Despite 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.