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Urban homes in Portland are now worth more than those in the suburbs

City living is all the rage these days, and according to a new report from Zillow, the trend is paying off for homeowners.

The real estate company reported this week that urban home values are surpassing those in the suburbs in most of the country’s major metro regions. In Portland, the average urban home is worth $340,413; out in the suburbs, the average is about $8,350 less, or $332,050.

On the flip side, despite rising rental rates all over, Zillow reported that the average rent for an urban home is $1,801; in the suburbs, it’s about $20 higher per month.

Zillow noted that the trend leaning in favor of urban home values is a shift from what has long been the norm, i.e. that homes in the suburbs have tended to have higher values. The firm attributes that shift in part to the living preferences of millennials, who have been flooding into urban areas in search of walkable neighborhoods, condos, apartments and the amenities of city life.

According to Zillow, the trend is impacting low-income residents who have historically lived in cities to be close to work and services. They are now being pushed out into the suburbs as wealthier residents move closer in. In a release about the new trend, Zillow noted that in San Francisco and Seattle, high-income people make shorter commutes to downtown, while low-income people are traveling farther to get to work in the urban core.

The company based its analysis of urban and suburban home values on a survey asking whether people classified their neighborhoods as either urban, rural, or suburban. Zillow reported that it then “used characteristics of those places to extrapolate the results and define zip codes all over the country.

By looking at home values within those areas, Zillow could see how home values have fared in each type of place over the years.”


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