Average Rent in Seattle
How much should you expect to pay in rent when you move, and what is the average apartment rent in Seattle, Washington? Here are some of the top tips and facts that you should know.
Image source: seattlefinancial.com
For a burgeoning metropolis, the average rent in Seattle, WA, is comparatively ... relatively ... reasonable.
We don’t want to sugarcoat it; Seattle does often make top ten lists for most expensive cities to rent in in the U.S. But unlike many other cities we work with, here, it’s possible to occasionally find affordable rent. Seattle has both high and low apartment listings, with a fairly wide range on average rent, between $980 and $2,340 dollars depending on the neighborhood. Here are some other facts about the average rent in Seattle, WA:
- The current median rent in the Seattle metro area overall is $1,959 per month.
- According to the city of Seattle in 2015, the average two-bedroom apartment was $1868 per month, an average one-bedroom was $1,596 per month, and the average studio was $1,280 per month. It has since gone up a great deal. Now, others estimate a $2,125 average for two-bedroom apartments and $1,604 for one-bedroom apartments.
- According to MIT’s living wage index, locals in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area will need to spend $8,861 per adult per year on housing. That breaks down to at least $738 per month.
- Housing costs are 57 percent higher than the national average. (The overall cost of living is 24 percent higher, so much of one’s paycheck will be going to rent.)
- The current average home value is $557,700.
- Phinney Ridge, Green Lake, the Central Business District, and Belltown are the most costly neighborhoods. The overall Belltown/Downtown/South Lake Union region averaged $1,841 for rent in 2014, and that has increased a great deal since then. Today, rent in Phinney Ridge, the most expensive neighborhood, averages $2,544 per month.
Overall, this is a more reasonably priced place than other cities, like Boston, but it’s not cheap. Those hoping to move here will need to expect to pay more overall for the cost of living in Seattle, which includes other costs like groceries and transportation.
Image source: Seattle Times
Rapid growth means volatile Seattle rent prices.
While locals certainly believe that Seattle rent prices are "too damn high," the fact of the matter is that this city’s rents are a fraction of the cost of places like San Francisco or Boston. The problem isn’t whether or not there’s affordable rent; Seattle is growing along with big businesses like Amazon, making the rapid rate of growth the real problem.
- The annual increase in average rent for the entire Seattle Metro region in 2015 was 7.5 percent. That’s well beyond the national average of 2.6 percent. Seattle itself saw an increase of 11.8 percent!
- Home values went up in Seattle by 16.7 percent in one year.
- Some neighborhoods are worse than others: Ballard’s average rent rose 16 percent, Columbia City rose 16.2 percent, and Denny-Blaine rose a whopping 17.5 percent.
- This is not a unique occurrence. There was also a big hike between March 2014 and March 2015 in home values: 19 percent!
- Out of all of America’s cities, Seattle saw the steepest hikes in rent between 2010 and 2013 as well.
- Some renters have reported their rent doubling in the span of two years. This has caused the city to toughen up somewhat on rental regulation laws.
There are numerous reasons why the rise has been so dramatic and so intense, but it doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. Some say that it’s finally slowed down, but it’s still not stopping. Luckily, the city has responded by committing to build numerous complexes, many in the South Lake Union neighborhood and other areas like the Denny Triangle.
Image source: Geekwire
The takeaway is to lock in on a solid lease in a good neighborhood.
Because of the irregular nature of the city’s prices, renting apartments in Seattle can be stressful and difficult for first-time buyers. To make it easy, you can always work with a professional broker or local expert, who can provide guidance on fair prices and help to find the best apartment that will suit your budget. Contact a rental agent online to get started now.