It was a busy spring for the Clark County housing market. It is expected to continue to be busy this summer with no decline expected any time soon. One big part of the intense action in the housing market is the increased demand for multifamily dwellings.
Romano Capital knows the Clark County housing market as well as anyone. The investment company puts up the money for real estate projects and owns development, construction, and property management subsidiaries. They’ve seen what kinds of dwellings people are looking for and are working to bring those projects to Clark County.
“There is strong demand for entry-level housing and housing in general in Clark County. Things are not staying on the market long and the demand for multifamily housing is the same and isn’t slowing down,” said Reid Isaacson, director of development for Romano.
Isaacson said that Clark County typically lags Portland in rents, but that hasn’t been the case in the last 18-24 months.
Romano has certainly played a role in developing new housing and is looking to continue to provide modern, multifamily units for those looking to move to the area, move out on their own or simply downsize. Romano recently finished up the 100-unit Westridge Lofts on SE 192nd Avenue in East Vancouver. Isaacson said about half of the units are leased out already.
A two-phase multifamily project, called The Oliveen, is currently under construction on First Street near Costco and Union High School. The first phase will have 124 units and the second will have 140 units. The property’s close proximity to shops, restaurants and excellent schools make it a very desirable option for those looking to rent.
Romano is also working on a mixed-use project off Highway 14 at SE 192nd Avenue with 182 apartments and extended stay units. The extended-stay units are designed to look like apartments but will be geared toward short-term rentals that can be used by people traveling for business and who need to rent a place for less than 30 days. There will also be some commercial space on the lower level.
While housing interest rates are lower, construction costs are rising; both factors putting pressure on rising home prices. Isaacson said that’s a reason why multifamily housing is a great investment option right now. He also said there are fewer single-family homes around so those looking to downsize aren’t finding as many options.
“The workforce is more mobile than ever, and people might want to check out the Portland metro area, live here a few years and then go somewhere else,” Isaacson said. “It’s more feasible now than it was 25 years ago.”
Many people shifted to working from home in the last year-plus thanks to COVID. While plenty of people are back in their offices or planning a return, many companies are moving to a remote or flexible work environment that allows employees to work from home more. For those who want to live somewhere new, having rental options makes that an easier move.
“We do have people just moving to the West Coast in general,” Isaacson said. “Portland metro area is a pretty affordable option compared to other major cities on the West Coast making this area a desirable place to move. It’s a beautiful part of the country to live and people are looking for that.”