Seattle 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!