North Portland Neighborhoods are where some of the area’s most affordable housing can be found. Small 800 sq. ft. cottages still sell for around $3250,000. with larger nicer homes starting around $400,000. Some have reached $600,000+ in the Overlook and Arbor Lodge neighborhoods. With in-fill (tear down the old house build big new one) hitting an all time high in Portland, the neighborhoods of N Portland located on the east side of the I-5 are breaking price records.
North Portland includes the neighborhoods of St. Johns, Kenton, Portsmouth, Overlook, Arbor Lodge and University Park. Situated along the east side of Interstate 5 and the Willamette River. The University of Portland (private Catholic University) is located on a bluff overlooking the river which is the anchor for the University Park neighborhood. With streets named after all the Ivy League Universities this area has a great feel. Most homes are small and many are pretty original making them perfect for updating while maintaining the original charm. The only retail is along Lombard which isn’t what I would call a quaint shopping district. Easy access to large grocery stores and public transportation. Prices starting around $300,000
St Johns is better known but farther away from downtown Portland. Houses are small and affordable, population is younger. The downtown area is quaint and has a few cafe’s and neighborhood bars. The St Johns bridge (which is beautiful) is in the downtown area and crosses the river onto Hwy 30 which goes directly into the NW district of downtown Portland. Portsmouth is probably the best for first time buyers looking for a bargain. This neighborhood was developed in 1959 during the postwar frenzy that built small homes for the shipyard workers. This neighborhood has four parks including 35-acre Columbia Park, great for walking or pushing strollers.
Kenton is one of my favorites but is getting more expensive every month. Kenton has a great downtown strip with all the attractions including a park and public library. Flat walkable streets, local festivities and farmers market. The MAX light rail runs along the eastern border making a commute to downtown a snap. Arbor Lodge and Overlook are close to the Mississippi shopping district and are far more expensive than other north Portland neighborhoods.
There is also an area of North Portland that is on the west side of I-5 which includes the area of King, Vernon, parts of Concordia, Piedmont and parts of Cully. The neighborhoods on the west side of I-5 have traditionally been more desirable. However the high cost of housing in NE Portland (east side of I-5) is pushing into the neighborhoods to the north and is quickly driving up prices. The challenge on both sides of I-5 is the schools. The schools in NE Portland are highly rated but a large number of schools (not all) in N Portland are in the lower 1/3 of the district for test scores.