Seattle Named 5th Most Expensive City In US, But Is Not Most Expensive City In Washington

It’s not a news flash that the real estate scene in Seattle has exploded in recent years. The Emerald City has gone from a town most people outside the state only associated with coffee and flannel, to the tech capital of the US (save for our friends in Silicon Valley). As home to some of the biggest tech names in the world and a booming job market to match, it’s fair to say there’s might not be enough housing to meet demand. Or, at least to meet demand AND your budget.

High rises, apartment buildings and condos are going up all over the city, and soon, our beloved skyline will be dotted with more and more buildings and towers, making the Seattle of just 10 years-ago look almost unfamiliar.

Seattle has recently made headlines as one of the most expensive places to live, get this, in the world. That’s right, recent data has placed Seattle’s rent rates at 5th highest in the nation and, supposedly 9th highest in the world! However, San Francisco and New York still dwarf us, tying for number one most expensive, world-wide.

Those of us who are Seattle Natives know that the average rental rate in Seattle has increased fairly dramatically in the last few years, but it’s interesting to note that, while Seattle’s rents have been on the rise, they don’t quite top the list of highest rents in the state.

According to recent data from Apartment List, Seattle ranks at number 5 in the state for highest rents, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,650.

Surprisingly, Mercer Island tops the list of cities in Washington for highest rents. A one-bedroom on Mercer Island goes for an average of a whopping $1,890 per month. No one said Island living was cheap, I suppose.

Filling in the gaps between number 1 and number 5 on the list are Bellevue at number 2 with an average of $1,860 per month for a one-bedroom (not a whole lot lower than their neighboring Island), Redmond at number 3 with an average of about $1,690 monthly rent for a one bedroom and Kirkland at number 4 with an average monthly rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom.

Seattle and the Eastside are not the only places in Washington with rising rent rates. Tacoma tops the list nation-wide for fastest growing rent with a year-over-year growth rate of 7.7 percent. Seattle comes close, but not close enough to that figure with year-over-year rental rate growth at 5.3 percent.

Staggering growth aside, Tacoma is still a bargain in the rental market compared to Seattle, with a one-bedroom in Tacoma going for an average of $1,000 per month. For those of you keeping score, that’s a savings of $650 compared to Seattle.

But, proving that some things really don’t change, the cheapest places to live in the Evergreen State are still East of the Cascade Mountains. You can get a one-bedroom for only $600 per month in Walla Walla and it’s not much pricier in the State’s second largest city, Spokane, at around $630 per month.

What a difference a mountain range makes…

January Rental Report

Jac_004According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service January’s rental statistics are showing some promise for 2016. So what does the housing market have in store for homeowners and investors in King County? The 2015 year ended with a small drop in rentals with December showing 209 homes rented – less than the previous month. These numbers then started to climb in January to 219 properties leased. Setting the stage for a strong season in rentals. The median price in January for a rental was around $2,400/mo for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, condo in Seattle. The Highest-priced rental on the MLS was a beautiful 6 bedroom/6 bathroom, Tuscan Estate leased for $12,000/mo. This estate was on the Market for only 44 days, showing us that renters who can rent at the top on the market are out there, and are ready to strike if they find the right place. These homes and many more can be found through your local real estate agents. To find out how much equity you might have in your home or how you can invest in real state contact an agent today and get the ball rolling.

End of Year: King County Rental Report

DT View 1521This December, 204 properties leased according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. King county had a 8.9% decrease in properties from the previous month. The highest priced property leased for $6,500/mo. This Luxury condo was a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1,968 square foot unit in a desirable downtown location on 2nd Ave between Pike and Pine. On the contrary, the lowest priced 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo leased on the MLS was a 965 sq ft condo in Kent, it rented for $1,200/mo. The luxury condo spending three times the amount of time on the MLS database before it rented.

MLS data shows that 240 properties leased in Dec 2014 compared to Dec 2015’s 204 properties, a 15% decrease in leased listings from its previous year.

Lets do a quick analysis of the rental market in 2014 compared to 2015. The twelve months of 2014 shows 377 more properties leased than in 2015.  3,579 listings rented in 2014 compared to the following year’s 3,202. That’s a 10.5% decrease than the year before. Rental prices have increased over the years and inventory has gone down quite a bit. This change in the market can make it hard to find a reasonable rental in King county on your own. If you are looking for assistance contact a licensed professional who can help you with the latest market updates and find you fact access to the best MLS rental listings. Please contact an agent today with your real estate needs. 

 

 

November Rentals Update

eastlakeSeattle’s King County rents have shown a decline in November compared to the previous month. Looking at the MLS database we see that 224 properties listen on the MLS have rented, with many of them being in a higher than average price range. It is a positive sign for investors across the city to know that even even after the rental increases that have been sweeping the city in previous months, Seattleites are still finding homes among some of the the highest priced rentals on listed with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. In the month of November for instance, the highest-priced residential property that leased was a 3 bedroom 3.5 bathroom penthouse in Bellevue. The luxury penthouse consisted of over 3,000 square feet of luxury living space and went for $13,390 per month. The MLS database shows that while in the past three months only a handful of rentals with such prices have leased, there are still many others between $2,000-$4,000 that also rented. The average price of a rental in November was approximately $3,000/mo. If you are interested in how this upcoming season of Seattle’s rental market can serve you, please contact a realtor today.

