The declines in several rental markets are largely attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Oregonian, but Portland’s is steeper than all but 9 other cities with populations of 250,000 or more -- likely due to years of rent hikes, a report from Apartment List said.
The outlet said the downtown area has been particularly challenged by months of racial injustice protests that have frequently turned destructive and homeless camps that have overwhelmed certain areas – although there’s no data to show if downtown rents are decreasing faster than the rest of the city.
While rents in Portland have fallen by 5.7%, nationwide rents are down by just 1.4%, according to Apartment List’s October 2020 Portland Rent Report.
The city has seen a steady decrease each month since an increase in February.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is currently $1,155.
While rents are falling in the city, they’re rising in 7 out of 10 Portland metro cities, including the university town Beaverton, which currently has the highest rents, Apartment List reported.
Some cities, like Phoenix and Las Vegas have seen rent increases.
“Portland’s year-over-year rent drop is actually quite high,” Rob Warnock, a research associate with Apartment List, told Oregon Live. “Seattle, Washington D.C., Oakland and Minneapolis are relatively similar sizes and have relatively similar price drops, but the majority of cities have I think more stable rents than we’re seeing in Portland, rent drops that are less significant that 5.7%. In some cases, there are cities where we’re actually seeing increasing rents over the past year.”
In the state overall, rents have only decreased by 1.5% year-over-year.
Warnock said the larger price drops in the city compared with the suburbs mirrors a national trend of renters preferring more outdoor space as many employees are now working from home amid the pandemic.
“We are observing that for the majority of American cities, the rent drop in the core city is much greater than it is in the outlying suburban areas,” he told Oregon Live. “What we’re seeing in Portland is consistent with what we’re seeing in a lot of major cities today.”
Rents in San Francisco and New York City have outpaced Portland's rent decline, however, according to Warnock, who said he wasn’t surprised “the two most expensive markets…are also seeing the two most dramatic decreases in rent right now.”
San Francisco saw prices fall the furthest in September, according to data from Realtor.com, with costs for a one-bedroom unit falling by 24.2%.
The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan declined 15.4% year over year in September.
Fox News' Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.