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Population growth spurs housing cost increases

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Portland housing prices are skyrocketing as more people move to the area.People continue moving to Oregon at a record pace, with many if not most moving to the Portland area, helping to drive up housing costs.

For the third consecutive year, Oregon holds on to the No. 1 spot as the “Top Moving Destination” in United Van Lines’ 39th Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.

According to the survey, Oregon has consistently climbed the ranks in recent years, increasing inbound migration by 10 percent over the past six years. Washington moved up to 10th in this year's survey.

“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of people moving to the Pacific West, where cities such as Portland and Seattle are seeing the combination of a boom in the technology and creative marketing industry, as well as a growing ‘want’ for outdoor activity and green space,” Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California in Los Angeles, said in a United Van Lines press release with the survey.

You can read the survey at tinyurl.com/z84khoa.

Oregon's increasing popularity corresponds to sharp increases in housing costs, especially in Portland, where the City Council has declared a housing emergency because of the lack of affordable homes and apartments.

Portland home prices increased 10.9 percent in October from the same time last year, tying Denver and San Francisco at the top of the most recent monthly Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller home price index. The Hawthorne area was ranked number 5 on Redfin's 2015 list of the nation's most competitive neighborhoods for homebuyers. The real estate tracking firm said the median home sales $521,250, an 18 percent increase over last year.

The national average increase since last October was just 5.2 percent.

Portland rents increases are also the highest in the nation, jumping 12.5 percent in one year, according to MFP Research, a unit of property management software provider RealPage. The next highest increase was in Oakland, where rents rose 9.5 percent, followed by Sacramento at 9.1 percent.

The average rent increase in the 100 largest metro areas was just 4.8 percent, says MFP Research.

Read the USA Today story on the rent increases at tinyurl.com/jyos93h.

Another rent-tracking organization said Portland's rents did not increase that fast, however. Apartment List, a website that lists several hundred-thousand units for rent, recorded the local increase at 8.9 percent from December 2014 to December 2015.

But only a few cities had higher rent increases in the Apartment List result. One was Portland's neighbor to the north, Vancouver, which was number 1 at 16.7 percent — the highest in the nation.

Other cities with higher rent increases than Portland were Reno at11.3 percent, Colorado Springs at 9.7 percent, and San Jose at 9.1 percent.

You can read the report at bit.ly/1PJwY2A.