Portland REALTORS® Carry Forward Consumers’ Preferences
The Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area is growing fast, with the population expected to increase from its current 1.9 million to 2.9 million over the next 20 years. The anticipated growth raises important questions about development, such as where and what type of housing should be added. Over the years, residents have been left out of these discussions, but the Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® has worked to involve them in the housing discussion.
In 2014, the REALTORS® association joined with the Portland area’s local and regional governments and housing-related trade associations to help fund and develop a regional consumer preference study. The study was a one-of-a-kind collaboration between public and private entities, designed to learn residents’ housing preferences as a means of guiding development decisions. Survey responses were apportioned by demographic factors in order to capture a fully representative cross-section of the population.
The survey results, released in fall 2014, revealed that 80% of the more than 5,000 individuals surveyed said they would prefer to live in single-family detached homes. Most of the survey respondents said they would be willing to add another 10 to 15 minutes to their commutes to live in such housing. The survey also revealed disparities between the respondents’ desires and their actual living situations, with only 65% living in single-family detached homes.
The full impact of the survey is not yet known, but it is already helping to guide the future of Portland-area housing. Metro, the area’s regional government, is considering the survey results as it embarks on a required review of the area’s urban boundary. The review is to determine whether that border should be expanded.
Portland REALTORS® are now better able to lobby for ordinances and decisions that allow for more single-family homes, following long-standing client demand. The survey also helps REALTORS® develop priorities and informational resources for consumers, such as their association’s comprehensive website.
As the Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® has demonstrated, helping to make consumer voices heard in shaping planning decisions benefits everyone involved.