Portland Renters Feeling the Squeeze, While Homeowners See Values Rise: Portland's State of Housing Report

For the fourth straight year in a row, rents are up by more than 4 percent in Portland

For the fourth straight year, Portland has seen rental price increases by more than 5 percent, according to the Portland Housing Bureau's second annual State of Housing report, set to be released to City Council tomorrow.

Since last year, average monthly rent is up 7 percent, though for two- to three-bedroom units rent rose more sharply, by 12 to 18 percent. Since 2012, average rent is up 30 percent, the report shows.

The average black, Latino, and Native American household can no longer afford the rent in any neighborhoods in Portland. The same is true for the average household headed by a single mom.

Meanwhile, in the four years from 2011 to 2015, home values in Portland climbed 44 percent — or more than $100,000 for the average home.

Just over half of Portland households have something to gain when the values climb. But the city's home-ownership rate was lower in 2014 than in 2010 or in 2000, the report finds.

The divide between home owners and renters is even more stark when income is taken into a account. Even as they have to pay more in rent, renters made less on average in 2014 when adjusted for inflation than they did 14 years ago.

"While homeowners have seen their inflation adjusted median incomes rise to nearly $80,000 per year, exceeding median income levels in 2000 and 2010, the median income for renters is currently just over $30,000 and still falls below renter income levels in the year 2000," the report finds.