Silicon Valley On The Hunt For East Portland Homes

The big joke about Californians invading the Pacific Northwest is becoming serious fact.

As housing prices continue to creep up in the Golden State, Silicon Valley residents are starting to look north for homes in their price range, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

Excluding website searches from Portlanders, current data shows the Bay Area makes up 19 percent of all searches for Portland homes on Redfin’s website. That’s up from 9 percent in 2014.

Nela Richardson, a chief economist at Redfin, said Portland really has it all for the tech workers: A booming technology community, a smaller metro area with the culture of a bigger city and affordable housing prices.

“The trend is there and it’s growing,” said Richardson. “Portland is one of those cities that tech is heading to. I think they want to get ahead of where the next big opportunity is.”

Redfin’s data also shows home prices in the Bay Area topped $1 million for a 1,000-square-foot, single-family home, so it’s no wonder that Portland’s $375,000 houses are particularly appealing to tech employees who are able to work remotely. Sellwood is the most searched neighborhood, followed by Forest Heights, Laurelhurst, Irvington and Hawthorne.

“Doing that work from home in a pleasant atmosphere in the Silicon Forest versus in a small apartment makes a big difference in your quality of life,” said Richardson.

Portland offers a lot of amenities that big cities have at a pace that’s much slower.

With a median household income of $75,600 according to the latest U.S. Census data, incoming Californians also have a financial leg up when putting a bid on a Portland home. By comparison, Portlanders make a median household income of about $52,600 annually.

As a result, Redfin reports that Silicon Valley transplants are able to pay up to 20 percent more than the asking price in other real estate markets.

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