King County Rental Market: June Recap

Featured rental: 1375 32nd Ave. S

     Featured rental: 1375 32nd Ave. S

King County rental activity was up in June from May with 299 leased properties, according to stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  This number is down from the same time last year, when there were 324 leased properties in King County.  Currently, there are 283 available King County rentals on the NWMLS, with 74 of those in neighborhoods within five miles of the downtown Seattle core.  The current highest asking price is $10,000 per month for a 2 -bedroom, 2.5-bath condo in the Four Seasons Private Residences in downtown Seattle.  If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact us 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!

Random Rental Safety Inspections Begin This Month

Apartment KitchenLast year, the city of Seattle implemented the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO), which requires all Seattle landlords to register their rental properties and have them inspected for basic maintenance compliance, and this month random inspections will begin. While the city has previously relied on renters registering complaints as a way to ensure landlords are performing maintenance, the ordinance aims to establish a system of regular checks on properties to make landlords are adhering to basic standards across all units. The 2009 American Housing Survey reported that an estimated 10 percent of the 148,000 rental units in Seattle had “moderate to severe” physical problems. The new requirements apply to units in both apartment buildings and rental houses.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Department of Planning and Development is planning to inspect about 2,000 units this year, with a goal of inspecting 6,000 annually going forward. Inspectors won’t be showing up unannounced – landlords will be given 60 days notice to make sure they’re complying with the RRIO checklist, which includes items such as ensuring there is a functioning heat source in every habitable room and bathroom, no leaks in roofs or windows, and making sure all toilets flush. Properties will be inspected at least once every 10 years.

The DPD is hoping the clear guidelines will increase awareness among landlords and rental property owners of what basic standards are for their rental properties, and decrease the reliance on tenant complaints.

If you are interested in renting 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.

 

Seattle Rents Up 32% Since 2009

eastlakeccSeattle renters don’t need to be told that housing costs have risen dramatically over the past several years – that reality hits home when they write that rent check every month – but some might be surprised to learn just how far they’ve climbed. Rental rates here are up 32.38 percent since 2009 – more than twice the national average of about 15 percent – while incomes have only grown by 11 percent over the same time period. The only city with a greater increase was New York City, which saw a staggering 50.7 percent spike.

In a press release, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that not only are renters feeling the squeeze, but home ownership and its guarantee of set monthly housing costs is becoming further out of reach due to rising home prices and stagnating incomes. Yun suggests that increased new-home construction aimed toward entry-level buyers would help renters transition to home ownership and take pressure off the rental market.

If you are interested in renting in Seattle, 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.

 

 

Most Expensive Active Seattle Luxury Rentals

Although we usually profile and feature “run of the mill” luxury rentals, today I’d like to feature some of the most expensive active rentals on the market in Seattle and environs. We’re talking like… top 10. Yeah, the big kahunas. Not that the other’s aren’t enviable to say in the least!

10. $8,500

Located in Belltown, this property boasts not only views of downtown, but also Puget Sound and the Space Needle. With a gourmet kitchen, floor to ceiling windows, touch screen sound system, garage parking and two storage units. Listed by Joseph Kelly of Soleil Real Estate of Seattle.

9. $8,500

This contemporary Lake Union home boasts a 270 degree view of the water, heated floors, top of the line kitchen appliances and marble bath. This 1,000 square foot house was built in 2011 and has been on the market for 139 days and is listed by Scott Wasner of Sotheby’s.

8. $9,800

Want a penthouse? Who am I kidding, of course you do. And nowone is up for grabs! For rent at least. This 26th floor, 3,081 square foot residence boats three bedrooms and enormous 290 degrees of skyline, mountains, and water. Oak floors, maple cabinetry, gas fireplace, and a chefs kitchen. On the market for 44 days, this property is listed by Julia Tsurusaki with Pointe3 Real Estate.

7. $10,000

Out next most expensive property calls Mercer Island home. Originally listed at $12,000, this 3,880 square foot gorgeous waterfront home features a newly remodeled kitchen with an ensuite deck and jacuzzi tub (uh, that’s awesome). 85′ of waterfront with moorage and dock, two jets lifts and a boat lift. Nicely settled near some parks, what could get better? Not much, that’s what. Listed by Anthony Yap of TAG Realty.

6. $10,000

Tied at $10,000, this Laurelhurst home has only been on the market for a month. Fully furnished with views of Lake Washington, this 4,660 square foot contemporary northwest home comes with Laurelhurt Beach Club access. Offering five bedrooms and four bathrooms, it’s listed by Timothy Lenihan of Windermere Real Estate.

