Portland is the largest city in Oregon, with a population of more than half a million residents. Over the course of a decade, in the 1990’s, Portland’s population experienced a growth rate of 21%, but over the first half of this decade, growth has dropped significantly to 1%.
During the first three quarters of 2007, Portland was one of only three cities in the United States where prices of homes continued to rise, despite the economic downturn in the US. However, in the last quarter of 2007, housing prices in Portland started to decline and it has been estimated that prices declined by approximately 3.5% between April 2007 and April 2008. The median sale price of a home in Portland this year is $266,000. Property taxes in Portland are assessed at $16.40 per $1,000 of assessed value of the property.
Home prices have been relative high in Portland‘s real estate market compared to other big cities in Oregon because it is home to some of the largest companies in the United States, such as Intel and Nike. The technology sector plays a huge part in Portland’s economy, with over 1,700 companies located within the metropolitan area. In 2007, the city of Portland registered over 2,500 start-up companies, comprised of venture capitalists and local entrepreneurs. Portland’s unemployment rate, however, remains among the highest in the nation.
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Earlier this year, CNN/Money.com voted the city of Portland as the sixth among the top 100 cities to live and launch. SustainLane, an online media company which promotes the concept of “going green,” named Portland as the most sustainable urban city in America, and among the top ten cities best prepared for an oil crisis.