Trends in Portland Metro Homeownership Affordability

Home Ownership Affordability (5% Down Payment)

Homebuyers are typically required to put a 20% down payment on a house, but some qualify for loan programs that allow 5% down payment. These programs are especially important for first-time homebuyers who often lack the capital for the larger 20% down payment. This map, which shows affordability for buyers who can only pay a 5% down payment, presents a more realistic picture for many people who are trying to access the homeownership market for the first time.

Since 2012, much of the region has become increasingly less affordable for middle-income home buyers, regardless of the structure of their mortgage. The map below shows the percent of income spent on housing for a household earning the region’s median family income for a family of four in the given year. Green areas are considered affordable for these households, as they require 30% or less of a household’s income. Red areas are considered unaffordable. Over time, affordability changes as incomes, interest rates, and home sales prices change. If these trends continue at their current rates it is likely housing will become only more unaffordable again by 2020.


Structure Type & Cost:
Single Family Homes and Owned Condominiums and Townhouses. Sales Price from Metro RLIS
4 person household Median Family Income according to HUD for each year

Affordable: Housing Costs = 30% or less of gross family income
Down Payment: 20%
Mortgage: 30-year amortizing principal interest
Interest Rate: Annual Average from Freddie Mac
Property Tax Change Ratio: from the Multnomah County Assessor’s Office
Property Tax Rate: $20 per $1,000
Insurance: Sales Price/1,000 * 3.5
Utilities: $250 per month in 2014, adjusted for inflation

Portland Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) Calculation:
Percent of MFI spent on Housing = (Mortgage Payment + Annual Utilities+Property Tax+Home Insurance) / MFI

Cartographic layers from Metro RLIS; Maps developed with ©Mapbox and Leaflet