Monday, August 15, 2022

U.S. Underproduced 3.8 Million Housing Units in 2019

A July report from ECONorthwest and national housing-focused nonprofit Up For Growth finds that the U.S. underproduced 3.8 million housing units in 2019.

The report has garnered significant national attention since its release. ECONorthwest and Up For Growth researchers highlight the severity of housing underproduction across the U.S. and consider the unique drivers of the lack of development, aiming to deliver "practical and tangible" solutions to advocates and policymakers. 

See below for some key findings and download the full report, Housing Underproduction™ in the U.S. 2022, at

  • After the last housing crash in 2008, developers stopped building — for a decade.

  • Underproduction needs to be broken down into several driving components: missing households, vacancy challenges, and uninhabitable units.

  • Underproduction is surging, with some areas seeing more than 25x increases in their rates of underproduction from a decade ago.

  • As of 2019, Oregon had the fourth-largest share of underproduction for total housing stock in the nation.

  • Most metro areas in the study need to update their zoning rules to allow for more housing to be built quickly.

Read the full report at

Oregon Records More Deaths Than Births for First Time in History

State economist Josh Lehner published an update on Oregon's vital statistics through June 2022, reporting that for the first time in recorded history, there were more deaths in the state than there were births.

"In a 12-word summary of the implications: without stronger migration trends, Oregon’s economic growth could be slower than anticipated," Lehner writes. 


Though the number of deaths has declined in recent months and is back within the range of pre-pandemic expectations, births remain low. Thus far in 2022, Lehner notes, the state is on track to see the fewest total births since the mid- to late-1980s.

While the birth rate is expected to increase some in the years ahead, in the short term, the decline in the natural population increases Oregon's reliance on migration to grow the state's economy and labor force. 

Read the full post at

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Freddie Mac Midyear Multifamily Outlook: Despite Uncertainty, Solid Performance Expected in 2022

Freddie Mac expects multifamily growth will moderate through the rest of the year after holding strong in the first half of the year, Multifamily Dive reports

The government-sponsored mortgage lender published their Midyear Multifamily Outlook this month, predicting multifamily 2022 origination volume will contract to between $440 billion and $450 billion, down 8%-10% from 2021. 

Inflation and volatile Treasury rates are expected to be headwinds to growth. "The likelihood of a recession has risen from the first half of the year to the second, and rising interest rates have cut into multifamily volume as borrowers and investors avoid volatile environments," Multifamily Dive writes. 

However, Freddie Mac analysts say fundamentals will ultimately remain strong. "Despite increased uncertainty, the multifamily industry is positioned well, and we forecast solid performance for the year," the report reads. 

Read the full Freddie Mac report at and Multifamily Dive's analysis at

Friday, August 5, 2022

U.S. Adds 528K Jobs in July; Talk of Recession is "Premature"

The U.S. economy added 528,000 non-farm jobs in July, a sharp increase from the 398,000 jobs added in June. 

Yahoo! Finance compared the key numbers to economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Non-farm payrolls: +528,000 vs. +250,000
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5% vs. 3.6%
  • Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: +0.5% vs. +0.4%
  • Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: +5.2% vs. +4.9%
Yahoo! quotes Renaissance Macro Research's Head of U.S. Economics Neil Dutta:

"The July employment report was an absolute knock-out, a major upside surprise relative to my expectations, and indeed much of the labor market data released up to this point. Talk of recession and a monetary policy pivot is premature.

That said, this jobs report is consistent with an inflationary boom. The Fed has a lot more work to do and in an odd way, that the Fed needs to get more aggressive in pushing up rates, makes the hard-landing scenario more likely."


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Workforce Study Blames High Cost of Housing for Oregon Applicant Shortage

Oregon employers are struggling to fill jobs in large part due to the state's high cost of housing, a new report finds. 

The Oregonian reports that ECONorthwest has completed its third workforce study for the Oregon Workforce, Talent Development Board and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The report finds that while employers have increased salaries an average of 17% in an effort to attract applicants, after accounting for higher costs due to inflation, the actual wage increase is closer to 5%. With high housing and gas costs, commuting has become less feasible for potential job seekers in the state. 


