There are many factors that go into local housing markets, and predicting the future is almost always a losing proposition. Nevertheless, there’s strong reason to believe that Portland home prices will continue moving upwards for the foreseeable future.
At this point, everyone is familiar with the housing story in San Francisco. Not only did it quickly recover from the 2008 crash, but the continued influx of Silicon Valley millionaires has driven home prices throughout the Bay Area. Today, the average San Francisco Bay Area home is going for over $900,000.
As the Bay Area has been overrun, changing dramatically in demographics, and the ability to work remotely as a “digital nomad” has increased, there’s a fairly natural draw of people from the Bay Area up to Portland. The lifestyle is particularly appealing the Bay Area crowd (read this article from 2013 and see if you disagree), and with an average home price of $300k — 1/3rd that of the Bay Area — it’s easy to see why Portland would be a destination.
In fact, it’s always been a destination, but the rate of migration has been accelerating. In 2014, 4% of those migrating out of the Bay Area moved to Portland. In 2015, that number tripled to 12.6%. With the mass migration of wealth from the Bay Area, whatever efforts Portland will make to solve the affordable housing problem are likely to meet with limited success.
Given the current dynamic, unless we see a substantial economic crisis in the SF Bay Area, it’s hard to imagine people will stop leaving anytime soon. And as long as they’re leaving, many of them will come to Portland. And as long as that happens, Portland home prices are all but certain to continue upward.
This is definitely a point to keep in mind if you’re anywhere in the real-estate value-chain, in the Portland area. And if you’re an agent, in particular, you may want to take some of your marketing budget and put it towards attracting relocations from SF.