The “Californication” of Oregon
It’s no secret that Oregonians aren’t fans of Californians moving in, But Why?
Ever since the early 1940’s the James G. Blaine Society, whose goal was zero population growth for Oregon has tried and failed at preventing Californians from moving to beautiful Oregon. Over the years several have tried to re-invent the efforts of the Blaine Society. Even previous Oregon Gov. Tom McCall gave the movement a boost when he famously told viewers of “CBS Evening News”: “Come visit us again and again. This is a state of excitement. But, for heaven’s sake, don’t come here to live.” But advertising for tourism continued, and Oregon kept rapidly gaining residents.
According to a study done there is on average 111 new people moving to the Portland Metro Area everyday. That’s over 40,000+ people each year. In the last year, it has become less and less affordable in Portland. Housing prices have jumped 9.4% and are steadily rising, but some people’s salary can’t keep up with the cost of living. Some incoming residents with high-paying salaries are able to work remotely while maintaining the high paying job from California. Now, Californians aren’t the only ones to blame but they tend to take the brunt of the abuse. In a recently released report from LinkedIn, it reveals that Oregon remains one of the most popular destinations for relocating Californians.
Back in September 2015 someone started putting “No Californians” stickers (Represented by the outline of the state and a red slash though it) on Portland Real Estate signs and was said “to be a passive aggressive move by a resident with a chip on their shoulders about the local housing market.” People are very upset over the housing market in Portland, prices are high and rising fast and driving some out of the market entirely and forcing them to move somewhere else more affordable and possibly less desirable to them. Residents are afraid Portland will turn into the next San Francisco.
There are several other factors aside from the “Californication” of Oregon that are causing the housing market growth leading to the upset of locals. Low Inventory is still a huge factor. After the housing bubble burst in 2007-2008 many homeowners were under water on their mortgage. Many, if they were lucky enough to stay out of foreclosure or short sale waited the bubble out and are now getting back to the point of what they paid for their home. Now because of having 10 years of trying to recover and gain the value back on their homes they still have very little to no equity in their homes, making it hard for some to sell at this point in time. All while the market is flooded with buyers and huge increases in values.
First time homebuyers make up a huge portion of the current competition in the market, followed by investors and up/downsizing. Not to mention the still very low interest rates. Also some of the potential sellers that would like to sell but aren’t, are too afraid to get into the market now because they are afraid they will sell their current home and not be able to find something to buy. Needless to say the entire Portland Metro Area is a hot market right now. Several homes going into multiple offer bidding wars and in several cases going for well over the asking price. But, Portland’s housing is more affordable than several other metro area cities, which has seriously contributed to the continued rise in migration to Oregon. Wealthier households have driven most recent growth in the Portland Metro Area and currently Portland is second only to Seattle, Washington.
I myself am a Californian that has moved to beautiful Oregon and have no plans on moving back to California. My wife and I were unable to afford to buy a home in San Jose, California and on our salaries we were struggling to survive. We had no house to sell when we moved up to Portland, Oregon. I myself was met with a little bit of hostility from locals and didn’t understand why. I wasn’t selling a million dollar plus house and buying up multiple homes with cash. I had no home, I had no money, quite a bit of debt and trying to make it just living paycheck to paycheck. Now my wife and I have been able to pay down a substantial amount of debt, I have been able to change to a career I enjoy (Yes, I am now a Realtor in Portland) and able to buy our first home together, a cozy condo in Sherwood, Oregon.