What’s Trending in Seattle?
The latest survey is available and it confirms that rents have begun to move up again as part of a seasonal pattern that occurs during Spring, practically every year. But the average rent across King and Snohomish counties moved up just 1 percent, or $17 compared to the prior quarter, the least springtime increase of the decade. And rents remain below the record highs reached the previous Summer and Fall months.
This is a major shift compared to what happened last year when Seattle-area rents rose roughly eight times faster than the national average. Currently, Seattle’s rent increases are only marginally higher than the rest of the country.
Only one neighborhood in the entire city of Seattle had rents grow by at least 1.5 percent from the last quarter, and that’s in First Hill. Rents essentially plunged a bit in Belltown, Fremont/Wallingford and North Seattle, this was based on the data distributed by Apartment Insights/RealData. These are companies that survey landlords all throughout the region.
In the outskirts of the region, rents evidently did dip slightly. Experienced even more in some parts of the Eastside — in Kirkland, Mercer Island/South Bellevue and the Woodinville area — as well as in sections of South King County, in Federal Way, Tukwila and Des Moines.
But that doesn’t exactly translate to those areas being suddenly affordable. The average rent is now between $2,340 in downtown and $2,130 in South Lake Union. In some instances, rents are dipping for people renewing their leases. While in others, developers are reducing theirs subsequently after over-pricing their new buildings.
The rental market shadows a glaring contrast to the for-sale market, where home prices are still escalating with the same momentum all throughout the Seattle metropolitan area. Contrasting from the surge in apartment production, there’s a scarcity of homes for sale being built across the region.
The pursuit of apartment construction has held a steady pace but developers have stated lately that it is getting rather difficult to have their future projects supported and built. This is probably because profits off from rent are no longer holding up with upsurges in construction costs.