Is the Affordability Window Closing on Portland Real Estate as the World Heats Up?
Climate change is real. Its effects are being felt currently, across the globe and across the United States. And, those effects will only grow for the foreseeable future. Even with full global participation in measures meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions, we are likely looking at several decades of rising temperatures and sea levels, increased severe weather patterns, and the list goes on. Thankfully, here in Portland, we may escape the worst effects of rising global temperatures. And it isn’t too late to get into a home in our neck of the woods for what is a comparably affordable price.
Though Portland has made headlines for the heat dome in 2021, and the wildfires of 2020, we are projected to suffer from only marginal increases in winter rain and somewhat warmer summers as climate change drastically alters the concept of livability in other parts of the country. And, though the verdict is still out on whether or not Portland will be a “safe haven” from climate change effects in the second half of the 21st Century, at least insurers haven’t begun to refuse to sell homeowner policies as they have started to in other more affected states like Florida.
Rising Real Estate and Building Costs
For many decades leading up to being discovered as a perennial “best place to live” Portland was largely off the radar of developers and enjoyed a relative level of prosperity in comparison to cost of living that was challenging to find in Western cities in the second half of the 20th Century. Maybe it was the rain. Regardless, those days are largely behind us. Portland has seen record growth and gentrification over the past twenty to thirty years, and along with it rising real estate costs.
Affordability, coupled with a city art and culture scene that punches well above its weight, a world-renowned food scene, and proximity to postcard-worthy scenery is driving Portland’s growth so fast that it is difficult to imagine property values and rents not catching up to San Francisco, Seattle, and even Southern California prices in the near future. Ironically, the comparable affordability of Portland that led so many to cash out of more expensive markets to enjoy their own version of the “dream of the nineties” in Portland, has led to so much growth that the dream is all but over.
A Future of Climate Change-Fueled Growth and Affordability
Climate migration is coming. Northern states are preparing for waves of migration from other parts of the country harder hit by the effects of climate change. As the growth of Portland continues, and areas harder hit by climate change become less desirable and property becomes harder to insure against fire, flood, etc. the potential for people to cash out of a hot California, Florida, etc. real estate market and relocate to the “more affordable” Pacific Northwest will become a dicier proposition. The end of affordability may be rapidly approaching.
An Investment in Portland’s Future and Your Own
We spend most of our time on this blog writing about the benefits of living in diverse and inclusive communities, the amazing area that we are fortunate enough to call the home of Portland’s Newest Cohousing Community, and ways to make soup. This blog post, though a bit more pragmatic in nature, still represents an invitation to come join with us in community, to get into an area that may not be affordable in the future. Come join us at an upcoming learn about session to see what we’re all about.