Crane Count Indicates Developers Slow to Return to Portland's Urban Core

The Portland Business Journal reports the RLB Crane Index from Rider Levett Bucknall counted only a dozen cranes in downtown Portland in February, down from 28 at the same time in 2020 (just before the pandemic began). 

New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas also saw declines, while Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago reportedly saw increases.


Monday, August 1, 2022

Moody's Analytics: Limited Multifamily Supply Should Sustain Industry in a Recession

A new Moody's Analytics report indicates that limited apartment construction should balance lower demand if the country faces a recession. 

"While many single-family markets will likely see small to moderate prices decline in this situation, multifamily’s positive performance should hold up relatively longer, as in previous downturns," Moody's analysts write. 


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Tacoma Positioned as Breadwinner for Pierce County Growth Plans

The Urbanist reports that adding density to Tacoma will be its primary target for housing the majority of additional residents it will absorb through 2044. The City will plan for an additional 71,000 of the area's estimated growth of  275,000. Read more. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Sold! 14 Units in NE Portland

Congratulations to HFO brokers Lee Fehrenbacher and Greg Frick and the rest of the HFO team on the sale of 14-unit Alameda Court in Portland, OR. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Redmond & Kenmore Washington Pass Additional *Renter Protections*

From Washington Multifamily Housing Association Reports

Following are changes recently enacted by the City of Redmond and City of Kenmore City Councils:

City of Redmond – Notice of “Tenant Protections”: Changes Effective July 30
On Tuesday, July 19, the Redmond City Council passed a new “Tenant Protection” Ordinance with several requirements/prohibitions. Unfortunately, the council chose an immediate effective date of July 30.

Notice of Rent Increase
Any rental agreement or renewal of a rental agreement shall state the dollar amount of the rent or rent increase and require:

  • 120 days written notice for rent increases greater than (3%)
  • 180 days written notice for rent increases greater than (10%)

If the rental agreement governs subsidized housing where the amount of rent is based on the income of the tenant or circumstances specific to the subsidized household, the landlord shall provide a minimum of thirty (30) days prior written notice of an increase in the amount of rent to each affected tenant.

What This Means:

  • Rent increases starting on July 30 cannot exceed 3% for the first 120 days and cannot exceed 10% for the first 180 days because you would be unable to comply with the new noticing requirements.

  • If you planned to increase rents by more than 3% on August 1, note that you will be out of compliance. 

Move-in Fees & Security Deposits

  • All move-in fees and security deposits charged by a landlord before a tenant takes possession of a dwelling unit shall not exceed one month's rent, except in subsidized housing, where the amount of rent is set based on the tenant's income.

  • Tenants entering rental agreements with terms lasting six or more months may pay their move-in fees and security deposits in six equal monthly installments over the first six months of occupying the dwelling unit.

  • Tenants entering rental agreements with terms lasting fewer than six months or month-to-month rental agreements may choose to pay move-in fees and security deposits in two equal monthly installments over the first two months of occupying the dwelling unit.

Late Fees

  • Late fees and penalties due to nonpayment of rent charged to a tenant shall not exceed 1.5% of the tenant's monthly rent.

Social Security Number

  • A landlord may ask for a social security number as part of the screening process but may not deny an applicant solely because they don’t provide one.

City of Kenmore Notice of “Just Cause & Deceptive and Unfair Practices Ordinance” -- Effective August 24
On Monday, July 25, the Kenmore City Council passed a new “just cause” ordinance with several requirements/prohibitions regarding evictions and tenancy termination. The effective date is Wednesday, August 24, 2022.

Just Cause
A landlord shall not evict or attempt to evict any tenant, refuse to continue or renew a tenancy after the expiration of the rental agreement, or otherwise terminate or attempt to terminate the tenancy of any tenant except for the just causes allowed for by the ordinance. (See section 8.[1]55.075)

Unfair or abusive acts by landlords are prohibited. 
Landlords are prohibited from unfair or abusive acts or practices or deceptive acts or practices as defined by the ordinance. (See section 8.55.078)