Seattle Rents Declined For Third Straight Month

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The January rents report shows Seattle rents have declined 0.4% over the past month, but have increased marginally by 0.6% in comparison to the same time last year, according to Apartment List.

Currently, median rents in Seattle stand at $1,320 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,650 for a two-bedroom.

This is the third straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in September. Seattle’s year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 1.1%, as well as the national average of 0.9%.

seattle rents

Rents rising across the Seattle Metro

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of Seattle, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in the Seattle metro, 9 of them have seen prices rise. Here’s a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Kent has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 4.6%. The median two-bedroom there costs $1,820, while one-bedrooms go for $1,460.
  • Over the past month, Marysville has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 4.0%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,640, while one-bedrooms go for $1,320.
  • Bellevue has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the Seattle metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,320; rents decreased 0.5% over the past month but were up 3.5% over the past year.
  • Lakewood has the least expensive rents in the Seattle metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,450; rents fell 0.1% over the past month but rose 3.8% over the past year.
seattle rents

Other large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to Seattle

As rents have increased marginally in Seattle, a few similar cities nationwide have also seen rents grow modestly. Compared to most other large cities across the country, Seattle is less affordable for renters.

  • Rents increased slightly in other cities across the state, with Washington as a whole logging rent growth of 1.1% over the past year. For example, rents have grown by 1.7% in Vancouver and 0.4% in Spokane.
  • Seattle’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,650 is above the national average of $1,180. Nationwide, rents have grown by 0.9% over the past year compared to the 0.6% increase in Seattle.
  • While Seattle’s rents rose marginally over the past year, many cities nationwide also saw increases, including Austin (+3.4%), Phoenix (+3.3%), and New York (+2.7%).
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Seattle than most similar cities. For example, Spokane has a median 2BR rent of $880, where Seattle is more than one-and-a-half times that price.
seattle rents

Methodology:

Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.

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