Portland, OR Real Estate Market Shows Resilience, Boasts Tax Advantages of Property Ownership

Portland, OR has plenty of unique features that should make its real estate market attractive to many prospective homebuyers and investors. The real estate market in this part of the nation has proven to be more resilient than the national housing market as a whole.

Moreover, the region is faring much better than the national and most of the local real estate markets in terms of the overall fiscal burden associated with real property ownership. Here are some of the distinguishing features of the Portland, OR market that should make it a preferred location for buying a home or investment property:

Resilient real estate market. The residential real estate market in Portland, OR has proven more resilient in the current downturn than most other local real estate markets in the United States. Prices in the area have declined so far by 20% from their peak, while nationwide they have fallen by 30%. At the same time, foreclosure rates in Portland, OR have climbed to 1.8% as of September 2009, while nationwide they hover around 2.9%. Moreover, the 90-plus-day mortgage delinquency rate in Portland and Oregon was 4.8%, while nationally it was 7.1%. All this suggests that the market in Portland, OR remains well suited for continued appreciation in housing values in the coming years, which should bode well for housing investments.

· Favorable fiscal conditions. Oregon ranks 36th in terms of the overall tax burden that it imposes on its citizens. Oregon’s total state and local tax burden is about 10.5%, compared with the U.S. average of 11.2%. The State is also one of the few in the nation that does not levy sales or use taxes. In Oregon, residents are also exempted from paying motor vehicle excise taxes, business/occupational taxes, direct levies on intangible property such as investment securities. All these tax reliefs can significantly improve the overall cost of living, boosting the disposable income of residents and thereby supporting housing affordability.

· Lower property taxes. Property taxes in the State of Oregon and Portland as a local real estate market are more favorable than those in many other States and local real estate markets in the nation. Oregon ranks 27th in the nation in terms of property taxes levied on owner-occupied housing, according to the Tax Foundation. The State’s ratio of median real estate taxes to median home value of 0.81% is well below the nation’s average of 0.96%. In fact, Multnomah County, in which Portland is located, with the ratio of 0.91%, is ranked 383rd in the nation in terms of its property tax as a percentage of home value. This makes it more favorable in terms of property taxes than 49% of the counties in the United States and less burdensome than the nationwide average of 0.96%.

The aforementioned characteristics of the real estate market in Portland, OR and the State of Oregon as a whole contribute to the attractiveness of the regional real estate market. These features should provide an impetus to many homebuyers and investors to purchase a piece of real property in this part of the nation that promises a high return on investment coupled with the joy of property ownership.

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