Report: Portland in top 10 cities where rent will rise most in 2013

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by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 9 at 9:01 AM

PORTLAND - Portland's rental prices just keep climbing. It's a matter of high demand and short supply.

And a new survey showed it's about to get worse. That's getting national attention.

Thestory by MSN said Portland is one of 10 cities in the United States where rent will rise most in 2013. MSN used data provided by real-estate research firm Reis Inc.

According to the story, rent in Portland in 2012 averaged $848, a nearly five percent increase from the previous year and expected to rise an additional 4.7 percent in 2013. The vacancy rate in 2012 was about 3.3 percent.

You might think rent is going up because of people who lost their homes in foreclosures. But experts Monday said while there is still a little of that, some people now prefer to rent instead of own and that is affecting supply and demand.

Tyler Evoniuk has been renting an apartment in downtown Portland for three years.

"I like renting better and you just have so much less responsibility. I can pick and go and move across the country if I need to," said Evoniuk.

Before moving into his 22-story building, he owned a home in Southeast Portland.

"Being a single guy in my 30s, I wanted to be downtown. With my job, I'm in and out traveling a lot so it's easier for me to be in an apartment and close the door not worry about anything. With a house, you have to worry about your lawn, maintenance, water pipes busting and those (sort of) things when you're gone."

He wanted what he called the easier lifestyle. He's not alone and rental managers know that.

"If you're a young person thinking about buying your first home, an early home, or even your second home maybe, there's a lot of responsibility that goes with it. Maybe you saw the generation ahead of you having to give back and have sleepless nights trying to make mortgage payments and are thinking 'Well, maybe I don't want that,'" said Clay Newton, broker with CV Newton Company.

Newton specializes in apartment sales and said Portland is now one of the nation's tightest rental markets.

"Portland is a hot spot. We have a limited supply of apartments available right now. We have a metro boundary that helps constrain the supply of apartments we do have and there's a lot of demand," Newton said.

That's exactly why Jennifer Tinney, a renter in Portland's NW Pearl District, said she wants to buy a home instead.

"It's expensive (to rent.) Actually, my husband and I are looking to buy a house in June because it's going to end up costing us a lot less," said Tinney.

But, because she said it's too expensive to buy a home downtown, she realizes she'll have to give up her prime location when she does purchase a home.

"We consider this our home, this area that you can walk to; the shops and restaurants and the community. That's the main reason why we're living here now," she said.

The median price for a single-family home in the Portland metro area, which includes Beaverton and Vancouver was about $242,000 at the end of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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