MRED candidate research from The Center for Real Estate

The Portland State University Center for Real Estate serves as a resource for real estate majors, minors and grad students to engage in research, networking and major events in the real estate industry. Formed in 2004 as a collaboration between The PSU School of Business and Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning, The PSU Center for Real Estate is one of two centers for real estate in the entire Pacific Northwest. The center is comprised of PSU faculty, students, alumni, an advisory board of prominent regional real estate professionals, and a community of donors who help the center continue its work. 

The Center for Real Estate publishes quarterly research reports on the real estate market, written by faculty and Master of Real Estate Development candidates. Each issue has several feature articles about real estate development in the Portland area, as well as an analysis of the trends in the commercial and residential markets. The reports cover the various real estate markets and the political, economic and social factors that impact these markets. 

The Spring 2021 Quarterly Report featured 10 articles from MRED candidates as part of a fellowship. Chris Reeves published an article covering the industrial real estate market in Oregon. “The fellowship has assisted me in getting both the positions I’ve received in the real estate industry,” says Reeves. “It was a good platform to show what I can do.” His research focuses on how a large portion of manufacturing jobs in Oregon will disappear in the next decade, and an aging workforce who will need assistance from government and industry to get re-skilled.

As Oxford Economics explains, “Oregon is the most vulnerable state in the US to a future acceleration in robot installations. The state has had success in transitioning out of traditional sectors into the production of high-tech components. But high dependence on manufacturing, particularly in and around Portland, and the state’s exposure to globally competitive sectors, mean its workers are vulnerable to rapid technological progress.” This unfortunate scenario is worsened by the fact that the obvious recourse for alternative work — construction, administrative work — is also predicted to be automated.

Brian Yarne’s article covers how the distribution of employment between Washington County and Multnomah County has changed over time. Over the past 50 years, Washington County has grown at a much faster rate than Multnomah County. While land prices and market rents do have significance to growth patterns, they alone don’t explain the disproportionate growth in our region. Brian’s article explores the drivers of growth in Washington County and what characteristics and policies influence the growth of submarkets such as the Sunset Corridor. 

“Employment in Washington County is growing faster than Multnomah County and it’s not a fluke,” says Yarne. “Washington county lucked out having a high tech company grow up in their backyard, but local jurisdictions have made a concerted effort to attract and grow industries.”

The fellowship is a great opportunity for students to contribute to the Center for Real Estate and have their work published. For fellowship and scholarship opportunities, contact Academic Director of the Master of Real Estate Development program, Gerard Mildner at

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