Tuesday, April 30, 2019
HFO Investment Real Estate worked with investors familiar with Vancouver assets without stabilized historical operations to finalize a successful sale.
Monday, April 29, 2019
Despite dismal reports on the City's inclusionary housing policy City of Portland Housing Program Specialist Brett Eisenbrow responded to an HFO inquiry on potential revisions by saying "...there are no program changes scheduled... as we review and revaluate [sic] the IH program in the future..."
This week: The Portland City Council will vote May 23rd on screening and security deposit reform after Mayor Ted Wheeler called for significant changes to the proposals; a growing number of high-income households are renting instead of buying; and the New York Times reports that 2020 presidential candidates are working on strategies to help renters.
Friday, April 26, 2019
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Monday, April 22, 2019
This week: The US Treasury Department issues long-awaited guidance on opportunity zones; new data pinpoints dramatic effects of climate change on Portland neighborhoods; and a Harvard Business Review study has found that in cities with increasing Airbnb listings, housing costs also rise.
- Rental vacancy rates in Greater Portland increased 55 basis points to 4.95%--but remaining relatively unchanged from one year earlier.
- Rent rates increased 4% in the past six months and were up 7.7% on average from one year ago.
- Note that these rent rates do not represent "effective" rent rates due to the offering of concessions, which are becoming more prevalent in the market.
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Thursday, April 18, 2019
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is holding a work session on April 30th at 5pm. A recommended draft will be formed thereafter and forwarded to the City Council for a public hearing and vote. The public hearing and testimony period will be the next opportunity for citizens to provide testimony on the proposals.
Monday, April 15, 2019
The most rent burdened city in Oregon is Corvallis, where 40% of households pay more than half of all income on rent. Eugene has 38% of households that are rent burdened, while the number in both Ashland and Grants Pass is 33%. Read more.
This week: San Francisco plans a final vote this week on legislation giving local nonprofits first right of refusal over the sale of multifamily buildings. Now entering its third year, Portland’s inclusionary housing policy has resulted in just 422 housing units being permitted – with only a handful finished and available for rent. And the Portland Mercury examines the potential impacts of Portland’s Residential Infill Plan
Friday, April 12, 2019
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019
Portland's Inclusionary Zoning Policy Isn't Producing Enough Units, Housing Bureau Working on Changes
This week: ongoing multifamily deliveries in the Seattle market are expected to keep rents flat there for the next several months; Portland's Rockwood neighborhood remains hopeful that its opportunity zone designation will bring much-needed development, and new health survey has found that a large number of renters are putting off medical care in order to pay rent.
Friday, April 5, 2019
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Multifamily NW in Portland Business Journal: Portland Needs a Tenant Screening Process That Would Truly Make Housing More Accessible to All
Monday, April 1, 2019
Rent control does not work. That’s one of the most settled issues in economics, one widely accepted across the ideological spectrum. Yet politicians continue to peddle rent control with seemingly willful ignorance.
Oregon is the most recent state to embrace the rent control orthodoxy. The day after rent control prevailed in Oregon, marchers took to the streets in Olympia, demanding that Washington also succumb to a proven policy failure. But Washington should side with settled economic science, not naïve populism.
Rent control’s failure begins and ends with the most basic concept in economics: supply and demand. When politicians slap an artificial squeeze on prices, a shortage results. A lower price means more people want that good while fewer people produce it.
With rent control, that means less housing. Many landlords will either sell their property or put it to a different use. Meanwhile, inadequate housing supply and pressure for rent-controlled units spill out into the uncontrolled market, where prices escalate.
Even rent-controlled units will ultimately face inflated pricing. After all, under most rent control regimes, landlords can still reset the rent at the start of a new lease. Thus, the pricing of rent-controlled units leaps in fits and starts over time. This lack of predictability only makes it harder for tenants to find housing they can afford, encourages landlords to set short lease terms, and wreaks havoc with the housing market.
Because rent-controlled prices are locked into a lease, people tend to stay put longer, which reduces mobility and makes it harder for folks to find new housing when they change jobs or move to a new area. Worse, the people who slip into comfy rent-controlled housing and stay put are often wealthier than the people toughing it out in the open market.
Another bleak outcome of rent control is shoddier housing quality. Landlords saddled with rent control tend to cut back on maintenance to offset the loss and forego improvements because rent control deflates competition.
In short, rent control means homes are shabbier, pricier and harder to find. Yet rent control advocates, rather than face these uncomfortable facts, often resort to blaming landlords or developers for engaging in the exact behavior that economists predicted.
In response to this self-inflicted crisis, cities often double down with more regulations that exacerbate inflation. Thus, when rent control increases the eviction rate because landlords can’t raise the rent until a tenant leaves, the rent controllers slap on eviction limits. When landlords bow out of the rental market, rent controllers slap on fees to replenish a diminishing housing stock. When prices soar, they pump more money into myriad affordable housing programs. Blaming landlords and developers for this predictable spiral is like blaming the sun for climate change.
Proven methods for addressing a housing crisis do exist. Take California, for example, where the legislature commissioned a study to figure out why the Golden State has become so unlivable. The Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that a primary cause was overregulation of the housing industry and that the path out was to build more housing. Governor Gavin Newsom has seized this issue, threatening to strip transportation funding to California cities that fail to meet targets for housing construction. Meanwhile, Oregon elects to stumble in a haze of blinkered science denial.
Policymakers in Washington state take heed – of your two neighbors to the south struggling with housing affordability, California is looking for real solutions aimed at more housing, while Oregon chases the failed orthodoxy of regulation and restriction. Science makes it clear which path Washington should follow.
This week: The Portland Mercury asks whether Oregon lawmakers should be backing a bill allowing local jurisdictions to set their own rent control policies; a Seattle news outlet finds that affordable condos in King County are being rented out or used as second homes; and we're seeing new scrutiny of the Oregon Department of Transportation's handling of data related to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion.