Portland New Home Construction Up or Down by the End of 2021?

portland new home construction

2020 marked a noticeable drop in residential construction in the Portland Metro area due to the pandemic. In 2021, not much has changed. In fact, we’re seeing a marked slump in new home construction, despite recently passed, truly historic, higher density zoning rules in Portland.

Let’s see how the Rose City is faring so far this year. This city of Portland website shows the numbers of issued, under review, and finaled (building has been completed) new home construction permits in Portland, Oregon.

Let’s compare Portland’s 2021’s new home construction numbers to date with the past six years.

Portland New Home Construction Permits Issued by Year

As we can see, new home construction activity in the Portland Metro area is dismal at the moment. Projections for when this might change are hard to come by. The City is managing a backlog of permit reviews, supply chains are seeing challenging times, and labor is extremely hard to come by.

Portland Multi-Family Residential Construction

While single-family new construction may be experiencing a lull, the City has issued permits for several multi-family complexes in all four quadrants of Portland, with others still in the review process. Plans include both affordable and market value housing. Their sizes range from 8 to 105 units. Developers are utilizing already existing buildings for adaptive reuse, adding living spaces above businesses—like restaurants—and perching residential buildings atop new parking structures.

According to a recent article in the Portland Business Journal about the future of multi-family construction in Portland, “Housing starts are still expected to end at a marked year-over-year increase from 2020 but supply-chain issues and material costs are dampening builder optimism.”

Single-Family New Home Construction is Still Alive

It is possible we will see a surge in new home construction in the undetermined future as the backlog of permits are processed. In addition to those, in Portland proper we have the potential 193-home subdivision proposed for the Alpenrose Dairy location. The future of this development still hangs in the balance.

And let’s not forget about Portland’s surrounding areas. Cornelius and Reed’s Crossing in Hillsboro have single-family new construction to offer interested home buyers.

Buying a New Home in Today’s Market

Despite the low single-family residential inventory in Portland, this can still a good time to buy a new home, considering the current low interest rates.

Bankrate.com shows current Oregon interest rates as of Thursday, September 23, 2021 as follows.

3.04% for a 30-year fixed mortgage
2.30% for a 15-year fixed mortgage
3.13% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

From the graph below we can see how interest rates have trended in the past three months in Oregon.

Image sourced from zillow.com

Where to Find New Homes for Sale in Portland

Interest rates are low, and digital tools, like our user-friendly PortlandHomesforSale.com site, make it easier than ever to find your dream home without the need to leave the comfort of your current one.

Our top 1% Portland buyers team is experienced in helping home buyers with new construction purchases. They can also give you well-informed details about all the major local home builders in town. Give us a call today!

September 27, 2021

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.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.