More Oregonians are becoming renters

, Posted: Fri, February 21 2014 at 8:47 PM, Updated: Fri, February 21 2014 at 10:20 PM

(OPB) The number of Oregonians living in their own homes has leveled off in recent years, but the portion of the population that's renting has strongly increased.

There is a combination of reasons why more people are renting. The price of houses has increased so much that people are priced out. It's more difficult for some residents to get financing and foreclosures forced some previous owners into the rental market.

At the peak of the housing boom in 2005, 70 percent of the population owned their homes and weren't renting. That’s according to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

Josh Lehner is a state economist. He says the increase in renters is not necessarily bad for the economy.

"We’re seeing increases in construction activity both on the single-family and multi-family side of things. So they’re both being positive boosts to the economy, regardless of what people want to live in you know. They’re both jobs in construction activity and things like that.”

Lehner says he doesn't see another home-buying boom like in 2005, but says gradually more renters will be able to buy homes.

Renting vs Owning in Oregon. Examining recent population trends.

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