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…

Seattle Ranks High in Best 2013 Real Estate Markets

The nation’s real estate market is slowly recovering after the long haul, and 2013 is said to be the year for a turn around. According to the Seattle Pi, San Francisco is predictably the top city, but shortly behind with a secondary market is our very own Seattle. Investors are leaning towards Real Estate because despite the slow recovery they are still able to profit.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report by the Urban Land Institute indicated that San Francisco landed the # 1 spot due to tech, trade, and quality of life in the city along with neighbor San Jose which ranked 3rd on the list. Seattle, along with Houston, was highly ranked because of the growing number of “echo boomers” or those 25-34 year olds. This group has increased by 20% in Seattle, and reflect the future homeowners in the area. Right now the statistics show that this group is currently willing to rent smaller apartments for higher prices as long as they have enticing amenities and close proximity to public transportation. When will the echo boomers make the transition to buyers? Predictably 2013. For more information on the Emerging Trends report, visit the Urban Land Institute.

Zillow Reports Rentals Continue to Outshine Housing Market

According to Zillow’s Real Estate Market Report in February, the median price in rent had risen 2% since February 2011, and home values had continued to fall, dropping 4.5% during the same time period. Zillow’s Rent Index illustrated that the year over year gains for an estimated 68% of metropolitan markets measured by the ZRI, and only 8% of metro areas covered by the Zillow Home Value Indexsaw home values rise.

Seattle Rental In Leschi Neighborhood

Today’s rental market is continuing to heat up, with an emphasis on areas where home values have consistently been declining. Foreclosures have been at the forefront in keeping home values down, with foreclosure re-sales making up an  estimated 20.3% of all sales in the month of February. Zillow experts have said that we’ve made it through the worst of the housing market recession, but with the enormous inventory of foreclosures and unemployment are all still factors to overcome on the rise to recovery. For more information on rental listings in the Seattle area, visit Ewing & Clark and Craigslist.

Up and Coming Neighborhood for Renters & Buyers: Atlantic

The Atlantic neighborhood in Seattle, nestled in between Beacon Hill and Mt Baker is gaining popularity with younger home buyers and renters in recent months due to it’s convenient location, and up and coming amenities.

Not even five years ago, we remember when this neighborhood was experiencing mass redevelopment and construction of the 2nd I-90 bridge, leaving the Atlantic area is rubble, covered in a film of dirt. Left in the midst was abandoned housing, sky high dirt mounds and 23rd Ave S was closed to traffic. Today the neighborhood is home to trendy bars and restaurants like Dallas BBQ Soul Food & Catering and Farestart Cafe, has a light rail stop, is in close proximity to downtown and the Eastside, and has several trails for bikers and runners; even has it’s own dog park! The neighborhood started looking promising to buyers and renters a decade ago and today affordable pricing plays a huge role in the deciding factor.  According to the Seattle Times, in February this year the median value of all single family homes was estimated at $284,200, down 2.2% from the previous year. The median cost of rent in the neighborhood for a single family home was estimated at $1,674/mo, while apartments were estimated at $1,521/mo; up from the previous year, but significantly less than other areas around the city. If you’d like more information on for sale listings around the area visit Ewing & Clark, and find rentals around the neighborhood here.