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Portland rent increases slow as apartment supply increases

COURTESY ABODO - Portland rent increases slowed in May, according to a recent report.Portland's skyrocketing rent increases have slowed, according to one organization that tracks apartment costs.

The most recent report from the ABODO online apartment resource says rent only went up 2 percent in Portland between April and May — dropping the city below the 10 cities with the highest increases for the first time in recent memory.

In fact, until recently, Portland was experiencing the highest rent increases in the country.

According to the organization's National Apartment Report for May 2016, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment moved from $1,216 to $1,237. The highest increase was in Seattle, where the rent for a one-bedroom apartment rose 11 percent. Boston came in at number ten with a 4 percent increase.

Sam Radbil, director of communications for ABODO, says the slowing is probably the result of more apartment projects being completed, something that is happening in many cities across the country.

"Vacancies in U.S. apartments were on the rise in the first quarter of 2016. A large number of new units finally hit the market, which caused a slowing of rent increases across the country. According to Reis, Inc., the vacancy rate moved up to 4.5 percent from 4.4 percent in the previous quarter. Essentially, when you have more supply in cities like Portland and demand coming back a bit, you're going to see rent prices level off," says Radbil.

The timing of the slowdown is also significant.

"Rent rates typically stabilize during the winter months and pick up again as the warm weather approaches. So, it's a great sign for Portland renters that rent growth has leveled off a bit," Radbil says.

Some cities are even seeing rents fall. The biggest drop was a 13 percent decline in San Antonio, the report says.

Some cities where rents increased faster than Portland are more affordable, however. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment increased 7 percent in Kansas City, but it is only $824. The same is true for Columbus, Ohio, where a 6 percent increase only raise the rent to $726.

The new report can be read at www.abodo.com/blog/may-2016-national-apartment-report.