After rental rates plummeted in 2020 due to the pandemic, Portland’s housing market has made an impressive comeback. Rents have been skyrocketing across the country. As one of America’s premier destination cities, Portland has seen its rental costs explode. Prices in Southeast Portland are especially on the rise as residents flock to the Rose City. At Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, we keep a close eye on the ups and downs of the Portland rental market. Here’s what homeowners, renters, and property managers should know about the changing landscape in Portland’s housing market. 

Portland’s Rental Market: Downs and Ups

Rental prices in Portland took a steep downturn in 2020. From the beginning of the pandemic to January of 2021, rents in Portland overall decreased by 7.4 percent. Portland’s rents declined 14th fastest among the nation’s 100 largest cities. Real estate tracker Costar estimates that 15 percent of rentals in downtown Portland were vacant during the early pandemic. These vacancies and falling rent prices plummeted past the rates during the Great Recession in 2008 when rental rates in Portland fell by 4.7 percent citywide. However, rents only dropped by 2.4 percent in Southeast Portland, supporting its role as one of Portland’s robust rental markets.

With such a dramatic decline in 2020, the market’s recent rebound has proved even more impressive. In 2021, the average rent in Oregon rose 54 percent, from $1,000 to $1,600. Even accounting for rates bouncing back from their trough during the early pandemic, that’s still an enormous increase–over twice the national average, which also shot up by 23 percent. indicates that the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Portland is $2,128 a month, increasing over 30 percent from the year before. 

Inflation has played a significant role in Portland’s rising housing prices. Inflation rates passed 7.5 percent in February 2022, and the rising cost of housing has contributed significantly to those numbers. An unprecedented shortage in housing means that the cost of buying a home has risen dramatically, placing ownership temporarily out of reach for many Portland residents. As a result, more people are looking to rent. This increased demand on an already-strained supply has pushed rental costs up even higher. 

Portland is a Desirable Place to Live

In general, Portland is a highly desirable place to live. One factor driving Portland’s booming rental market is the number of appealing amenities the city offers its residents. Ranked as a destination state for its gorgeous forests, rocky coasts, and spectacular mountains, Oregon has been a romantic draw for new residents since the days of the wagon train. Even as the area’s economy has seen its ups and downs, the things that make our city great have remained the same.

Portland offers a smorgasbord of fantastic hikes and natural beauty, a wide variety of culinary delights on its food scene, and some of the best wines in the country right out of the Willamette Valley. With so much to offer, it’s little surprise that our city remained popular even during the pandemic. And of all the neighborhoods in the Portland metro area, Southeast Portland provides many of the most appealing amenities today. 

Southeast Rents Are Rising Especially Fast

At Rent Portland Homes, we have an insider’s look at how rents have fluctuated throughout the past few years. We’ve witnessed how rents in Southeast Portland have risen faster than any other area in the city. This is likely due to its attractive location, with quick access to Mount Hood, the Oregon coast, and camping opportunities south of Portland. It’s also a trendy area for brewpubs, parks, and other fun amenities. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry offers a planetarium and submarine tours, and the Leach Botanical Gardens provide an excellent place to stroll.

Of course, the area does have its drawbacks. At the same time, we’ve seen that the presence of urban campers and unhoused people has rapidly increased in that area. While the long-term effects of high prices in Southeast Portland remain to be seen, there’s no denying that it’s a popular area for new residents and a great place to open a new rental. 

What Do Rising Rents Mean For Landlords? 

With demand so high, property owners in Portland have ample reason to investigate turning their home into a rental. Portland is an appealing place to live. Consequently, the rental market will likely remain strong for the foreseeable future. Inflation can help increase the value of property investments. However, it’s essential to make sure you’re matching your rental’s pricing to the current market. Set the price too high, and you may lose out on quality tenants who decide to take their business elsewhere. Price it too low, and you’ll not only be undermining your investment, but you also run the risk of making your unit look like a scam designed to draw in unsuspecting renters with an artificially low price.

The key to making the most of your rental property is to follow the market pricing trends as closely as possible, which requires a lot of additional research. Three-quarters of Portland landlords still self-manage their properties, but a hot rental market has started to shift that. More and more people are looking at property management companies as the best way to maximize their investment. 

Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew works with Portland landlords to manage their rentals to the highest quality standards. Both owners and renters benefit from our management. Our 48-hour maintenance guarantee means you won’t have to worry about rushing a repair job, and your tenants have the security of knowing we’ll address their issues swiftly. For landlords who prefer to stay hands-on, our flexible service package means you can still chip in with running your rental however you see fit. But if you’re ready to step back and let a property manager jump in, we’re ready to help. You can call or text Darla herself at (503) 515-3170, or you can reach out through our website.