Rents continue to rise in Seattle and on the Eastside
These days, it takes more green than ever to rent in the Emerald City. For the fifth month in a row, Seattle and its adjacent suburbs saw rents increase, putting pressure on tenants trying to make ends meet and, for those with job security and some savings, potentially driving them into the housing market as prospective buyers.
The national average for rent increases year-over-year is an astounding 14%. While Seattle lags behind that—averaging around a 12% increase—some of its nearby suburbs, particularly on the Eastside, saw increases as much as 20% year-over-year. Although Seattle’s year-over-year growth was not as dramatic as the national average, the city is still ahead on prices, with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment sitting at $1,670, compared to the national average of $1,339. The median rent for a two-bedroom in Seattle is currently $2,010.
Thanks to the continued presence on the Eastside of tech companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook, apartments in that area have seen more noticeable rent increases. Kirkland now boasts a median rent for one-bedroom apartments over $2,000, at $2,130. For that price, renters could afford a two-bedroom in Seattle. The median rent for a two-bedroom in Kirkland is now $2,320—an 18% increase year-over-year.
Redmond experienced a 19.7% increase year-over year, with the median rent for one-bedroom apartments landing at $2,160, and two-bedrooms at $2,440. In Bellevue, the year-over-year increases topped 20%, with one-bedrooms going for $2,200 and two-bedrooms for $2,450. It’s likely that these steep increases are due in part to the high demand for housing in the area, largely from tech workers who are willing to trade higher rents for a better commute.
Additionally, Issaquah and Woodinville experienced high rent increases around 18% each. These two cities topped the list as the most expensive areas to rent thanks to their already-high prices. In Issaquah, the median price for a two-bedroom apartment was $2,500, and Woodinville was just ahead at $2,520.
While these rent increases, falling home prices may be the final push for some renters to enter the market as homebuyers for the first time. For those renters staying in leases, strong demand across the Eastside and Seattle means continued rent hikes for the foreseeable future.