Top 5 Most Affordable Portland, Oregon Suburbs

Continued low inventory and rising real estate prices have complicated the ease of finding a home for many, both here in Portland and across the country. Many have questioned the affordability of living in Portland proper. Many have fled to the suburbs (which at least were cheaper than the city proper).

As we wrote about in our 7 Top Real Estate News Stories of 2021 article, while real estate prices are expected to rise throughout 2022, the rate of these increases should slow down (though they haven’t yet). Will this have an impact on home sales in Portland, or will people still want to flee to the suburbs for a quieter, more affordable lifestyle?

This question is just as pressing as it was last year, so we’re turning our attention to Portland’s suburbs to help you decide if it’s a move that’s right for you.

Why is There a Growing Interest in Suburbs?

An obvious answer to this question is that suburbs offer more space for less money with the added benefit of being a short drive to Portland’s amenities and culture.

Also, many of Portland’s suburbs are forested, so you get to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle with city access. And you’ll still be a reasonable drive from the coast, the mountains, or Oregon’s wine country.

What Does Affordability Mean?

Affordability means more than just lower home prices. Affordability also has to do with average income. When income increases fall behind housing costs, an area becomes less affordable. So, while we’ll focus on home values here, remember that incomes need to keep increasing for Portland to be buyer-friendly.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) currently gives Oregon an affordability score of 0.61, only slightly above California at 0.5. (Note: A score below 1.0 = less affordable.)

How We Determined the Most Affordable Portland Suburbs

When talking home values, it’s also important to distinguish list price from sale price. List price can be deceiving. Bidding wars, which were still happening in December 2021, although to a lesser extent than in the spring and summer last year, can skew the reality of the market. But when a buyer and seller agree to a number and the sale goes through, it puts a real market value on that particular home.

For this reason, we looked at the median sold price (median, rather than average, because it adjusts for outliers like a few very expensive luxury homes). We looked at all Portland suburbs, searching for the lowest median sold prices along with lowest price per square foot.

Here, we present the top five most affordable Portland suburbs!

(Note: Population numbers listed below were taken from census.gov.)

1. Gresham, Oregon

Median Sold Price: $449,000

Median Price Per Square Foot: $273

Search all Gresham, Oregon homes for sale here.

Not on our list since 2018, Gresham makes an appearance again this year! One of Portland’s largest suburbs, Gresham offers residents lots of options in terms of schools, parks, shops, and restaurants. Despite its size of 114,247 residents, it has managed to maintain a small-town vibe, and with its shared boundaries with both Portland and Troutdale, city amenities and outdoor recreation are mere minutes away. Homes here run the gamut from high-end luxury to affordable starter. Gresham has seen an increase in new apartments and condos in recent years. There are still plenty of empty lots remaining, though, and the community is welcoming of new construction. If all this sounds appealing to you, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at Gresham!

2. Fairview, Oregon

Median Sold Price: $455,850

Median Price Per Square Foot: $310

Search all Fairview, Oregon homes for sale here.

Fairview is just north of Gresham, so residents enjoy the same easy access to Portland and Troutdale. It’s on the small side, with 10,424 residents, and is known for being tight-knit. The community is also known for its charming events, like Community Night Out and the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Fairview Hope Rock Gardens is a favorite where visitors leave painted rocks with uplifting messages and imagery to be views, taken, and shared on social media. Picture yourself heading a few blocks north and launching your vessel on the Columbia River or simply enjoying its natural beauty. Sound good? It could be that Fairview is the place you could call home!

3. McMinnville, Oregon

Median Sold Price: $458,044

Median Price Per Square Foot: $271

Search all McMinnville, Oregon homes for sale here.

Quaint McMinnville, with its tree-lined streets nestled in Oregon wine country, has a population of 34,319. It offers abundant natural beauty and close proximity to some of the West Coast’s best wineries. Tourism is big business in McMinnville, and it’s no wonder! Visitors and residents alike enjoy plentiful top-notch dining and drinking options and quaint galleries featuring the work of local artists. If you’ve visited this wonderful community and loved it, maybe it’s time to let go of city life and call McMinnville home!

4. Cornelius, Oregon

Median Sold Price: $462,106

Median Price Per Square Foot: $373

Search all Cornelius, Oregon homes for sale here.

Portland’s west side also has some desirable and affordable suburb options. Take, for instance, Cornelius, located between Hillsboro and Forest Grove. This idyllic city still shows its agricultural roots, offering berry picking and fresh Oregon-grown fruit. For a city of its size—population: 12,694—it has a plethora of parks, and Council Creek trail runs right through town. Bordered by two moving bodies of water—the Tualatin River to the south and Council Creek to the north—Cornelius is a haven for those who love nature. Ready to live a more quiet, nature-based lifestyle? Start imagining Cornelius as your next home!

5. Troutdale, Oregon

Median Sold Price: $464,917

Median Price Per Square Foot: $332

See all Troutdale, Oregon homes for sale here.

Troutdale, Portland’s northeastern suburb, has six square miles of some of the most affordable homes in the Portland area. Another suburb bordered by bodies of water—the Columbia River to the north and the Sandy River to the east—Troutdale offers loads of recreational activities. Glenn Otto Park is a regular destination for locals in the summer when it’s time for a refreshing swim along the banks of the Sandy River. North Troutdale is also home to a huge disc golf course. Sound like fun? Why not give Troutdale some serious thought?!

Which Portland Suburb Will be Your Next Home?

Which of these Portland suburbs most sparked your interest? Can’t decide? That’s okay! We’d love to show you around any or all of these more affordable communities and help make your real estate dreams a reality. Whether you’re looking to sell your current home in Portland or dreaming of buying for the first time, our top 1% seller’s team and our top 1% buyer’s team are here to serve you. Chat with the bot on our site or give us a call today. We can’t wait to hear all about what you’re looking for!

March 11, 2022
AUTHOR

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.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.