Millennials losing interest in renting in Portland, report says


In the last five years, Portland was among the 15 most sought-after Gen Y hubs to rent in, but no longer

FILE – (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s reputation for being a popular hub for millennial renters appears to be slipping as other up-and-coming cities nationwide take the top spots.

According to a study from Rent Café, Portland ranked 13th overall among the top millennial hotspots for renters, on average, for the years 2015-2020, with 40.8% of the city’s rental requests coming from millennials.

However, the Rose City was knocked out of the top 15 spots for 2020 stand-alone projections, with Portland’s share of millennial rental applications dropping to 38.9%. The city now ranks 22nd overall.

Portland was outranked this year by up-and-coming West Coast favorites, like San Jose and Los Angeles, which boast higher shares of millennial rental requests — more than 44%.

The report, derived from anonymized renter application data, found that Portland is most popular among millennials from in-state cities or nearby towns, with Beaverton contributing to the largest share of the demographic at 20.9%. Portland also drew rental requests from Gen Y renters in Hillsboro (8.7 %), and Washington cities Vancouver (6.9%) and Seattle (4.3%).

Seattle appeared to be dethroned as the top hotspot for millennial renters. Though Seattle enjoyed the No. 1 spot on the list, on average, for the years 2015-2020 (50.5% share of millennial renters), stand-alone projections for 2020 place Seattle at No. 4 on the list (48.1%). Austin, Texas now takes the No. 1 spot with a 50.5% share of millennial renters followed by the Californian cities of San Francisco (48.6%) and Oakland (48.4%), which are respectively in the No. 2 and 3 spots.

Millennial homebuyer woes

As for U.S. millennial homebuyers, they may be plagued with greatly underestimating the amount of money needed for a down payment and most of them have little or no savings at all, according to a nationwide survey by

Seventy-four percent of the 7,000 prospective homebuyer millennials surveyed nationwide said they would be interested in purchasing a home in the next 12 months, but 88% of respondents between the ages of 25 and 40 years old have significantly fewer savings than the average national down payment amount, which is $62,600.

In Portland, to secure a 20% down payment for a median-priced home, millennials would need to save $82,925. That can take up to 13.5 years with consideration of the average savings rate of the last decade, 8%. With a more aggressive savings rate of 20% of their income each month, millennials in Portland would only need 5.4 years to save the money needed for the down payment.

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