Is It Worth Renting Studio Apartments in Portland, OR?

Not many people know this, but Portland, Oregon was actually named after the city by the same name in Maine. Portland, Oregon is known for its diversity and high standard of living, diversity and eco-friendly attitudes. However, it is also infamous for its high cost of living, namely high rent prices. To combat these high prices, many people looking for apartments for rent in Portland are turning to studio apartment rentals.

What Are Studio Apartments?

A lot of first-time renters confuse studio apartment rentals with one-bedroom apartments. However, they are different! Studio and loft apartments can also be known as warehouse apartments. This is because historically, lofts were warehouses that had been converted into liveable spaces. Modern lofts are inspired by this concept and are typically one large open concept space.

Studio or loft apartments typically do not have designated rooms aside from a kitchen space and bathroom. On the other hand, one-bedroom apartments have designated room divisions like a bedroom, den, living room and so on. The terms “studio apartment for rent” and “loft apartment for rent” are sometimes used interchangeably as the two are very similar. The only real difference is size. Studio apartment rentals tend to be about 600 square feet, while lofts are usually double that.

Popular Studio Apartment Locations in Portland, Oregon

Renting studio apartments are exploding in popularity, especially among younger renters. So, it’s no surprise that certain neighborhoods are better known for their studio apartment rentals than others. Burnside Street, named for the Burnside Bridge is a popular location to find studio apartments for rent in Portland. This street is a popular location because of its views. It runs parallel to the Willamette River and is near the Burnside Bridge.

Plus, studio apartments for rent on Burnside Street are priced below the average rental cost for studio apartments in Portland, which is about $1520 per month. The majority of ApartmentLove’s studio apartment rental listings market for under $1300 per month! It's worth noting that, as a general rule, the cost of rent in Portland is up to 34% more than the national average, so prices that may seem high are actually quite reasonable for the location.

For the more frugal renter, it is possible to find apartments for rent under $1000 per month in Portland, Oregon. However, renters need to look to the suburbs. It is common for residents of suburban Portland to rent out portions of their home as studio or one-bedroom apartments, which you can rent as low as $650 per month. It’s a great compromise for individuals hoping to experience life in Portland and keep to a specific budget.

How affordable is Portland, Oregon?

In Portland, rent is higher than the national average, and so are groceries and transportation. But Portland can still be affordable for young professionals, students and families alike. Utility bills in Portland are among the most affordable in the country, being 12% lower than the national average. Additionally, the average annual salary in Portland is quite high.

As of 2022, the average Portland resident earns $69,969 annually or $34 per hour. The high salary makes Portland’s cost of living manageable and families are eligible for childcare subsidies and tax breaks to help offset the costs of raising children. It all balances out in the end! For example, a two-bedroom apartment for rent or any other suitable family accommodation will cost about $1795 per month. With a dual family income, that works out to be a rent cost of under $1000 per month, per earner. This is reasonable and very much in line with national apartment rental prices.

While rent, groceries and transportation in Portland are higher than the national average, the city makes up with higher salaries, lower utilities and childcare subsidies – making it still relatively affordable.

The High Cost is Worth It

Although the cost of living in Portland, Oregon may seem astronomical, the cost is well worth it as it guarantees a high standard of living for its residents. Much of what is spent by residents goes back into the city’s infrastructure. Portland is one of the best cities for public transportation in North America. The city has implemented their trademark TriMet System. This system connects busses, light rail and streetcar systems to make transportation within the city simple and seamless. It’s also fully accessible and runs exclusively on renewable energy.

Additionally, Portland has invested in transit-specific routes and pathways, like the Tilikum Crossing. This is a bridge, and it is the first of its kind, as it is exclusively for pedestrians and transit! The city also helps fund a bikeshare program in collaboration with Nike to ensure greener, quicker transport. It is very easy to find an apartment for rent in Portland that is near a transit hub or bikeshare hub.

Portland’s high cost of living has also resulted in the city having high-quality, free public education that ranks above the national average, with well over half of public-school graduates being proficient in literacy and maths (The national average sits below 50%). There is also an expansive list of credible publicly-funded postsecondary education institutions in Portland. The city hosts multiple universities, training colleges and seminaries. ApartmentLove makes it easy to find apartments for rent near any institution in the city.

Then there is also Portland’s famous greenspaces. The city boasts over 200 greenspaces that are all maintained with public funds. Mill End Park is the world’s smallest dedicated park, and Tom McCall Park is a massively important cultural center. The park was named for the former Oregon Governor Tom McCall. This location hosts several major annual events and festivals that bring in millions of dollars in revenue. These festivals include the Portland Rose Festival, the Oregon Brewers Festival and the Waterfront Blues Festival. Portland’s culture would not be the same without its public parks. With so many to choose from, locals recommend finding an apartment for rent near any one of the iconic greenspaces.

Diverse and eco-friendly, Portland is not worth sleeping on! Find apartments for rent in Portland, Oregon today.

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Published: November 24, 2022