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.

Featured Rental: 1920’s Broadmoor Home

1212 Broadmoor Dr. ELiving in Broadmoor offers residents the best of two worlds: in-city living within a quiet, secluded atmosphere. Just blocks from the shops and restaurants of Madison Park and Madison Valley, and in walking distance of the Washington Park Arboretum, Broadmoor is the ideal location.

This 1928 home available for rent is situated on the fairway of the Broadmoor Golf Course and offers a peaceful green view. Many of the 1920′s details are still intact, and this home is attractively decorated with pretty oak floors, classic rooms, and a covered porch. A one-car garage and basement offer plenty of storage.

This is a great opportunity to live in one of Seattle’s most sought-after areas! Please contact listing agents Betsy Terry and Jane Powers at Ewing & Clark, Inc. for more information on this home.

The Details

Bedrooms: 3  |  Bathrooms: 1  |  Sq. Ft.: 2,230  | Available for: $3,900/month

Broadmoor Living room

September Rentals Update

ridge downtown rentalSeptember rentals were only slightly lower than August this year in King County. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service data tells us that while there were 287 leased properties in August, September statistics are showing 281. This is only a small change as we enter the fall season. Among these rentals are two luxury penthouses in Bellevue. One of these rentals, a 4-bedroom, 4.25-bathroom penthouse of nearly 4,800 square feet, leased for $17,500 a month. The other luxury penthouse, just as stunning but with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and around 3,500 square feet, leased at a monthly price of $14,900. While these particular luxury rentals are at a distance from Seattle, there were still many other rentals available within the city itself, and all of them in a much lower price range. The NWMLS shows that 19 out of these 281 listings were located in central Seattle and the prices ranged from a low of $1,225/mo to a high of $6,500/mo. The median price for a rental in central Seattle was around $2,200 per month for a 1,200 square foot, 2-bedroom apartment. With this wide range of rental availability and rents slightly lower than summer there still many opportunities to find a King County rental that’s right for you. If you are interested in leasing a property or investing in Seattle or King County properties, please contact an agent today to get information on availability.

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!

Rental Market: Vacancy Down, Rent Prices Up

Demand for rental properties in King and Snohomish counties does not seem to be waning, despite average rents having risen 10 percent over the year. Apartment vacancy rates are at their lowest point in at least 10 years, at 4.05 percent, according to Apartment Insights Washington, though in some neighborhoods the rate is much higher. Ballard has the highest vacancy rate in the area at 17.3 percent (though this is down from a vacancy rate of 45 percent for the first quarter of 2015), and as of June 4 there were 600 apartment units under construction in the neighborhood and 450 more permitted, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. In the King/Snohomish county area as a whole, there are 22,948 rental units under construction, up 42 percent from last year. Predictably, average rent in the King/Snohomish region is highest in Seattle, at $2,226 per month, followed closely by Bellevue, where the average is $2,000 per month. For the region as a whole, the average rent is up to $1,408.

If you are looking for a rental home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today!

Update On King County’s Rental Market

rentKing County rental activity was hot in the month of May with 269 leased properties, according to stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The market picks up in the spring and summer, so we can expect the number of rented properties (and rental rates!) to increase in June and into July. This number was up from the same time last year with 244 leased properties in King County. Currently, there are 218 available King County rentals on the NWMLS, 68 of which are within 7 miles of the downtown Seattle core. The current highest asking price is $17,000/mo for a 5-bedroom/6-bathroom single family home in Washington Park. For more information about Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

New Data Shows Seattle Rents Up 6.2% Over Year

RentalsSeattle rents continue their upward trend, and a the median price for a one-bedroom apartment will now set you back a whopping $1,858 per month. But while many markets are seeing rental rates rise at a faster pace than home values, that is not the case in Seattle, where home prices this April were 6.9 percent higher than April 2014, compared with a slightly lower 6.2 percent increase in rents. Whereas in other cities rising rents may finally push renters to take the plunge into home ownership, Seattle renters looking for a respite from high rents find an even bigger challenge in the home-buying market.

While Seattle continues to hold the final spot in the top 10 most expensive cities for renters in the U.S., prices are still well below the sky high median of $4,225 per month in San Francisco, and rents here are growing at a snail’s pace compared to Portland (8.6 percent over the year), where rents are rising twice as fast as home values.

