Oct 23, 2023 - Real Estate

Most Portland Gen Z renters are cost-burdened

Share who spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing in the Portland area, 2022
Credit: Data: Census Bureau; Note: Based on household income. Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

​​Two-thirds of the Portland metro area's youngest renters spend at least 30% of their income on rent, according to the latest U.S. census data.

Why it matters: The data shows the financial pressure on the region's youngest workers and students at a time when the Rose City is seeing record-level outmigration.

Yes, but: It's not just here.

Meanwhile, steep prices and mortgage rates pose seemingly insurmountable hurdles to homeownership for younger generations — and renting isn't necessarily an affordable alternative.

State of play: One in three Gen Z-ers (34%) surveyed by Freddie Mac say owning a home feels impossible in their lifetime, up from 27% in 2019.

  • Saving for a down payment is the biggest obstacle: It's one reason the typical first-time homebuyer last year was a record-high 36 years old, per the National Association of Realtors.

Zoom out: America's housing shortage has helped hike the cost of buying and renting.

Reality check: Renters over 65 in Portland are also facing a cost burden, part of a national trend contributing to rising homelessness among Baby Boomers, The Wall Street Journal reports.


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