Seattle 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.
Have you been searching for a new Seattle rental and found that someone else is always one step ahead of you? You aren’t alone! Seattle renters in the throws of searching for a new place to call home have a lot of other renters competing for the same properties. Some renters have been attending open houses, even arriving early in hopes of getting to spe3ak with the landlord directly, only to find that there is a line of Seattleites ahead of them at the door, already discussing their game plan for landing that lease. What is a renter to do? One could spoke with Mynorthwest after a year long search for their rental home. “Oh, it’s awful. You’re like, I’m going to be smart and get to this house 20 minutes early and there’s already 20 people there and they’re all talking about their strategy,” said Ian Schuler. “Seattle is filled with beautiful Type-A personalities. Everybody knows what they want and they’re so competitive. And it takes, honestly, that that kind of personality, I think, to be on top of it.”
On average, a one bedroom in Seattle may have gone up 200-400 dollars this past year, and new construction apartments are coming on the market with a high price tag. To make themselves look desirable, many renters are putting together portfolios that include family resumes, pet resumes and neighbor recommendations, along with letters from previous landlords. Anything that might give them the edge needed to one up another prospective tenant. Stay on top of the rental search, and be prepared to have tough competition with the units you’d like to live in. If you’re looking for Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.