Portland, OR

Friday in Portland: Rent prices skyrocket, U.S. Census data shows decline in population and more

Emily Scarvie

(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, March 25 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Portland experiencing some of the fastest rising rent prices in the U.S.

A new report from Redfin found that Portland rent prices are some of the fastest rising in the U.S., up nearly 39% from February 2021. The only metro area that experienced a faster rise was Austin, Texas, up 40%.

Nationally, the average rental rate increased by 15% compared to last year. The rising costs can be largely blamed on the housing market, which has become increasingly competitive. Because owning a home has become more expensive, some buyers are opting to rent instead. With more people renting, rent prices are going up.

To read Redfin’s full report, click here.

2. Multnomah County's population declined by 1.5% in 2021, U.S. Census finds

U.S. Census figures released Thursday show Multnomah County’s population dropped by 12,494 people last year, the largest decline of any county in the Portland area. The county’s population declined by 1.5% compared to an overall 0.2% decline for the seven-county region.

The decline in population happened amid job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in gun violence, ongoing political protests and increasing housing costs. At the same time Multnomah County’s population dropped, Oregon’s overall population grew by 0.54%.

Despite this, the loss is far less than what several other large metropolitan areas experienced. San Francisco saw a 6.3% decline in population. New York and Los Angeles also saw losses. To view the full census report, click here.

3. Portland Seafood and Wine Festival returns to the expo center this weekend

Starting Friday, the 16th annual Portland Seafood and Wine Festival kicks off at the Portland Expo Center. Fresh seafood from the Oregon coast, including Dungeness crab, scallops and oysters, as well as local wine, are just some of the items visitors can expect.

The festival will run 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available outside the expo center. The first 250 people in attendance each day will receive a commemorative Portland Seafood and Wine glass.

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