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Think Out Loud

Own or Rent?

Pete Springer/OPB

OK, so it’s true home prices in the Portland Metro area (and most everywhere else across the state) are at their lowest since the housing bubble burst. But there seems to be some good news too, with Happy Valley realtors celebrating a new development there — and the ground-breaking of long-awaited affordable housing units in Portland’s South Waterfront neighborhood. More important than anything, says Portland State University’s Gerry Milder, are unemployment numbers. Those are down, helping spur hope for a recovery.

He says one big factor in whether people buy houses is confidence. Some of that has to do with how confident they are the housing market has reached bottom. But whether that actually has happened or just about to happen, Milder says, shouldn’t matter in the long run. You should be looking to keep your house for seven to ten years, so a few percentage points either way in the short term really won’t matter.

On the other side of the market, if you’re trying to rent an apartment or house, you might find it harder than you bargained for. Vacancy rates are way down.

Have you recently bought or rented a home? Are you currently looking? What factors are you weighing? Are you trying to sell or rent your home? What’s your experience been like in Oregon’s real estate waters?


Gerry Mildner: Director of the Center for Real Estate at Portland State University

housing economy real estate

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OPB | Broadcast: April 27, 2011