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U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Brian Sullivan
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 402-7527

July 11, 2013
U.S. Census Bureau
Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
(301) 763-3030

Press kit

Homeowners in Portland-Vancouver Metro Area Paid Median of $169,900, 2011 American Housing Survey Reports

Homeowners in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore.-Wash., metro area paid a median of $169,900 for their homes, according to a 2011 American Housing Survey profile of the metro area released today at The median purchase price of homes constructed in the past four years was higher at $225,900. Nationally, homeowners paid $110,000 overall and $235,000 for new construction. There was no statistically significant difference between the national and Portland median purchase price of homes constructed in the last four years.

(NOTE - To compare data profile on a number of housing characteristics for the Portland-Vancouver metro area at to national housing characteristics, vist the national national data profile at

The profile released today provides information on the area's housing costs, mortgages and a variety of other physical and financial characteristics about housing in the Portland area. The statistics come from the American Housing Survey, which is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and is the most comprehensive housing survey in the United States. National data are collected every odd-numbered year and metropolitan area data are collected on a rotating basis.

"The last five years remind us how central housing is to each of us personally, to the fiscal health of our cities and counties, and the national economy. For 40 years, the American Housing Survey has provided a unique set of data that connects the detailed characteristics of who is living in homes to the detailed characteristics of the homes themselves," said Kurt Usowski, HUD's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs. "From the American Housing Survey, we can see why people chose to move, how often homes need repairs, and the extent to which housing costs are outpacing income growth. All this information can help inform policymaking around continued recovery in Portland and other metropolitan areas."

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with HUD on these profiles," said the Census Bureau's Arthur Cresce, Jr., Assistant Division Chief for Housing Characteristics. "Analysts in government and business study the nation's housing very closely and the AHS yields a wealth of information that can be used by professionals in nearly every field for planning, decision-making, and market research."

Some highlights for the Portland area include:

Physical Characteristics

  • The median year occupied homes were built in the Portland area was 1977, compared with 1974 nationally.
  • In the Portland area, 46.2 percent of occupied homes used electric heating and 46.2 percent used piped gas. Nationally, piped gas was the main heating fuel, used by 50.4 percent of occupied homes. Electricity was used by 35.3 percent of occupied U.S. homes. There was no statistically significant difference in the percentages of homes using electric heating and those using piped gas in the Portland area.
  • Among owner-occupied homes in the Portland area, 39.0 percent had working carbon monoxide detectors, compared with 46.3 percent nationally.
  • Among Portland area homes, 52.2 percent of owner-occupied units in the area had central air, compared with 72.5 percent of units across the U.S.

Financial Characteristics

  • Median monthly expenditures for owners in the Portland area totaled $225 for real estate taxes, $94 for electricity and $50 for property insurance. Respective national medians were $151, $121 and $58.
  • Among the area's owner-occupied homes, 72.8 percent had a regular and/or home equity mortgage and 34.6 percent had a refinanced primary mortgage. The respective national rates were 65.4 percent and 23.4 percent.
  • Homeowners in the Portland area had median monthly mortgage payments of $1,285 in 2011, compared with $1,015 nationally.
The American Housing Survey coverage of the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore.-Wash., metro area matches the 2009 Office of Management and Budget definition.

For a complete set of tables from the American Housing Survey, definitions, sample design, and more