2020’s Top 5 Most Affordable Portland Suburbs

portland real estate suburbs

Despite the pandemic setback to the real estate market this spring, home prices in Portland are as strong as ever, especially at the low-to-mid range of the market. While this is great news for homeowners, those shopping for a home — especially a first home — can feel a bit daunted. 

Fortunately, the Portland metro area, spanning three Oregon counties, offers plenty of options. And while the definition of “best suburb” can be difficult to pin down, “most affordable” is a little easier. These five Portland suburbs were selected for coming in with the lowest median sale price. But because things are changing so rapidly, we also included the July 2020 median home value for the area, as indexed by Zillow. We use median, instead of average, because this number tends to be less skewed by a few high-priced homes. 

1. Scappoose

Median home value July 2020: $369,963

Median home sale price 2019: $355,160

Increase of $14,803

Scappoose — the name is half the fun! This small town northwest of Portland embraces rural living and the quirks that come with it, including hosting the World’s Largest Candle. Residents enjoy a myriad of water-based recreation opportunities, from sunbathing on the popular Sauvie Island beach to kayaking in Scappoose Bay. Although Scappoose is chiefly a bedroom community of Portland (a half-hour commute), development of the local airport holds economic promise. 

2. Fairview

Median home value July 2020: $367,417

Median home sale price 2019: $326,750

Increase of $40,667

A “small town within the big city” is how locals describe Fairview. Its population of just under 10,000 is tucked between Portland and Gresham, the largest suburb in the metro area. Fairview is a diverse city with lots to do, whether it’s shopping, dining and entertainment or outdoor recreation just down the highway at the Columbia Gorge or Mt. Hood. At just 20 minutes from downtown Portland, Fairview’s combination of convenience and affordability is hard to beat.

3. McMinnville 

Median home value July 2020: $344,767

Median home sale price 2019: $339,950

Increase of $4817

McMinnville was in the #2 spot when we wrote this article last year, the only suburb to remain on the Top 5 Most Affordable list! Other than the long commute to Portland, there are literally no drawbacks to living in McMinnville — it’s a charming town smack in the middle of wine country, home to Linfield College and a highly rated K-12 school district. With a 4.8% increase in home values since this time last year, Zillow ranks the McMinnville real estate market as “hot”.

4. Estacada

Median home value July 2020: $416,824

Median home sale price 2019: $350,000

Increase of $66,824

Far removed from the hubub of the urban center, Estacada is nestled in the beautiful Clackamas River valley, at the base of the Mt. Hood National Forest. This town of just 3,700 is perfect for those who work from home or only need to commute to Portland occasionally. Estacada features a historic downtown and a dedicated school district with elementary, middle and high schools. 

5. Troutdale

Median home value July 2020: $364,961

Median home sale price 2019: $351,250

Increase of $13,711

Just east of Fairview is the city of Troutdale, known as the Gateway to the Gorge. In addition to tourism, Mt. Hood Community College, shipping and fulfillment centers round out Troutdale’s robust economy. For those who need to commute to Portland, it’s just 20 minutes away. Locals love the quiet, small-town feel of Troutdale, as well as easy access to outdoor recreation along the Columbia Gorge and nearby Mt. Hood. Read our full blog post on Five Things You Didn’t Know About Troutdale, Oregon!

July 27, 2020

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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