The jump to a $15/hr minimum wage could have an impact on Seattle’s rental market, according to The Seattle Times. With the current $11 per hour minimum wage (the first phase of the planned increase to $15 per hour), even those who pay rent that is in the bottom 25 percent of all rents in the city are spending close to 45 percent of their monthly income on housing, far above the 30 percent threshold that signifies one is “overburdened” by housing costs. A $15 per hour wage would lower that percentage to a still high but more manageable 33 percent.

If you are looking for rental housing in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today!

Average Rent In King Co. Up 8% Over Year

belltown rental homeDespite apartment buildings sprouting up all over the city, Seattle’s rental rates seem to be defying the laws of supply and demand. With more than 600 apartment units forecast to hit the market on Capitol Hill alone this year, and 12,000 in the King/Snohomish/Pierce county region, one might expect that an excess of units would cause rents to level off, or even fall. But according to The Seattle Times, the average rent for a one bedroom in King County has risen by 8 percent over the past year to $1,266 per month.

Looking for cheap rent? Move to Seatac, where the average rent for a one-bedroom is a mere $784 per month. Willing to pay top dollar to live in a luxurious high rise? Rent a one-bedroom in Downtown Seattle or South Lake Union for an average of $1,871 per month. Among all Seattle neighborhoods, Ballard saw its rents increase by the highest percentage over the year, having risen 13.1 percent to an average of $1,533, despite the number of available units doubling over the past five years. Magnolia saw the most stability in its rental market, with rents only rising by 1.4 percent. Rents in most of Seattle’s central neighborhoods are hovering around $1,500 per month.

Tom Cain, of research firm Apartments Insights Washington, told The Times that he does not expect rents to fall, in part due to Seattle’s job market keeping demand for apartments extremely high, and also because Seattle’s home-buying market is so challenging right now. A dearth of affordable homes to buy is forcing many to continue renting.

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

 

Rental Caps Set For Micro-Housing Units

rentOn February 23, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to set a cap on rental rates for Small Efficiency Dwelling Units (SEDUs), also known as apodments or micro housing, in an effort to further ensure that affordable units are being included in residential developments. Under provisions of the new bill, in order to receive the 12-year property tax exemptions that come as part of the City of Seattle’s Multifamily Property Tax Exemption Program (MFTE), developers would be required to reserve 25 percent (up from 20 percent under current regulations) of their units for those making no more than 40 percent of the area’s median income. That would set rates at $618 per month for single-person households making $24,720 per year, which is about $400 per month less than current regulations for “affordable” units.

Roger Valdez of Smart Growth Seattle told The Seattle Times that the program’s incentives won’t make up for money developers will lose on the lowered rents, and he predicts many developers will not participate in the program, resulting in zero units of affordable housing. Similarly, according to the Urbanist, Councilmember Kshama Sawant during the legislative session questioned how much affordable housing is actually being created, and whether the program is simply a loophole for developers to avoid property taxes. The bill will act as a sort of “trial run”, as the entire MFTE program could be facing widespread reorganization in the coming year.

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

Renters In Older Buildings Blindsided By Rent Hikes

rentWith all the talk about record-high rents in the Seattle area, you may look around at the high-rise apartments sprouting up in South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, and Ballard and think you’ve found the culprits for our status as the U.S.’s 8th most expensive city for renters. But here’s a surprising statistic reported recently by Sanjay Bhatt at The Seattle Times: rents in older buildings are actually rising at faster rates than those in newer ones. Rents in buildings built in the 1980’s grew by a rate of 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, whereas rents in buildings newer than 2010 grew by only 1.4 percent (granted, rents in these buildings are much higher to start with).

Renters who care little about granite counter tops and rooftop decks have historically been able to rent units for reasonable rates in older buildings that offer function without the flash. But as many of these mid-century buildings approach 60 or 70 years old, they’re being sold off to development groups who pass on renovation costs to tenants in the form of rent hikes. For residents such as those at the Linda Manor Apartments in West Seattle (a building built in 1964), those hikes came in the form of a 130 percent increase, according to The Seattle Times. One resident saw her rent rise from $1,000 per month to $2,300 per month.

With the addition of 86,000 new residents over the past four years and just under 29,000 new units built over the same time period, housing is at a premium and a low vacancy rate in King County is creating stiff competition for renters. Because of that, landlords are having no trouble filling units, even with ever-rising rents.

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