Forest Heights has been much in the news lately. The April real estate issue of Portland Monthly identified it as the top spot for “blossoming families” on the west side. A couple of weeks back, the Portland Business Journal reported that the neighborhood (and the rest of 97229) retained its #1 spot for volume of home sales in the first quarter of 2017. And in an article on homes with courtyards, OregonLive profiled a 3-level Mediterranean style property in Forest Heights listed just south of $2 million.
Once home to Tualatin Indians and pioneer loggers, this planned community is less than 30 years old. While making way for over 1100 detached residential lots, almost 700 townhouses and condos, 160 apartments and a small town center anchored by Starbucks, the development has preserved the area’s best natural features: territorial views of the west hills and coastal range and a 6-mile network of woodland trails.
Forest Heights feels far away from the urban hustle. But its southern boundary along Cornell Rd is just 3 miles from Highway 26 and the Sunset Transit Center, which offers bus and light rail connections to downtown Portland and Hillsboro. The neighborhood is served by private weekday shuttle bus service to the Transit Center during commuting hours.
There’s no question that it’s a great place for kids. In addition to quiet streets and nature trails, Forest Heights has playgrounds, Mill Pond Park and a neighborhood elementary school that gets the highest possible rating on greatschools.org and schooldigger.com. The same is true of the high school (Lincoln) and middle school (West Sylvan) that serve the community. According to the 2010 Census, 30 percent of the population is under age 18 and 32 percent of households are families with children.
Forest Heights deserves its reputation for affluence as well as family-friendliness. The median sale price of a home is $631K. Detached properties can range over 8000 square feet and $2 million. But condos run as low as 1100 square feet and $300K. The relative affordability of multi-family housing is undercut by homeowner association fees, which start at about $350 per month.
If you want to move into the neighborhood, it may be a consolation that the price of admission has not risen nearly as fast as in other areas. The 5-year median price change was a modest 20 percent. If you’re a homeowner in the area, on the other hand, you may feel disappointed by that statistic.
Portland Business Journal attributes the high volume of sales in the area to empty nesters living in large detached homes. According to a search run today in the Regional Multiple Listing Service, there are 24 properties for sale in the neighborhood.