Report: Seattle rent prices among highest in the entire country
Affordability has long been an issue for buyers and renters alike in Seattle. It’s the latter category, though, where things have gotten especially tough, with census data showing Seattle rent as the fourth most expensive the country.
According to a report from The Seattle Times, Seattle is now the nation’s most expensive large city for rent outside of California, trailing only San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego.
Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates median combined rent and utilities in Seattle was as high as $1,555 in 2017. According to Zillow, that number has since ballooned to $2,750 in 2019. Back 2014, Seattle broke into the top 10 for most expensive big cities for renters, starting a steady climb toward the top that continues even today.
Over the last decade, Seattle has outstripped cities like New York and Los Angeles, and then finally Boston to occupy the fourth spot in the country. For just one-bedroom apartments, Seattle also beats San Diego, ranking third overall.
As for the leading cause behind this increase, it’s largely two-pronged: First, a boom in construction of expensive, luxury apartment buildings, and second, an influx of young, wealthy tech workers capable of paying for those expensive apartments.
This comes as the market continues to relax for home-buyers, with King County’s median residential home prices dropped almost 3 percent year-over-year in June. Seattle’s prices have cooled even more, dropping 5 percent year-over-year, and with Zillow predicting another 3.9 percent drop within the next year.
Even so, the median price for homes sold in Seattle isn’t cheap by any means, with that number sitting at a whopping $712,300, after peaking at $752,000 in 2018.