King County Rental Update: October

shorewoodAvailable rentals this fall are dropping like the temperature outside as we take a look at the housing market in Seattle’s King County. As expected people are likely settling in for the winter months and not in search for a new place. With a significant drop in rented properties, Seattleites are seeing a whopping 47% decrease in October compared to the previous month according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It’s typical to see this kind of change in the market throughout the season but what will that mean for the prices of rentals for those who are still in the market to rent? Are rental increases going to halt with less demand or will they continue to stay up? The MLS shows us that in October the highest priced rental property was a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home with 4,250 square feet of luxury living space. Stay tuned-in to Seattle Luxury Rentals and keep an eye on this rental market. Questions? Call a local agent today to take advantage of rentals or investment opportunities that could be available to you.

August Update: Seattle Rentals

eastlakecc

The last month of summer saw a small drop in rentals in King County this year. According to data found on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service there were 287 leased properties in August of 2015 with the average rental price being just over $4,000/mo. Statistics for King County show a slight decrease in rentals; 334 in August of 2014 compared to this year’s 287. As the number of leased properties dropped, prices for these rentals have steadily increased. The highest rental of the month this year was leased at $9,500/mo for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in the heart of downtown Seattle. Last year, some comparable downtown apartments had been leased for closer to $8,000/mo. For those interested in investing in rental properties it’s a great time to profit on the demands of the increasing rents in the King County rental market. Get in touch with an agent today to find out how you can benefit!

King County Rental Market: June Recap

Featured rental: 1375 32nd Ave. S

     Featured rental: 1375 32nd Ave. S

King County rental activity was up in June from May with 299 leased properties, according to stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  This number is down from the same time last year, when there were 324 leased properties in King County.  Currently, there are 283 available King County rentals on the NWMLS, with 74 of those in neighborhoods within five miles of the downtown Seattle core.  The current highest asking price is $10,000 per month for a 2 -bedroom, 2.5-bath condo in the Four Seasons Private Residences in downtown Seattle.  If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact us today!

Random Rental Safety Inspections Begin This Month

Apartment KitchenLast year, the city of Seattle implemented the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO), which requires all Seattle landlords to register their rental properties and have them inspected for basic maintenance compliance, and this month random inspections will begin. While the city has previously relied on renters registering complaints as a way to ensure landlords are performing maintenance, the ordinance aims to establish a system of regular checks on properties to make landlords are adhering to basic standards across all units. The 2009 American Housing Survey reported that an estimated 10 percent of the 148,000 rental units in Seattle had “moderate to severe” physical problems. The new requirements apply to units in both apartment buildings and rental houses.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Department of Planning and Development is planning to inspect about 2,000 units this year, with a goal of inspecting 6,000 annually going forward. Inspectors won’t be showing up unannounced – landlords will be given 60 days notice to make sure they’re complying with the RRIO checklist, which includes items such as ensuring there is a functioning heat source in every habitable room and bathroom, no leaks in roofs or windows, and making sure all toilets flush. Properties will be inspected at least once every 10 years.

The DPD is hoping the clear guidelines will increase awareness among landlords and rental property owners of what basic standards are for their rental properties, and decrease the reliance on tenant complaints.

If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Seattle Rents Up 32% Since 2009

eastlakeccSeattle renters don’t need to be told that housing costs have risen dramatically over the past several years – that reality hits home when they write that rent check every month – but some might be surprised to learn just how far they’ve climbed. Rental rates here are up 32.38 percent since 2009 – more than twice the national average of about 15 percent – while incomes have only grown by 11 percent over the same time period. The only city with a greater increase was New York City, which saw a staggering 50.7 percent spike.

In a press release, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that not only are renters feeling the squeeze, but home ownership and its guarantee of set monthly housing costs is becoming further out of reach due to rising home prices and stagnating incomes. Yun suggests that increased new-home construction aimed toward entry-level buyers would help renters transition to home ownership and take pressure off the rental market.

If you are interested in renting in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.

Despite Record Number Of Units, Rents Are Still Rising

rentIf it seems like construction cranes are sprouting like spring tulips in the Seattle skyline, there is good reason: 56 new residential buildings are under construction, planned, or recently completed in Downtown Seattle, which will add 12,392 new residential housing units to the market by then end of 2015. That number will break the record for number of units built in one year, which now stands at 10,056 units built in 1989. Normally, when inventory increases the market sees vacancy rates increase and rents level off, but with Seattle’s booming job market and continued influx of people wanting to call the Northwest home, that has not been the case. Average rent in King Country has climbed to $1,341 per month, with downtown Seattle and Bellevue topping that at $2,084 and $1,961 respectively.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the average rent in King and Snohomish counties is up $28, or 2 percent, over the first quarter of this year, and the vacancy rate for existing buildings is 4.46 percent, which is down slightly since the end of last year. Newly built properties are posting vacancy rates of 4.3 percent. MyNorthwest.com quotes a report from the CoStar Group, a real estate data and information company, that states in order for “vacancies and rents to remain at healthy levels, developers need to dial back new construction after 2015.”

If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today!