Portland Appreciation Is Tops in the Nation: Is It Sustainable?

by | Dec 14, 2016 | Market Trends | 0 comments

The Rose City, Stumptown, P-Town, PDX. Whatever nickname Portlanders use, the people who live here have a lot of reasons to love this Pacific Northwest city.

Something visitors are sure to notice is the thriving food, wine, and craft spirits scene.  This is no accident. Foodies proliferate Portland neighborhoods, and the young population likes to kick back and imbibe.

The outdoor life is also prevalent. Even on rainy days (which are frequent), residents can leave their Portland lofts to go hiking, biking, and jogging around the city and surrounding green areas.

It’s also a city that’s keeping it weird with events like naked bike rides and donuts that may or may not be made with a bit of voodoo. It’s no surprise, then, that this gorgeous, delicious, lively city has seen a spike in transplants over the past few years.

Unfortunately, the population growth and attendant building boom could be changing the face of this unique city, altering the character that Portlanders love. Can the way people feel about Portland sustain when the city has changed beyond recognition?

New Housing

The influx of outsiders is beginning to have a noticeable impact on once-quiet Portland neighborhoods. Developers are purchasing many older homes to either fix and flip or demolish to make way for higher occupancy units. In place of single family homes, Portland condos are becoming commonplace, along with gargantuan apartment buildings.

For the residents that remain, this has not been a desirable transition. Many have lost their views and no longer get sunlight in their yards because builders are coming in and replacing homes with high rises.

On the upside, this has provided new housing options for transplants and native residents alike. However, many Portlanders are railing against the loss of character, as well as increases in traffic and parking issues.


The availability of Portland modern homes, condos, and other structures is on the rise.  However, many Portlanders are getting priced out of the market. Outsiders, especially those looking to leave California, enter the market with money to spend.  These transplants drive up the prices and leave Portland natives unable to compete for the homes that were available to them just a few years ago.

Portlanders are a resilient bunch, though, and many are finding creative new ways to keep it weird.  There’s a reason the tiny house movement took off in Portland. It’s hard to say whether the changes to this west coast city are ultimately going to destroy the way native residents appreciate their home. However, cities that fail to change ultimately stagnate, so at the very least Portlanders have hope that they won’t go the way of Detroit.