With local real estate prices skyrocketing, many current renters – and would-be buyers – are experiencing the phenomenon in the form of higher rents. In Seattle, rent prices have increased nearly 19% year-over-year, which is more than the state average of 17.8% or the national increase of 17.1%.
Seattle is not the only area where the increases have been steep. Nationally, New York City led the nation with a 33.3% increase over the last year, followed by Phoenix at 25.4% and Austin at 22.6%.
While Seattle has seen prices increase, with the median cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $1,681 and a two-bedroom at $2,097, it is far from the most dramatic increase in the region. Year-over-year, Bellevue is leading the area, with an average 20.9% rent increase. This puts the median rent of a one-bedroom apartment at $2,400, and two-bedrooms at $2,570.
Nearly tied with Bellevue for price growth, Woodinville’s year-over-year increase is 20.1%, but the median rent in the area is the most expensive within the greater Seattle metro area. The median rent for a one-bedroom in Woodinville is $2,490 — more than the cost of a two-bedroom in Seattle. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Woodinville is an eye-watering $2,810. Those prices could be partially attributed to the city’s status as part of Washington wine country, the spacious suburban vibe or the easy commuting to nearby Seattle and Bellevue.
Other notable increases in the region include Redmond with a year-over-year increase of 17.7% and Kirkland at 14.8%. To the south, Tacoma was the only large metro to experience a decrease from the previous month, with rents dropping .2%, though the city still had positive year-over-year growth of 9.1%.
While there’s no singular reason rents have risen so dramatically across the region, the squeeze on housing inventory is certainly a factor. As it becomes more difficult for would-be buyers to compete and break into the market, they may remain in the rental pool—driving up demand and causing prices to increase. Until the market for ownership housing cools off, it’s likely the rental market will continue to stay hot as well.