10 Reasons to Buy a Portland Home in 2022

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Are you still renting even though you dream of owning a home, thinking maybe “someday” it will make more sense or get easier? The Portland real estate market has seen some interesting changes in the past two years. Home prices have increased by dramatic amounts, yes, but there are still plenty of good reasons to take the leap and buy.

We’re still in a strong seller’s market, however, we think it’s an ideal time for you to start your search for a home. The reason: supply is lean, so it may take a while for you to find the best one for your needs. Why not start the process now and get your head in the game before interest rates climb?

Still not sure? Here are our ten reasons to buy a home in Portland in 2022.

1. Real Estate Value Forecasts for Portland are Good

In 2021, average home sales prices increased 14%, per the most recent RMLS report. We are forecasting they’ll rise at least 8% in 2022. And they’re likely to continue to climb for years to come due to low inventory, high employment, and lack of new construction. Read our analysis here. The only reason prices in Portland might not rise over double digits this year is the rising interest rates (which are still historically low all things considered.)

2. Mortgage Rates are Still Low (Historically)

It’s true that mortgage rates are on the rise, but that’s compared to the near all-time low they hit in 2021.

The image below shows Freddie Mac‘s projections for rising mortgage rates into early 2023. Other experts agree.

While this shows an increase from the lowest we saw in January, 2021 (2.74%), it’s still a historically good rate. Especially when we compare it to past rates that have hit above 4% in 2017-2019, above 6% in 2006-2007, and even higher in years prior.

The projected mortgage rate by the end of 2022 is 4% to 5%, still well within reach for many.

3. Oregon’s Unemployment is Decreasing

The State of Oregon Employment Department reports that all of Oregon’s 36 counties saw decreases in unemployment as of December 2021.

Image from Oregon Unemployment Department

This decrease, along with a reported increase in Oregonians’ incomes, could indicate a balancing of the scales, meaning a move toward more affordability in the area making owning a home more viable for more people.

4. Portland Rents are Rising

It makes even more sense to seriously think about buying when we consider Portland’s rising rents. According to Portland Business Journal, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Portland in January, 2022 was $2,128, a 54% increase during 2021! Compare that to what Business Insider claims to be the average mortgage payment in Oregon for 2022: $1,750.

Of course, there’s more that goes into the monthly cost of owning a home, like taxes, mortgage insurance, home owner’s insurance, and sometimes, HOA fees. That said, though, some of these are paid up front at closing and some get folded into the payment itself.

But wait, you might think… What about that hefty down payment?

There are local and national programs to help first-time homebuyers with this very thing. Read more about down payment assistance programs for Oregon home buyers in 2022.

5. Portland is one of the Best Places to Live on the West Coast

Events during 2020—riots amidst a pandemic—had everyone wondering about the quality of life in Portland. But Portland is springing back and rebuilding. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 list of Best Large Cities to Live in the U.S., Portland still ranks in the top 10. That says a lot about our city’s strength and ability to respond to adversity and come back shining.

For those of us who have lived here for a while, we know what makes Portland a great place to live. For one thing, it’s a foodie’s dream. It’s true that the pandemic has caused some of Portland’s restaurants and bars to shut down, but many have held strong and remained while others are opening up for the first time. Portland’s food culture is formidable, and we have no doubt it will endure.

Portland is also full of retail options from quaint local shops to big chains. We also have access to excellent healthcare. And then there’s our access to natural beauty with the coast about an hour away and the Columbia Gorge and wine country even closer.

What draws most people to the area and entices them to stay is Portland’s personality. Portlanders take pride in our eccentric, culture-defining influence on trends, as well as our concern and problem-solving creativity when it comes to the environment and social issues. Portland is also a huge supporter of helping build local business.

Owning a home in Portland means having ready access to it all.

6. Portland Homeowners Can Make Serious Money

As of 2020, Portland homeowners have a lot more leeway in terms of creating flexibility in housing and the potential for rental income. This is all thanks to the new infill rules that allow for two ADUs on properties with fewer restrictions. Imagine being able to buy a home and instantly start making money on the rental(s) in your back yard!

To make this prospect even more enticing, our report shows that properties with ADUs sell for 8% more. So, not only will you see immediate ROI through monthly rental income, you up the long-term value on your home, as well!

For more information on ADUs, read our Portland ADU Guide here.

7. Portland has Excellent Mass Transportation—It’s Multi-modal!

Portland’s mass transit system ranked in the top 10 in the country in 2019. It’s no wonder when you consider its options and reach. Portland residents can traverse between the city, to surrounding suburbs, and all the way out to smaller communities beyond with almost 700 busses and over 80 lines. And that’s Trimet’s busses alone.

Portland also has the MAX light rail line that runs east and west through Portland from Gresham to Hillsboro. Portland’s streetcar system serves the city with three loops that run in all directions, two of which cross the river.

Portland is consistently rated a top city for bicycle friendliness, and, in 2016, the Safe Routes to Schools measure passed, which allowed funding for over 1,200 projects across the city to connect schools with safe walking and bicycling paths for kids. We also have shared bike and scooter systems for the environmentally aware.

8. Portland is Home to Highly Ranked Schools

Portland prides itself on its quality public school system. Many of Portland neighborhoods are home to some of the country’s most highly ranked schools. To get a glimpse, read our article, Top 10 Portland Neighborhoods—2022 Report. For a closer look at how more Portland schools rank, visit Great Schools, a non-profit with a mission to help parents provide their kids with the best educations possible.

8. Buying a Home in Portland Leads to Greater Financial Gains

Owning a home means investing in your future because you build wealth over time. Renters can’t make this claim. Not for themselves, anyway. They are, however, doing that for their landlord.

When you own your home, beyond the security of owning the roof over your head, you also add to your overall net worth. According to a recent CNBC article, “In 2019, homeowners in the U.S. had a median net worth of $255,000, while renters had a net worth of just $6,300.” That’s a difference of 40X!

Clearly, when you invest in real estate, you invest in your future and yourself.

9. Owning a Home in Portland Also Offers Other Perks

It’s no secret that Uncle Sam privileges homeowners by way of tax breaks. Did you know that in addition to writing off your mortgage interest on your income taxes, you can also claim your property tax?

And of course, you also get the bonus of equity, which you can borrow against to pay off higher-interest debt, tap into for an emergency, do renovations, and more.

10. Portland Won’t See a Real Estate Market Crash in 2022

Some people have been concerned about the possibility of a market crash partially due to the lifting of foreclosure moratoriums in late 2021 in Oregon. But as we’ve written and although there are never any guarantees, there are no strong signs of a crash in 2022.

Ready to Buy a Home in Portland?

If you’re ready to become a home owner for the first time or if it’s time to find your next home, our experienced top 1% Portland buyer’s team can help. We’ve been doing this for 18 years in the Portland Metro area, and we’d love to put our knowledge and customer-focused approach to work for you! Call our direct line at 503-773-0000 today, or chat with our bot on this site.

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