Portland Oregon vs. Vancouver BC

I just returned from a trip to Portland Oregon and thought it would be interesting to compare this specific US market to Vancouver. Portland is the 3rd largest city in the pacific northwest, after Vancouver and Seattle. Like most place Portland has seen a large increase in house prices, but has seen the market cool or drop recently.

According to the most recent numbers I can find:

Vancouver median family income for 2004: $56,200. (source)
Portland median income for 2003: $67,900 usd. (source)

Vancouver average house price March 2006: $705,000. (source)
Portland average house price: $318,200 usd. (source)

Converting the Portland numbers to $CAD at today exchange rate gives you an average household income of $77,107 CAD to buy the average house costing $361,347.

Here’s a specific example on house prices in Portland: The house I was staying in was located in North Portland, 15-20 minutes out of the downtown core. In Vancouver terms I think it would be approximately like southeast vancouver. This is an older 2 story ‘fixer upper’ house on a double lot with full basement and some renovations on a quiet street near a major road. The house was recently assessed at $230,000.

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Digi
Digi
12 years ago

They both have their own advantages – you will find Vancouver much more expensive than its ever been with the current exchange rate. I was just in portland last weekend and I couldn't believe how cheap everything was, food, clothes, etc. It also helps that they have no sales tax. Vancouver has great asian food, pho and sushi, and the seawall is a great place to walk if the weather is nice (might be in May). Portland has excellent Mexican food and more variety of culture in terms of the art and music scene. Both cities are a similar size. I love the oregon coast, it's open with great crashing waves and much calmer / slower than either city, plan on about a one hour drive from Portland and its worth stopping by 'camp 18' for a meal along the… Read more »

bittoo
bittoo
12 years ago

I live in pullman wa. Was deciding upon going to either Portland Oregon + nearby Oregon beaches or else to Vancouver Canada on a 3 day tour sometime in May this year. Can someone help with their suggestions please. Thanks.

Alpha_Bear
Alpha_Bear
13 years ago

patriotz said:"Why on earth would a lower-income working person want to move to Vancouver from elsewhere in Canada? At least they would have a crack at buying a house in Moose Jaw or Winnipeg. Is having rain instead of snow worth living in a basement suite all your life?"If you don't need to work, there are much cheaper places to live than Vancouver. A few months ago an acquaintance purchased a house in Eyebrow, Saskatchewan (north-west of Moose Jaw) for $1300. No, that's not a typo, he paid only thirteen hundred dollars Canadian at a tax sale. He's in the process of fixing it up as his summer cottage.Just over a year ago, I met a couple who were happy to have paid $30,000 for a small house in downtown Thompson, Manitoba. In addition to the low purchase price, they… Read more »

ReductiMat
ReductiMat
13 years ago

I can be contacted at Riverview.No kidding! I waited in line for four days to get in on the latest Rennie conversion, but should have shown up a day earlier. By the time they came around to me they only had the Utility Closet left for $850,000.I'm not going to make the same mistake again. I hear he is going to do magic beside the Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Londonernow
Londonernow
13 years ago

You can't be comparing Vancouver to Portland just because each is in roughly the same geographic area, and have similar sized populations and comparable industries/economies. Instead, you should be comparing Vancouver with NY, London or Tokyo which obviously makes much more sense.

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

its mild climate tend to attract the poorest of Canadians.If you're talking about the homeless, yeah sure. But there aren't enough of them to skew the median income, even if they were included, which I doubt.Why on earth would a lower-income working person want to move to Vancouver from elsewhere in Canada? At least they would have a crack at buying a house in Moose Jaw or Winnipeg. Is having rain instead of snow worth living in a basement suite all your life?The magnet for working poor Canadians has long been, and continues to be, Alberta, for pretty obvious reasons.

solipsist
solipsist
13 years ago

My favorite thing about Portland (well Oregon in general)My favourite thing about Oregon is the pronunciation Organ by the Organonians. Though, Grant's Pass is pretty cool driving in a blizzard too.

solipsist
solipsist
13 years ago

I'll see you in the Heaven(TM). reductimat – you are such a brander! Do you do consultations?I can be contacted at Riverview.666-666-6666 (fax line)

ReductiMat
ReductiMat
13 years ago

Dingus, be careful. This could be the return of the Jesus!I think it's a test. He's hiding instructions on how to escape the coming rapture. I think I have it mostly decoded.I'll see you in the Heaven(TM).

dingus
dingus
13 years ago

I'm still puzzling over "So when we have a potential to grow heven high some one is holding our legs like wrestler,what will happen as soon us will with draw from Iraq and Afghan their economy will climb the chart right away but till that time Vancouver will cross 2010(opportunity to grow)then this same no people will bite their nails while looking at us mkt. up BEWARE OF US do not loose golden chance."I got as far as "there's an Afghani wrestler who will participate in the 2010 winter games who's holding my legs and biting my fingers, so beware of him. Oh, and he'll pay a lot for my house" …but I'm not sure that's correct. Any hints? Anyone…anyone…?

