Portland’s cost of living has increased over the last decade making it one of the most expensive places to live. The median home cost is $427,500 well above the national average of $216,200.
There are 272,000 housing units in the metropolitan area with 120,000 of them being renter occupied. Apartments in Portland have an average rental rate of $1,428 with 1 bedroom apartments around $1,172 and three bedrooms at around $1,637.
The apartment vacancy rate in Portland are low at 4.4% for 2018. The low vacancy rate and strong rental demand has dramatically increased the amount of new apartment units that are being built.
There are currently 11,000 apartment units under construction with a total of about 35,000 more proposed.
Portland, Oregon is located in the beautiful Northwestern United States, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of July 2009, it has an estimated population of 582,130, making it the 30th largest city in the United States. Portland is Oregon's most biggest city, and the third most largest city in the Pacific Northwest, after Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Portland started as a spot known as "the clearing," which was on the banks of the Willamette about halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver. Portland experiences a very temperate climate that is usually described as Oceanic or Marine west coast, with mild, damp winters and relatively dry, warm summers.
Portland's metro area population growth has outpaced the national average during the last decade, with current estimates showing an 80% chance of population growth in excess of 60% over the next 50 years.
Computer components manufacturer Intel is the Portland area's largest employer, providing jobs for more than 14,000 residents, with several campuses to the west of central Portland in the city of Hillsboro. The metro area is home to more than 1,200 technology companies. This high density of technology companies has led to the nickname Silicon Forest being used to describe Portland, a reference to the abundance of trees in the region. Portland is home to the regional headquarters for Adidas. The metro area serves as the headquarters for the Columbia Sportswear corporation, Yakima Products and Nike, Inc.. Beaverton, Oregon's Nike, Inc. and Portland's Precision Castparts Corp. are the only two Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Oregon. The steel industry's history in Portland predates World War II. By the 1950s, the steel industry became the city's number one industry for employment. The steel industry still thrives in the region, with Schnitzer Steel Industries, a prominent steel company, shipping a record 1.15 billion tons of scrap metal to Asia during 2003. The aluminum industry expanded in the Portland area during the later half of the 20th century. This was primarily due to the comparatively low cost electricity in the region, courtesy of the many dams on local rivers.
Portland is home to many educational museums. They include: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), which includes many hands on activities for adults and children. OMSI consists of five main halls, most of which, consist of smaller laboratories: Earth Science Hall, Life Science Hall, Turbine Hall, Science Playground, and Featured Exhibit Hall. The Featured Exhibit Hall has a new exhibit every few months. The laboratories are Chemistry, Physics, Technology, Life, Paleontology, and Watershed.
The Portland Art Museum owns the city's largest art collection and presents a variety of touring exhibitions each year and with the recent addition of the Modern and Contemporary Art wing it became one of the United States' twenty five largest museums.
Like all American cities, Portland has a wide variety of neighborhoods that help make up the unique character of the city. These neighborhoods include, Alameda, Arbor Lodge, Ardenwald Johnson Creek, Argay, Arlington Heights, Arnold Creek, Ashcreek, Beaumont Wilshire, Boise, Brentwood Darlington, Bridgeton, Bridlemile, Brooklyn, Buckman, Cathedral Park, Centennial, Collins View, Concordia, Creston Kenilworth, Crestwood, Cully, Downtown, East Columbia, Eastmoreland, Eliot, Far Southwest, Forest Park, Foster Powell, Glenfair, Goose Hollow, Grant Park, Hayden Island, Hayhurst, Hazelwood, Healy Heights, Hillsdale, Hillside, Hollywood, Homestead, Hosford Abernethy, Humboldt, Irvington, Kenton, Kerns, King, Laurelhurst, Lents, Linnton, Lloyd District, Madison South, Maplewood Markham, Marshall Park, Mill Park, Montavilla, Mt. Scott Arleta, Mt. Tabor, Multnomah, North Tabor, Northwest District, Northwest Heights, Northwest Industrial, Old Town Chinatown, Overlook, Parkrose, Parkrose Heights, Pearl District, Piedmont, Pleasant Valley, Portsmouth, Powellhurst Gilbert, Reed, Richmond, Rose City Park, Roseway, Russell, Sabin, St. Johns, Sellwood Moreland, South Burlingame, South Portland, South Tabor, Southwest Hills, Sullivan's Gulch, Sumner, Sunderland, Sunnyside, Sylvan Highlands, University Park, Vernon, West Portland Park, Wilkes, Woodland Park, Woodlawn and Woodstock.
Portland is served by six public school districts and many private schools. Portland Public Schools is the largest school district. There are also many colleges and universities the largest being Portland Community College, Portland State University, and Oregon Health and Science University. The city is also home to such private universities as the University of Portland, Reed College, and Lewis and Clark College.
Some Portlanders use mass transit for their daily commute. In 2008, 12.6 percent of all commutes in the city were on public transit. TriMet operates most of the region's buses and the MAX (short for Metropolitan Area Express) light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs. Westside Express Service, or WES, opened in February 2009 as commuter rail for Portland's western suburbs, linking Beaverton and Wilsonville. The citiy’s Streetcar operates from the south waterfront, through Portland State University and north to nearby homes and shopping districts. Within the Free Rail Zone, a designated geographic ortlandarea centered in downtown, rides on TriMet's MAX and streetcar systems are free. Fifth and Sixth avenues within downtown comprise the Portland Transit Mall, two streets devoted primarily to bus and light rail traffic with limited automobile access. Intense public transit development continues as two light rail lines are under construction, as well as a new downtown transit mall linking several transit options. TriMet also provides real-time tracking of buses and trains with its TransitTracker and even makes the data available to software developers so they can create customized tools of their own.
Portland's main airport is Portland International Airport, located about 20 minutes by car (40 minutes by MAX) northeast of downtown.
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