There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Oregon:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Oregon, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Beaver State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Oregon that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in Oregon at the moment? That would be Junction City according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Oregon:
- Junction City (Photos | Homes)
- St. Helens (Photos | Homes)
- Redmond (Photos | Homes)
- Cornelius (Photos | Homes)
- The Dalles (Photos | Homes)
- Talent (Photos | Homes)
- Grants Pass (Photos | Homes)
- Tillamook (Photos | Homes)
- Fairview (Photos | Homes)
- Florence (Photos | Homes)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Oregon?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Oregon. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Oregon with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still ‘cheap’ for Oregon with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 372 cities and towns in Oregon, only 21 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 21 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a ‘best place to buy’ index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Junction City is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Beaver State.
Read on for more on these places.
In the 1870s, Junction City was named by railroad magnate Ben Holladay, who decided this would be where the rail line on the east side of the Willamette Valley would meet the rail line on the west side. The westside line, however, was not built according to plan, although Junction City later was where the two main branches of U.S. Route 99 (which divided in Portland) would rejoin. The city was incorporated in 1872.
2. St. Helens
St. Helens was established as a river port on the Columbia River in the 1840s. In 1853, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company tried to make the city their only stop on the Columbia River. Portland’s merchants boycotted this effort, and the San Francisco steamship Peytona helped break the impasse. St. Helens was incorporated as a city in 1889.
Redmond was named after Frank T. Redmond, who settled in the area in 1905. It was platted in 1906 by a company which would become part of Central Oregon Irrigation District building a canal. Electrification and the Oregon Trunk Railway reached Redmond in 1911. The rail link opened markets for farmers and merchants. By 1930, the town had grown to 1,000 and by 1940 had nearly doubled. In the 1940s, Redmond was a U.S. Army Air base and commercial air service was established at Roberts Field after World War II. In the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and most of the 80s, the population remained relatively static, growing slowly around a small commercial/retail center and manufacturing industry. However, during the 1990s, the population began to grow along with most of Deschutes County. Between 2000 and 2006, Redmond’s population grew 74.3%, making it among Oregon’s fastest-growing cities each year. This growth continued through 2006, increasing the population to 23,500. Its growth is fueled by employment and a lower cost of living.
In 1845, Benjamin Cornelius immigrated to Oregon with his family, traveling with Joseph Meek. The Cornelius family settled on the Tualatin Plains, near what is now North Plains. The same year, Benjamin Q. Tucker and Solomon Emerick staked land claims and established farms on the land that would eventually become Cornelius. At that time, the area was called Free Orchards; there was no actual community, but the name referred to the orchards on the 107 acres (0.43 km2) of land.
5. The Dalles
The site of what is now the city of The Dalles was a major Indian trading center for at least 10,000 years. The general area is one of the continent’s most significant archaeological regions. Lewis and Clark camped near Mill Creek on October 25?27, 1805, and recorded the Indian name for the creek as Quenett.
A. P. Tallent, an East Tennessee native who settled in Oregon in the 1870s, platted the city in the 1880s. He wanted to name it Wagner but was overruled by postal officials, who preferred Talent, dropping one of the l’s. The post office opened at this location in 1883. Earlier names for the settlement were Eden District and Wagner Creek.
7. Grants Pass
Early Hudson’s Bay Company hunters and trappers, following the Siskiyou Trail, passed through the site beginning in the 1820s. In the late 1840s, settlers (mostly American) following the Applegate Trail began traveling through the area on their way to the Willamette Valley. The city states that the name was selected to honor General Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg. Grants Pass post office was established on March 22, 1865. The city of Grants Pass was incorporated in 1887.
The city is named for the Tillamook people, a Native American tribe speaking a Salishan language who lived in this area until the early 19th century.
Members of the Multnomah tribe of Chinookan Indians lived in a village near the Columbia River and the future site of Fairview when the Lewis and Clark Expedition visited the area in 1806. By the 1840s and 1850s, white settlers began hay, grain, and livestock operations in what became eastern Multnomah County. Railroad tracks extended to the area by the 1890s, and, as the population grew, residents began referring to the locale as Fairview because of the pleasing views of the nearby river, the Columbia River Gorge, and Mount Hood. Since another community named Fairview already existed on the Oregon Coast, the community’s first post office was named Cleone until the coastal post office closed and the name was transferred to Fairview.
The Florence area was originally inhabited by the Siuslaw tribe of Native Americans. Some claim that the city was named after state senator A. B. Florence, who represented Lane County from 1858 to 1860; another claim is that Florence was named after a French vessel that was wrecked at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on February 17, 1875.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Oregon
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Oregon. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 372 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Oregon reading, check out:
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Oregon
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Oregon
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Oregon
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Oregon