Meet The New Silicon Valley

Such a good idea.

• Portland is quickly booming into a viable tech hub.
• But, rent in Portland is still generally much lower than in Silicon Valley.

We know that San Francisco and the rest of the area around California's Silicon Valley is an excellent place to live. But with that excellence (and the abundance of tech jobs) comes extremely high housing prices. What's a young professional -- or anyone with an average-sized bank account but a huge set of working skills -- to do?

Meet Portland.

Sure, you already know Portland as the "hipster" capital on your travel bucket list. But the city is quickly booming into a viable tech hub that could soon give the best of 'em a run for their money, according to a new report from the Milken Institute.

The economic think tank recently published its annual Best-Performing Cities report, which parses through reams of data in order to pinpoint metro areas where job growth is high, wages are rising and high-tech jobs -- aka the ones most important to a modern city's growth -- are flourishing. In this year's report, the Portland region jumped up eight spots from last year, ranking #8 out of America's 200 largest metros.

And we're thinking of moving there already.

The main reason for the Portland area's boom is a huge number of new tech jobs, says Milken Institute associate director Minoli Ratnatunga. Big-name companies from the actual Silicon Valley (think Apple, Facebook and Twitter) are opening offices in Portland as a way to avoid high rent for office space down South, she told HuffPost.

Companies also realize that budding young professionals, who lack the money to pay sky-high rents in San Francisco, will be attracted to Portland as a lower-cost option.

If you're looking for a new scene, Portland is a great place to move -- not only for the statistical reasons above, but also for its incredible Climate Action Plan, ease of getting around and huge biking population that's as interested in craft beer and gluten-free bakeries as it is in equal opportunity LGBT employment.

Rent in Portland is still generally much lower than in Silicon Valley, but Ratnatunga warns that the city's increasing popularity could cause it to rise quickly, both for housing and office space.

"A lot of companies go (to Portland) because young professionals can afford to be there," she said. "But that's driving up rents. So we'll have to see."

Get in while you can, apartment hunters!

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