Portland apartment rental rates decline, according to online tracker

Portland's skyline. (KATU Photo)

The price to rent an apartment in the Portland area is going down, according to the website Apartment List.

They say a whole lot of new apartment buildings are finally up and running, which is taking away the upward pressure on rent around Portland.

Analysis from the online rental site shows that while rent is still a couple hundred dollars more a month that the median prices in other parts of the country. According to the company, the median rental rate in Portland is down 1.7 percent from a year ago, with 1 percent of that drop happening withing the past 4 months.

Vince Au is considering signing a new lease at his Southeast Portland apartment complex. Au said he realizes Portland’s apartment rental market's is becoming more favorable for renters - at least for now.

“We've rented for the past maybe five years, and definitely a rent increase for the first three or four years. And then we were surprised. This last year they didn't offer a rent increase so the same, the exact same rent for the past year so definitely considering it,” said Au.

A graph from Apartment List shows rising apartment rental rates nationwide, in Oregon and in Portland earlier in 2017. During the past few months, however, the city's rates started dropping faster than the state and national average.

“The estimates that we publish are meant to be representative of the full market,” said Apartment List market analyst Chris Salviati.

Salviati says while there is always downward rent pressure during the winter months, the decrease in rental rates this winter season is more dramatic than in recent years.

“I think it's definitely a lot on the supply side,” said Salviati, “Portland is one of the markets that's been adding some of the most new construction this year. And a lot of that has come online in the past few months. And so I think having that influx of new units has really sort of tempered the rent growth.”

That has Au thinking hard about signing a new lease, and not looking around.

“If it'd stay the same I think, yeah, we'll just - I'm not sure - we'll stick with it probably,” said Au.

Apartment List says the median rental price for a 2-bedroom apartment in Portland is $1,320 a month while the national average is $1,160 a month.

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