Seattle One Of Top 10 Most Expensive Cities For Renters

housing-marketIf you’re a renter in Seattle you don’t need telling that it costs a pretty penny to live here, but we now have census data that confirms our rents are up there with the most expensive in the country. The Seattle Times is reporting that Seattle finally cracked the top ten on the list of cities boasting the highest median rent, with a cost of $1,172 per month.

Between 2010 and 2013 rents here also saw the steepest increase of the top 50 most populous cities in the U.S., having risen by $113 per month (including utilities), or 11 percent. $1,172 is the median cost of what renters are currently paying in Seattle, so it does not reflect many newer apartment buildings that are listing un-rented units for much higher prices. Surprisingly, the number of renters in Seattle has kept pace with rising rents – in 2013 there were 307,000 renters here, a 13 percent increase from 2010.

Click here to see a chart of the top 10 most expensive cities for renters. If you would like more information on renting in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

July Seattle Rentals Real Estate Recap

King County rental activity was up the last three months with 334 leased properties in July compared to 324 in June and 243 in May according to stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  No surprise, as the summer months are often the busiest  in the rental business.

Highlands Rental Home

Highlands Rental Home

For the most part these numbers are down from the same time last year with 384 leased properties last July, 348 last June, but a whopping 329 last May in King County.  Currently, there are 385 available King County rentals on the NWMLS, with 82 in neighborhoods within 7 miles of the downtown core.  The current highest asking price is $15,000/mo for a 5 bdrm./6 bath single family home in Denny Blaine. If you’re interested in Seattle Rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Current Stats On Seattle’s Apartment Rentals Market

nate rental dt

PubliCola has some interesting statistics on the Seattle rentals market, pulled from the April 1 city council planning committee meeting, where Mike Scott of the rental-market analysis firm Dupre+Scott gave his take on the situation. In summary:

– Supply and demand has affected rent fluctuation more than increased development has. According to Dupre+Scott, low housing supply has led to increased rents, and an excess of available apartments pushes rent down, in line with the classic supply and demand model.

– While average rent in the Seattle market as a whole has gone up in recent years, that is mostly due to the inclusion of newer apartment buildings that rent units at rates from $1,300 to $2,000 per month. Rents at older buildings (built before 2009 with rents between $800 and $1,300 per month) have actually risen at a slower rate than the cost of maintaining them has. The age of the building you choose to live in will often have a dramatic influence on what your rent will be: For apartments built in 1997 or earlier, the average rent is $1,100 per month, whereas rents in buildings newer than that average $1,700 per month.

– Think you’ll get more space for your money with those higher rents? Average square footage has actually decreased from 750 square feet in the mid-90s to 650 square feet today.

– More rental-housing development is happening in the city of Seattle than in the suburbs, and the trend seems to be toward smaller apartments in denser areas where public transportation is readily available and residents can walk to restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores. In certain Seattle neighborhoods the number of apartments available for rent is growing by huge percentages. In Ballard, for example, the number of rental units available is expected to grow by 250 percent between 2009 and 2018, and downtown could see a 200 percent increase in the same time span.

Interested in renting in Seattle? Contact your local real estate agent for more information!

Wall Street Jumps Into Seattle Rentals Market

bellevue rental

First-time home buyers often save for years in order to amass enough cash for a down payment on a home, but in the past couple of years, potential buyers have found themselves outbid by Wall Street investors with no shortage of readily available cash. According to The Seattle Times, firms such as The Blackstone Group have formed subsidiaries that buy large numbers of entry-level homes, often for less than $300,000, and renovate them for the rentals market. These firms are often able to pay all cash and close on the property much more quickly than a regular home buyer could.

According to market researcher RealtyTrac, major investors made at least 7 percent of all single-family home purchases in the Seattle area in 2013, buying 3,100 homes throughout the year. Blackstone’s Invitation Homes subsidiary alone bought at least 1,585 homes in 2013. Analysts do not see a slowdown in investor-purchased properties, and predict Wall Street could funnel $20 billion a year for the next few years into financing these purchases.

Neighbors who live near these homes are worried about the impact they will have on their neighborhoods as a whole, seeing investor-owned properties being neglected or violating housing laws or homeowner association rules. Some experts say these renovated properties could have an overall positive effect on neighborhood homes values, but that the increasing investor demand for rental properties could hurt regular home buyers by driving up prices.

For more information about Seattle rentals or real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

 

 

 

 

 

West Seattle’s Blake Apartments to Begin Construction Soon

It’s official; according to the folks at the West Seattle Blog, Indigo Real Estate Services has announced that plans for the 5020 California SW apartment complex are scheduled to begin construction in January 2013, and their aiming to be open for tenants the summer of 2014. That means for those West Seattleites who have anxiously been waiting for 5 or so years for  an update on the former Spring Hills project: the Blake Apartments are back on! big-house-01

The Blake was named after the most visible island that can be seen from the building rooftop deck, the complex will also offer views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains for its residents. The Blake will be an upscale, pet friendly establishment, with 101 units including two story town homes, studios, 1 bed 1 bath, and 2 bed 2 bath apartments. It will have 87 underground parking stalls, and a secure indoor bike storage, with a greater ratio for tenant parking than most complexes in the Junction. For more updates and information on the Blake, submit your contact information today.