Seattle Rental Market Update

By Jay Young

Good news for Seattle landlords as recent reports reveal that rent prices throughout the Seattle area continue to experience an upward trend. Actually, Seattle rentals are currently among the highest in the U.S.. The news comes at a time when other large cities like New York and San Francisco are experiencing a decrease in rental rates. With the average U.S rentals remaining virtually unchanged.

It's a different story in Washington state, however. Rental rates in King and Snohomish counties, meanwhile, have risen by 4.6 percent since spring and 7.6 percent from a year ago. Since 2010, rents have risen as much as 64 percent, providing an extra $7,750 a year for Seattle landlords.

Seattle Apartment Rent Prices: The Exact Figures

The average rent price for an apartment in Seattle, Washington is $2181, which is 1.24% up from last year when the average rent was $2154. It's 0.64% lower from last month (September) when the average rent was $2195. Renters who want to settle for one-bedroom apartments in The Emerald City will have to pay $2048/month on average (3.96% up from last year), while two bedroom apartment rents average $2805 (0.36% up from last year).

For the past six months, the average apartment rate in Seattle has surged by 1.6%. One-bedroom units, meanwhile, have surged by $44 (2.2%) and two bedroom apartments have increased by $71 (2.6%). This will all be music to the ears of Seattle landlords and Seattle rental property investors.

Current Real Estate Trends and Seattle Home Prices

Home prices have also been on an upward trend all across the United States since February, but no other area in the US has seen as sharp a rise as the Pacific Northwest. The cost of purchasing single-family homes in the city area has risen 13.5% since last year. That is more than double that of the national average which is  5.9%.

An average single-family home in Seattle, as of August this year, was priced around $730,000. Those who wish to purchase or rent a new home in the area and are willing to commute 1.5 hours (3 hours back and forth) from Snohomish or Pierce County can find units for as low as $455,000 or $313,000, respectively. Overall, however, the Seattle market trend shows a spike of $109,000 (20%) in average home sales over the past year. The average cost per square foot for this same period has grown to $476 - up from $410. For Seattle Property Management companies, these are all good signs pointing to potential growth and potential profit.

Reasons for Seattle's Lingering Rent Hikes

So what's the reason for the continuing surge in rent prices in the Emerald City? The city's continuing economic boom has a lot to do with it. But the city is not only growing, it's also attracting workers with well-paid jobs.

Tech Giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have all set up bases in the city and this has turned Seattle into a hub for a lot of people who can afford the higher rent. Amazon alone has currently more than 9,000 job openings in the Seattle area.

In a typical market, a floodgate of newcomers with solid salaries would prefer settling for a home and keep away from the rental market. However, home prices are rising faster than anywhere in the United States -

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