Trulia offers insight on how the residential market helps fuel commercial real estate growth.
by Jennifer Riner for Trulia.

From food to brews, small businesses in Portland are flourishing.

Farm-to-table cuisine and craft beer are inherently entangled in Portland’s quirky culture, and people can’t seem to get enough. Between July 2014 and July 2015, the metro area grew by 111 people per day. That’s 40,621 new residents – or 1.72 percent growth – ranking Portland the No. 19 fastest growing city that year. Incredible opportunities for local business developments are in Portland, whether you plan to open a dynamic brewpub, locally-sourced pizza joint or curated clothing boutique.

Aside from the high quality of life in Portland, driven by factors like top-notch eateries, environmental sustainability and a picturesque backdrop, Portland’s residential real estate market and local economy entice newcomers:

More People, More Demand

Currently, the median price on homes for sale in Portland is $375,000. Just five years ago, the median residential sales price was a cool $243,000. Between 2015 and 2016, Portland’s home prices and population grew 9.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. Thanks to a swift housing market crisis recovery, where home prices rallied 115 percent compared to pre-recession highs, many savvy home buyers see Portland as a smart place to settle down. For renters, prices are moderate compared to nearby metros with similar comforts and economic desirability. At a median rent price of $1,950 per month, Portland ranks better in rental affordability compared to both Seattle ($2,650) and San Francisco ($4,325).

 Sustainable Job Growth

Back in August, the state of Oregon reported its 50th consecutive month of job growth at 4,600 new positions. Concurrently, Oregon realized a 3.3 percent annual surge in jobs – doubling the national rate. The largest job gains are earmarked to low- and high-wage positions, which isn’t an anomaly when you consider the deep impact the Great Recession had on the middle class on a national scale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Portland’s unemployment rate is below the national average at 4.4 percent.

Now that you know why businesses in Portland are thriving, consider the where. The following emerging neighborhoods facilitate the appealing live-work-play lifestyle that Portland is known for – and could be ideal locales for successful business ventures.

Downtown/West End

Unlike other cities where “downtown” is a place you begrudgingly enter and hurriedly depart after 5 p.m., Portland’s center city does not go dead after dark. Most Downtown restaurants and bars are casual yet thoughtful, emulating Portland’s broader culture and philosophy to a tee. The median sales price on homes in Downtown Portland rose 10 percent over the last year while the median rent grew over 250 percent, demonstrating a considerable boost in the neighborhood’s popularity.


As the home to inner East Burnside, Kerns has held its position as one of the best foodie neighborhoods outside of Downtown for years. Home prices in Kerns jumped 8.5 percent since last year, while residential rents rose an impressive 22 percent.

Southeast Portland/Richmond

Division Street is known for its modern housing and high-end amenities, and prices reflect such exclusivity. Even so, the aptly-named Restaurant Row offers an extensive mix of both dive dining and top-tier bistros. Richmond for-sale prices are 11.5 percent higher than last year, but apartment rents remained unchanged.

Following residential real estate trends is a fail-safe strategy, but venturing outside of the most popular zones is another approach. Your business could be the first in a neighborhood that’s due to face sizable expansion and admiration.