Top 10 Affordable Portland Neighborhoods – 2019 Update

portland affordable neighborhoods housing

Growth has been the story of the Portland real estate market almost since it was established as the endpoint to the Oregon Trail. Back then, a home could be purchased for a few hundred dollars, but where are we now?

Overall, less affordable — it’s true. The average cost of a square foot of home in Portland is $295, a fact that has driven many to the surrounding suburbs. However, compare Portland to other west coast hotspots like the San Francisco bay area ($498/square foot) and Seattle ($521/square foot), and suddenly our city looks like a much better investment.

Within the Portland real estate market itself, of course, there is great variability. Affordability varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. Overall, the current Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) for Portland is $416,900, but this number falls as you travel away from the expensive areas near downtown and the hills of West Portland. Ironically, North Portland, the area where some of the first Oregon settlers made their homes, is now the most affordable cluster of Portland neighborhoods. East of Interstate 205 also hits that sweet spot — close to the central city, but within the budget of many Portland home shoppers. 

Are you ready to invest in the Portland real estate market? Check out our 2019 guide to Portland’s most affordable neighborhoods.

Top 10 Affordable Neighborhood List

1. Argay 

Looking for a quiet neighborhood with views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens? Look no further than Argay. Spacious mid-century-modern homes here, sited on generous lots, give this neighborhood the lowest average cost per square foot anywhere in Portland.

Location: North Portland, east of Interstate 205

ZHVI (Zillow Home Value Index): $377,200

Cost per square foot (2018): $168

Number of homes sold in 2018: 79

Change in home values over the past year: +.04%

2. Parkrose Heights

Convenient commutes to anywhere in Portland, proximity to the airport and great investment opportunities make Parkrose Heights a hot neighborhood right now. Homeowners here enjoy the quiet streets as well as shopping and dining in nearby Hollywood District.

Location: North Portland; Just south of Interstate 84 and east of the 205

ZHVI: $327,600

Cost per square foot (2018): $222

Number of homes sold in 2018: 78

Change in home values over the past year: +2.2%

3. Parkrose

A historic suburb of Portland, Parkrose was incorporated into the city in 1980. It still bears the large trees, charismatic streets and cohesive feel of a planned community. Parkrose is also more diverse than average for Portland.

Location: North Portland; Just north of Interstate 84 and east of the 205

ZHVI: $330,400

Cost per square foot (2018): $182

Number of homes sold in 2018: 71

Change in home values over the past year: +1.8%

4. Pleasant Valley

This large 4.5-square-mile neighborhood offers incredible value to home buyers, especially if proximity to parks and natural areas is something you put value on! Pleasant Valley was ranked one of the 2019 “Best Places to Buy a House in Portland” by niche.com.

Location: East Portland; adjacent to Happy Valley

ZHVI: $409,200

Cost per square foot: $200 

Number of homes sold in 2018: 71

Change in home values over the past year: +1.1%

5. Wilkes

Wilkes has seen significant home value growth in the past year. Still, there are bargains to be had in this quiet corner of urban Portland. 

Location: Portland’s “most northeastern” neighborhood; most homes are south of the I84

ZHVI: $348,700

Cost per square foot: $208

Number of homes sold in 2018: 192

Change in home values over the past year: +3.0%

6. Powellhurst-Gilbert

The “best of both worlds” for the Portland home buyer seeking a neighborhood with great parks and schools as well as convenient commuting. “PG”, as it is known by locals, is also one of Portland’s most diverse neighborhoods.

Location: East Portland, east of the I205 and straddling Powell Boulevard

ZHVI: $306,100

Cost per square foot: $223

Number of homes sold in 2018: 303

Change in home values over the past year: +3.0%

7. Centennial

Attention, investors: Despite showing the biggest home value gains of all the neighborhoods on this list over the past year, Centennial still has the lowest Home Value Index. And although “far east Portland” used to feel far away, significant growth in Gresham over the last few years means that this neighborhood is more central than ever before.

Location: Along the easternmost border of Portland, near the major suburb of Gresham

ZHVI: $301,000

Cost per square foot: $215

Number of homes sold in 2018: 303

Change in home values over the past year: +3.5%

8. Hazelwood/ Mill Park

Though technically two distinct neighborhoods, the numbers are exactly the same in Hazelwood and Mill Park — both are great places to invest in a home. Housing in this area is denser than neighborhoods further out, which, along with easy accessibility to public transit, gives it a more urban feel.  

Location: East Portland; just east of I205 and north of Powell Boulevard

ZHVI: $324,000

Cost per square foot: $225

Number of homes sold in 2018: 374

Change in home values over the past year: 1.8%

9. Russell

This quiet neighborhood of single-family homes is more suburban than other areas of north Portland, with ample green space and a distinct sense of community. Homes here tend to be a good value, with growth expected as Portland continues to expand at these outer regions.

Location: North Portland; just south of I84 and one neighborhood east of the I205

ZHVI: $324,000

Cost per square foot (2018): $205

Number of homes sold in 2018: 57

Change in home values over the past year: +1.0%

10. Madison South

The only neighborhood on our list that’s seen a recent dip in home values, Madison South is very convenient to downtown Portland and points beyond via the MAX light rail. It’s also home to an inactive volcano (Rocky Butte) and a golf course.

Location: North Portland; hugs the I205 and I84 at the northwest intersection 

ZHVI: $353,000

Cost per square foot (2018): $214

Number of homes sold in 2018: 99

Change in home values over the past year: -0.3%

August 26, 2019
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

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