city. According to Lisa Bates of Portland State University, the same "Econ 101" principles of supply and demand that predicted rents would go down as new supply increases mean that development activity is likely to slow until rents go back up. Read more.

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