Lesser-Known Portland Neighborhoods to Invest In

Overhead shot of Portland's Pearl District

There was a time when Portland residents wouldn’t go east of 60th Ave. Then that line moved back to 82nd Ave. At this point in the market, people will take anything so long as it says ‘Portland’ on the mailing envelope.

That’s because, even with other big cities slowing down, Portland has continued as one of America’s hottest real estate markets. That begs the question: with all the recent investment and development, is there any decent property left?

The answer, in short, is yes. It just depends on how far you’re willing to look.

Inner Portland has become nearly impossible to find available property. Previously built homes last for mere days before they’re snatched up. If you want to build and invest in Portland, you have to look into its outer neighborhoods.

Fortunately, urban renewal projects have sprung up all over; areas that were previously “untouchable” have turned into desirable neighborhoods. Here are a few that you should keep your eye on, if you’re looking to invest in Portland real estate:


Powell Butte Nature Park in Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood

Powell Butte Nature Park

Powellhurst-Gilbert is a quieter and slightly less expensive neighborhood than Foster-Powell, which borders on the east. Homes have an average median sales price of $250,775.

Powellhurst-Gilbert is best known for being family-friendly and one of the most culturally diverse areas in town. Its proximity to nature is possibly its biggest selling point – minutes outside the area is Powell Butte Nature Park, a gorgeous, 600-acre area where, on a clear day, you can see all five major mountain peaks.

Beyond diversity, this is a tight-knit community with great schools and a very active neighborhood association (it was named 2009 Spirit of Portland Neighborhood of the Year).


Families used to be discouraged to move to Foster-Powell due to its high burglary rates. That’s since gone down, mostly in step with the development the neighborhood has undergone.

Foster-Powell is one of the closest neighborhoods that still have affordably-priced homes in Portland. The average median listed price is $369,900 for new homes. It has great public transit, with bus lines that run directly into downtown, and its major road is the subject of possibly decreasing from four lanes to two in order to promote safer biking and walking.

In terms of livability, it ranks amongst the best in the city. There’s the ever-popular Mercado food cart pod, which serves some of the best Latin American food in the city, as well as local favorites like Foster Burger and Best Baguette.


The locally-famous "Paul Bunyan Statue" in North Portland

Paul Bunyan Statue in North Portland

Home to University of Portland, Portsmouth is a quiet and charming area in the northern part of the city whose home prices still haven’t caught up with its neighbors: at an average of $405,000 for a new home, it’s well below that of neighboring St. Johns and Kenton.

Portsmouth is a popular area for renovating old homes, and dubbed by many to be a perfect area for first-time home buyers. Walking the quiet streets, you’ll see architectural charm in the style of Craftsman, Bungalows, Victorians and Cape Cods.

The neighborhood has two elementary schools as well as a middle school, with plenty of parks and public events to engage with the community. Nearby is the popular N Lombard St, which has a host of shops and restaurants.


Milwaukie made headlines years back when construction was finished for TriMet’s Orange Line, thus facilitating connection between Portland and its neighboring suburb.

And as a suburb, Milwaukie’s property value is expected to increase steadily as a result of spillover from Portland’s surging market. It’s already seen an immediate jump, with listed home prices going up 12.2 percent shortly after the Orange Line was finished. Currently, the median home price sits at $309,000, which is 25% lower than Portland’s metro area.

Milwaukie is by no means a “back-up” city: it has its own downtown, with a selection of quaint restaurants, bars and shops. It also sits right on the Willamette River, which features beautiful riverfront property that is ripe for further development.


Around 1944, Hazelwood community members advocated for homes that were built further back from sidewalks, as well as having plenty of yard space for residents. The result was spacious lots and a layout that’s largely distinct from other Portland neighborhoods.

In that, Hazelwood is one of Portland’s largest neighborhoods. It includes most of the Gateway Urban Renewal Area, which is a major effort to enhance the livability of the region. For this reason, many businesses are opening or choosing to relocate here.

Median home prices are amongst the lowest in the city, currently priced around $286,000. Those prices have risen recently, and are expected to jump again as the area gets further developed.

Word has already gotten out on Portland’s potential for investment, but there’s still plenty of desirable property and upcoming neighborhoods to keep an eye on. Our most important advice is that, when you see a property you’re interested in, please advance quickly. Like we said, homes are on the market for mere days before they’re scooped up.

In that, we invite you to check out our investment properties to see what’s available now.