WoodenHorse
WoodenHorse
13 years ago

sorry for the spelling/grammar in the above. Written in a hurry.

WoodenHorse
WoodenHorse
13 years ago

Freako said….I think they are proving the illogic rather than applying logic. Does it matter? Can't hurt pushing logical arguments in an illogical world. True true. But I've said this before (and if I'm not mistaken Solipsist and yourself have stated much to the same) and I'll say it again. This housing market is so over the top, so out of wack with underlying fundamentals that I thing the burden of proof is on the Bull side. What is so different today vs. 2000? What has changed that would warrent a doubling of property values.If you read Ben Jones' site you see that every area that is currently crashing put forth the same tired arguements as the bulls put forth for Vancouver. Rich Asians, Solid Economy…blah blah blah.Oh…and btw Anon 10:53…I think you dropped one of your pompoms over there… Read more »

homestyle
homestyle
13 years ago

I would have said that Vancouver vs. Portland was an unfair comparison, but population-wise they are actually very close.City: ~500,000, Metro: ~2,000,000, State/Province: ~4,000,000Driving through Oregon on the I-5 it's almost all cows and crappy little mills, but maybe that's BC for the most part as well…

dingus
dingus
13 years ago

anon:Parsing your comments has replaced Sudoko as my morning brain teaser.

Freako
Freako
13 years ago

Comparing Vancouver with Portland is not that fair, as Vancouver has a very large immigrant population, and its mild climate tend to attract the poorest of Canadians.Doesn't that prove the point? We are poor, yet pricy?I'm guessing its because they have a more robust economy.. Generally, higher national incomes are related to higher producivity.Why are any of you trying apply logic to what is clearly an illogical situation? I think they are proving the illogic rather than applying logic. Does it matter? Can't hurt pushing logical arguments in an illogical world.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

If us mkt. stay up while they are dealing with terrorism,Vancouver will fly high over mountain.Do you think us will help canada to grow up so they decide to fight terrorism till 2010.So when we have a potential to grow heven high some one is holding our legs like wrestler,what will happen as soon us will with draw from Iraq and Afghan their economy will climb the chart right away but till that time Vancouver will cross 2010(opportunity to grow)then this same no people will bite their nails while looking at us mkt. up BEWARE OF US do not loose golden chance.Vancouver is beautiful city of the world.Peaceful most advance awesome buses and skytrain convenient,pullution free ,lots of beach,mountains,night life, very creative and cost of living is very high(ICBC and HYDRO is hard to handel monopoly)There is no country in… Read more »

the pope
the pope
13 years ago

..And as VHB rightly points out, homeowners in American cities can write off their mortgage interest, which would make a big difference on its own for 'affordability'.Woodenhorse: if exhuberance got us into this mess why can't it get us out?

the pope
the pope
13 years ago

Hey Markx: It is true that Portland is not an even comparison to Vancouver, but I find that sometimes after an extended period of time here I start to think that Vancouver represents reality, and it is jarring to see how far from fundamentals we've come.The interesting thing is there are still concerns about affordability and the quick run-up of prices in Portland, even at those 'low' prices. Two years ago the $230k house I mentioned was assessed at $160k.

WoodenHorse
WoodenHorse
13 years ago

Why are any of you trying apply logic to what is clearly an illogical situation?

Van Housing Blogger
Van Housing Blogger
13 years ago

Don't forget our yankee friends get a tax deduction for their home mortgage interest. We don't.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

I don't think those numbers should shock anyone. I've seen like stats and that is why I cannot believe our RE market. Most cannot afford the RE but will over-extend themselves to get into it. The return to sanity is slow but it seems we're headed that way.

markx
markx
13 years ago

Comparing Vancouver with Portland is not that fair, as Vancouver has a very large immigrant population, and its mild climate tend to attract the poorest of Canadians. Comparing Vancouver to Seattle would be farier, although Seattle is a bit behind in overall US bubble curve, and people there also think "all real estates are local". It would be fair to compare the run-up in Vancouver to the run-up in portland, as Vancouver is historically unaffordable relative to other North American cities.

digi
digi
13 years ago

I'm guessing its because they have a more robust economy.. My favorite thing about Portland (well Oregon in general) is no sales tax! What you see on the price tag is what you pay! I love that!

ken
ken
13 years ago

Why is the average income in Vancouver so low compared with most american cities? Even before you figure out the exchange rate the number is lower, how can this be?