The population of Oregon has been growing quickly in recent decades. Between 1990 and 2000, the population rose over 20%, much higher than the national average. Since 2000, the population has risen another 6.4%, bringing the total population of this northwestern state to over 3,700,000 residents.

Oregon was once known as a major timber and logging producing state, but production in those industries has decreased dramatically since 1990. They have been replaced by high tech companies and other major corporations that have located in Oregon's large cities, bringing with them an educated and well-heeled work force.


In and around the major cities of Salem and Portland, commercial real estate is being bought and developed for housing rather than being used as commercial property. The trend here is sustainable, green housing. This is particularly a good place for developers interested in green, high-density housing and alternatives to the single family model. In both places, the demand for such housing is high, and the condo market has not yet tanked. While infill development is particularly important in these areas, there are also opportunities for developers of raw land as Oregon has recently passed laws loosening restrictions on land use. The major effect of these laws is thought to be increased growth and development.

Portland's commercial real estate market seems to have recovered from a bad slump a few years. Then, the market was rated as one of the worst in the nation, with high prices and high vacancies in all areas except retail. Retail leasing has remained strong - vacancies down, rents up - as national retailers have started moving into Portland. New construction is becoming more expensive than renovation or infill as land supplies diminish. As well, Portland's urban renewal district offers tax incentives for infill that lower the cost as compared to new construction.

With the decline of the timber industry, the economies in Oregon's interior have diversified, spurring growth. Bend has experienced growth for the last decade, and though that growth has slowed some, it is still heavy enough to support new construction. Most of the land in tne Oregon interior is former timber or agricultural land. The price of land in Bend has skyrocketed as the availability of the land has decreased, and investors are turning to other interior towns and cities such as Madras, Redmond, Prineville and Sisters where land is more plentiful and less expensive. Even in these areas though, infill is hot as these towns want to transition to cities with real, lively downtown areas.

Eugene, Oregon is experiencing a bit of a building boom, led mostly by medical construction. At least eight medical office complexes, with a combined value of over $100 million have been built or are under construction. The construction is spurred by one medical group that is expected to bring 10,000 jobs to the area by 2020.