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Over the last ten years, real estate values in Oregon have been on the rise. According to Zillow, Oregon home values have increased nearly 20% over the past year, with the typical home value at $509,539.
Rental prices are seeing a similar trajectory, with mid-size cities like Salem seeing an 18% increase in rental prices. This is largely due to increasing demand, with steady population growth in both metropolitan and suburban locations, according to research by Portland State University.
New residents are drawn to Oregon's gorgeous natural scenery, from the state's extensive hiking trails through Cascade mountains to its rocky Pacific coastline. Oregon is home to world-class tech and apparel companies like Intel and Nike, bringing in employees from all over the world. And sports powerhouses such as the University of Oregon, the Portland Trailblazers, and the Portland Thorns draw hundreds of thousands of spectators to the state each year. Plus, Portland was ranked the third best music city in the U.S. by our friends at Clever Real Estate!
To find the best real estate markets in Oregon, we evaluated investment opportunities in Oregon's five most populous cities according to:
- Investment Potential
- Rental Rates
This Oregon-specific guide will help you spot the best rental markets in the state and navigate the process of investing in a rental property for beginners.
Interested in investing in one of the cities on our list? Our friends at Clever Real Estate can connect you to an experienced local real estate agent.
Clever is a free, no-obligation agent matching service that will introduce you to trusted realtors from national brokerages including Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Coldwell Banker. You can meet as many agents as you like until you find the best one to guide you on your real estate investment journey.
1. The Best Place to Buy Rental Property in Oregon: Salem
Salem’s stable population growth, rising home and rent prices, and proximity to other thriving markets makes it one the most promising, up-and-coming cities to buy rental property in.
This state capitol is one of the fastest growing real estate markets in Oregon– and it’s easy to understand why. The second largest city in the state, Salem is centrally located: less than an hour’s drive from Portland and Eugene, an hour from the coast, and about three hours from several ski resorts in the mountains. Salem sits in the lush Willamette Valley, boasting vineyards, gardens and pastoral fields within its city limits.
Salem properties are selling relatively quickly, spending just 33 days on the market. As of March 2022, the median listing home price in Salem was $424,295, showing an upward trend of 20% over the past year.
Rent prices are trending upwards in Salem as well, while still lower than the national median. In Salem, the median rent for all bedrooms and all property types is $1,449 in 2022 – up $234 from last year.
Stable growth of the city makes it a great time to invest, specifically in single family homes or rentals, as you’ll be able to take advantage of increasing home equity before prices appreciate too much.
If you’re looking for one of the best places to invest on the West Coast, Portland might be it.
While home values have gone up 13.4% over the past year, Portland is still one of the cheapest options for buying a house on the West Coast. Portland is the most populous city in Oregon, and the sixth most populous city on the West Coast. Right now, the typical home value in Portland is $588,143. Comparing that to Seattle ($958,027) or San Francisco’s ($1,608,937) average makes Portland look like a steal.
Plus, prices in this lively city are expected to increase, so there’s plenty of potential for properties to continue growing in value. While rent prices will also continue to rise, they are currently 17% below the national median. A two-bedroom apartment rents for an average of $1,992, showing a 7% increase from last year.
More and more millennials are moving to Portland long term in part due to the boom in technology industries, impressive innovation in urban planning and the increasing diversity of the city. It’s easy to see why it attracts so many young adults – it’s the most bike friendly city in America, the best city in America for vegan and vegetarian eats, and houses more microbreweries per capita than any city in the world.
Hillsboro’s tech boom has been drawing thousands of new eager employees to the city each year, making it one of the best places to buy rental property in Oregon. Known as the “Silicon Forest,” Hillsboro’s tech industry includes Intel’s headquarters, which employs around 17,000 people and plans to hire more. Those moving for business will be pleased to find out that the city also has a historic charm, featuring 9 sites on the National Register of Historical Places.
As of March 2022, the median home value in Hillsboro increased 22% to $544,726. Prices are starting to steepen, so now is a good time to buy before home values increase even more.
While the prices of rent in the previously covered cities are below the national median, rent in Hillsboro is currently higher than the national median by 5%. The median rent for a two bedroom apartment is $2,075 - up $375 from last year. With higher salaries in this tech industry come high standards of living and a willingness to pay to be closer to work.
Despite Intel’s influence, Hillsboro is largely a farming community, growing loads of hops that give its minor-league baseball team its namesake: the Hillsboro Hops. So naturally this city values its local food, beer and vibrant farmers markets on the weekends.
Eugene is a college city that can easily stand on its own. Outside of the attending student population at the University of Oregon, Eugene is a hot spot for track and running events like the U.S. Olympic Trials at the famous Hayward Field. During these seasonal events, visitors flock from all over the country to Eugene, making it one of the best cities for Airbnb investment.
Homes in Eugene are moderately priced when compared to the other cities on this list, with a median listing price of $471,830. The city’s home prices have been consistently increasing over the last five years, with its biggest increase in the last year at 20%. Rental prices show a similar pattern, with moderately priced rentals – $1,500 for a two-bedroom apartment – that have increased an average of $200 over the past year.
Beyond its sporting events, Eugene’s hippie counterculture has spurred an eclectic art and makers scene. The city’s Saturday market is one of the largest in the state, and the restaurants are top-notch. Not to mention, it’s less than an hour to one of the most scenic stretches of the Oregon coast and three hours to the state’s only national park – Crater Lake National Park.
Just east of Portland, Gresham is a suburb on the rise. What was once a working class neighborhood has become a sanctuary for Portlanders looking to get more for their money without losing access to jobs and perks of the nearby city. Long-term renters are moving to Gresham for more, making it an ideal city to invest in rental properties.
The growth in Gresham is reflected in its real estate value. Home values increased nearly 16% in the last year to an average of $469,500. And the potential for rental property is undeniable. While rentals are 20% lower than the national median at $1,645 for a two-bedroom, that price has increased by $267 in the last year.
Residents are drawn to Gresham's abundant outdoor space and a community of its own. The city features an impressive seven acres of multi-use community park space and 40 miles of paved path linking Gresham to surrounding metro areas. For avid skiers and hikers, Oregon’s largest peak – Mt. Hood - is just an hour away. For those working in Portland, the city is a 40-minute ride away on the city’s light rail, the MAX.
Next Steps for Investing in Rental Property in Oregon
Whether you live in Oregon or plan to invest from out of state, getting in touch with a local real estate agent should be your first move.
Agents who specialize in investment properties can offer strategies for finding neighborhoods with the highest potential and the best deals for you, especially if you’re a beginner in the real estate investment world.
Our friends at Clever Real Estate have already done the searching for you, scoping out top real estate agents in every corner of Oregon. Meet and assess agents selected just for you – for free with no obligation.
Where is the best place to buy rental property in Oregon?
Salem is the best place to buy rental property in Oregon, followed by Portland and Hillsboro. Learn how population growth has spurred increasing home values and rent prices in each of these cities.
How can I start investing in rental property?
The first step to investing in rental property is to find a local agent who knows the area well. Agents who specialize in investment properties can offer strategies for finding neighborhoods with the highest potential and the best deals for you, especially if you’re a beginner in the real estate investment world.
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