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Salem, Oregon to be a popular destination for renters!

Boomers Booming According to Census 2010

By Chris Hagan of  Statesman Journal

…..The new numbers also showed Oregon to be a popular destination for renters, with the third-lowest rental vacancy rate in the nation at 6.5, a nearly 11 percent drop from 2000. Salem and Marion County sat at 6.7 percent.
New York had the lowest rental vacancy rate at 5.5 with California second at 6.3 percent. The national rate was 9.2 percent.
“There hasn’t been any new construction (of new rentals),” said Shirley Layne, a certified general appraiser with Powell Valuation. “Our supply is low and our demand is high.”
Layne said that Mid-Valley builders typically wait until the apartment vacancy rate gets below 5 percent before building.
A Powell survey for Salem-Keizer found a vacancy rate of 5.88 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
Beyond the vacancy rate, Layne said the Salem area lacks land suitable for apartment buildings. “Land is pretty scarce around Salem,” Layne said. “(Builders are) looking and shopping, but they’re not going to do anything until that vacancy rate gets down.”
Coupled with that, Oregon had one of the lowest home ownership rates in the nation at 62.2 percent, seventh-lowest among states.
Jamie Martinson, a senior adviser with Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisors, said the home ownership rate was a reflection of high home prices coupled with low wage growth in the state.
The Salem area ranks 117th nationally in the National Home Builders Association’s Housing Affordability Index, the best of the Oregon cities included in the survey.
“The combination of higher cost housing with lower wages, that’s why we rank where we rank,” Martinson said.

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