5. $11,000

Now, this one has me drooling. This unit is within the Four Seasons Private Residences Seattle. Two bedrooms and a den, valet parking, 24 hour security and concierge, mile high views, this 2,082 square foot overlooks the Great Wheel through floor to ceiling windows. With a gas fireplace and an ultra modern kitchen, it’s enough to make anyone go gaga. Listed by Scott Wasner of Sotheby’s.

4. $11,000

Another beauty at $11,000, the stunningly designed Arthur Erickson Highlands home is a looker. Having seen this sumptuous property myself, the views and grounds as well as the guest house, I can say will all certainty that it. is. worth. it. Listed by our own Betsy Terry of Our Distinctive Home Shop in Madison Park, this 7,470 square foot masterpiece is constructed  from polished concrete, with a glass ceiling. Mountain and sound views, and a Pemberley-esque (We got any Jane Austen fans out there? No? Just me? Okay) park off the swimming pool.

3. $12,500

Located in Hunts Point and built in 1995, this home is nestled on prime waterfront with lake, city, and mountain views. Designed by Curtis Gelotte, the house is nestled between manicured landscaping and old growth trees. With moorage and a dock, this 3,710 square foot home is full of natural wood and stone details, evoking the architectural style of the pacific northwest. Listed by Anna Riley of Windermere Real Estate.

2. $18,000

Another jewel of Hunts Point, this residence boasts a stunning Chihuly glass chandelier hanging from a sky-lit ceiling. This 3,000 square foot west-facing residence features rustic timers, posts, and beams embodies pacific northwest architecture and art. Listed by Tere Foster and Moya Skillman of Windermere Real Estate.

1. $20,000

Topping our list is a mansion in Clyde Hill. At 6,000 this european designed six bedroom, eight bathroom masterpiece was custom built in 2007. With a gated entrance and a large pool in the backyard, a large up to date kitchen, and an indoor jacuzzi. Listed by Robert Radulescu with The Force Realty.

Well folks, which one is your favorite??

Laurelhurst Rental Home: $4,995

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This charming Laurelhust home is warm and inviting and full of character, and available for rent! The property is very private with a beautiful English Garden, and the interior has been carefully remodeled with an artistic eye for detail. Features include handmade Mosaic fireplace, and vaulted ceilings in the dining room and arched Spanish style in the living room. The kitchen is a dream for entertaining with a large gas stove. The home has distinctive hardwoods and custom mill work. Upstairs bedrooms are all light and airy, and each has a balcony. For more information on this, or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

Status: For Rent
Bed//Bath: 3//3
Price: $4,995

Credit Bureaus Now Considering Rent Payment History In Score Criteria

housing-marketYour credit score. That elusive number between 300 and 850 that seems to follow you around wherever you go, determining whether you can buy that new car, rent that apartment, and perhaps most distressing for many Americans – whether you can become a homeowner. For many mortgage lenders, the minimum credit score required to approve a home loan is 640, and until now, on-time rent payments have not been a factor in determining your score. For many long-time renters who have accumulated a perfect track record of on-time payments, that omission has been a lost opportunity to give their credit a boost.

But now, Experian and TransUnion, two of the major national credit scoring bureaus, have begun using rental payment data in their credit-scoring criteria in partnership with a website called RentTrack. The site aims to help renters build credit by allowing them to pay their rent online, and by allowing landlords to report their tenants’ payment records to the bureaus. According to this report, almost 20 percent of renters saw their credit scores increase by 10 points after just a month of their landlord reporting payments. While it costs $1.95 per month for renters to use the site to pay online, they can also use it to track their credit progress, and many landlords will cover the cost.

For someone who hasn’t had much opportunity to build credit, this is a great way to practice good habits by making sure your rent is paid on time while simultaneously raising your credit score and opening the door to a future mortgage and home purchase. For more information on renting in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.

Data Shows Half Of Seattle Renters Live Alone

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According to the most recent census data reported by The Seattle Times, Seattle’s population of renters is living up to the city’s reputation for introverted residents. 51 percent of the city’s rent-paying tenants live alone, which is a surprising statistic considering that the average rent in Seattle is now $1,480, up 21 percent from five years ago. Only Atlanta has a larger percentage of solo renters, and most other cities toward the top of the list (Cincinnati, St. Louis and Pittsburgh) have average rents significantly lower than Seattle’s.

But despite the significant rental costs, it appears Seattleites are willing to pay more in order to not have to share their space. No sinks full of your roommate’s dishes (just your own), no fighting over the parking space, and no sharing any of that precious square footage. Single-occupancy units are clustered more heavily in certain areas of the city, including downtown, where three out of every four units is occupied by a single person, and other densely populated neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Eastlake, and Fremont.

Though the rate of solo renters is high comparable to other cities, the percentage has dropped from 56 percent in 2009, so it appears renters may be starting to feel the squeeze of rising rents. For more information about renting in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.