Spring 2020 Apartment Report from Multifamily NW

Every Spring and Fall, Multifamily NW releases a detailed report on the multifamily market in Oregon. Here are some takeaways from the Spring 2020 Apartment Report.

The Portland Metro area continued its upward trend in 2019 with steady job and population growth. The market finished 6,500 new multifamily units in 2019.

In early 2020, CoStar reported 7,100 units under construction in the Portland Metro area. However, with the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the market is facing an unprecedented challenge. According to CoStar, “The health, economic, and regulatory impacts of COVID-19 have shifted the development landscape. As of late March 2020, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the apartment market and a timeline for recovery…”

All is not doom and gloom. Some projects in the planning stages will move forward with time allowed to address the limitations of the current market. But we should be prepared for potential impacts as “lending will become more of a challenge as some lenders exit the business of construction loans and others will turn more conservative. The tightening regulations and higher equity requirements will exclude developers with tighter margins.”

Overall, “Fundamentals in 2019 remained strong and construction showed little sign of slowing. 2020 will be a different story. The uncertainty regarding the impact of COVID-19 will slow future development as many builders are taking a wait and see approach. Given the possible depth of this downturn, most developers will wait for additional market clarity before deciding on whether to proceed.”

If you have questions about Energy Trust’s response to COVID-19, or our incentives, please contact Nate Collins, trade ally coordinator, at 503.278.3075.