Standing in a line that wraps around Salt and Straw, a Portland-based ice cream shop with a location in Lake Oswego, it’s hard to feel that we’re only eight miles south of downtown. While Portland has had a long streak of bad press, Lake Oswego looks like a resort town with cottage architecture and lots of hanging flower baskets.

Filled with mostly single-family homes, Lake Oswego is centered on a scenic and private 405-acre lake surrounded by Oregon forest. Residents enjoy a small-town vibe and a charming downtown area with shops, restaurants, and wellness amenities.

“The city has a sense of vibrancy and beauty because it’s clean and you feel safe,” said Lee Davies, owner and principal broker of Eleete Real Estate. “A lot of the downtown development is new, so it’s fresh.”

Known for being a social and health-focused community, Lake Oswego offers water sports for those with access to the nearby lake and river. Golf courses and miles of multi-use trails are well utilized. Its residents are proud of the excellent environmental stewardship of the private lake and the successful schools.

“If we continue to have this mindset, the city will continue to look the way it is,” said Justin Harinsh, broker and owner/partner of Harnish Properties. “Things will always progress and things will always change. But here it was a slower change, which was nice.

After: San Pedro, Belize, offers affordable luxury and every water sport under the sun


Just eight miles south of Portland, Lake Oswego includes 11.35 square miles and all of the homes and businesses surrounding the lake. Essentially, it covers the area between Highway 5 in the west and Highway 43 in the east, and extends north to the Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Its jagged southern border stretches almost to the Tualatin River.

Price scale

“For $2.5 million to $3 million you can get a brand new home,” said Michael Zhang, principal broker at Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty. “It will be 3,000 to 4,000 square feet and not on the lake. Even between $3 and $3.5 million you get high-end devices, but that’s it. I consider luxury to start at $3.5 million, and that would include some of the homes near the golf course.

Lakefront homes typically sell for $4-8 million. True, outliers appear in the $10-20 million range.

“When you see what $2 million gets you, it’s kind of disappointing,” Mr Davies said. “You start having fun and the houses are really nice starting at around $4 million.”

After: From French Concession-era Victorian mansions to modern penthouses – Xuhui in Shanghai has it all

Housing stock

Inventories gradually rise as interest rates rise and homes sell at a slower pace.

Mr. Harnish represents sellers of one of 12 lakefront homes on the market. The home, listed at $5.85 million, is 5,957 square feet, has five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms and a five-car garage.

Mr. Zhang is working with the seller of one of the other coveted homes on the lake, which is 5,554 square feet with four bedrooms, five bathrooms and an outdoor pool. The property was offered in August for $8 million.

Another home on the private lake, represented by Mr Davies, is up for sale for $6.5 million. The 8,170 square foot home features four bedrooms, six bathrooms and an indoor pool.

Each home was built between 1998 and 2006 and sits on lots of 0.23 to 0.27 acres.

What makes it unique

Unique architectural features can be found on each house on the lake. “If you take a boat across the lake, you can see custom houses that you can’t see from the road,” Zhang said. Once a year, a boat tour is offered to the public. Otherwise, the lake is closed to non-residents.

Lake Oswego contains Jantzen Island, a historic, private island that was reportedly sold last year for $20 million, Harnish said.

Living on the lake offers above all a rare way of life: the possibility of traveling by boat. “People on the lake can take their boats from their house and dock at Stickmen’s [Lakeside Smokehouse and Brewery]said Mr. Davies.

Luxury amenities

Historic Lake Oswego Hunt is a riding club near the lake, with a riding academy for children and adults. Students can take scenic walks along a trail leading to Iron Mountain.

The city is built on many hills, popular with cyclists and runners. Plus, residents can enjoy 600 acres of parks and open space. Oswego Lake Country Club is home to a par 71 championship course.

Favorite local restaurants include Tasty, Breakside Brewery, Ricardo’s, Baird’s on B and Beso Wine Bar. Speaking of which, wine country is 30 minutes from town and Portland International Airport is 25 minutes away. “We have everything at our fingertips without having to travel to Portland,” Mr. Harnish said.

After: The Oaks section of Calabasas has safety, top schools and Britney Spears

Who lives here

Since Nike’s global headquarters is ten miles away in Beaverton, Oregon, many executives and retired executives live in Lake Oswego. Howard Slusher calls Lake Oswego home.

That said, many foreign buyers have infiltrated the city. “When I have an open house, I see all the license plates are from California,” Zhang said.

Professional athletes often buy and sell goods there. “The list I have is of an NBA basketball player who was traded to another team. It’s that kind of destination,” Mr Davies said.

This 8,170 square foot lakefront home features four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an indoor pool. The luxury residence is for sale for 6.5 million dollars.

ELEETE Real Estate

Notable residents

Rumor had it that Lady Gaga had moved to the Pacific Northwest panhandle. “Lady Gaga never bought a house on the lake,” Mr. Harnish said. “She was renting a house right next to me.” Aside from the occasional professional athlete and business executive, Lake Oswego tends to be a quiet community.


Lake Oswego’s luxury sector remains a seller’s market, but like most places, it is changing with larger economic forces. “We are still in a low inventory environment. The difference is that rates have doubled,” Harnish said. “It’s more like a buyer’s market because there’s less demand, less competition, and less urgency to jump in and buy something. Over the past two years, there have been so many absorptions, so many purchases, and most importantly, so many refinances.

Mr. Zhang said that even if the local market is slowing down, buyers are still ready to grab the right opportunity. “People are still looking. Every time I have an open house, large groups of people come,” he said. “Over the past two years, people have realized how important home and home are to life.”

Mr Davies said the 12 lakefront homes have been on the market for an average of 80 days, with a median of 75 days. That’s up from last year, when similar homes were on the market for an average of 60 days and a median of 22 days.

The Californians, for their part, are moving to Lake Oswego “to live in a beautiful, unbelievably beautiful setting for $4 million when their $4 million home in Palo Alto wasn’t so exciting,” Mr. Davies. “Being on a lake with a dock and a boat, and being part of an incredibly cool little community that’s full of restaurants and shops, that’s a destination. It’s a bit like going on vacation. »

Click for more profiles of upscale neighborhoods around the world