Seattle rents on the rise, rank 8th in nation

Aug 4, 2015, 11:17 AM | Updated: Mar 4, 2016, 5:46 am

Rents in Seattle are up 7.5 percent compared to a year ago, according to new survey from Axiometric...

Rents in Seattle are up 7.5 percent compared to a year ago, according to new survey from Axiometrics. (AP)


Rents in Seattle are up 7.5 percent compared to a year ago, the eighth highest increase in the country, according to new survey from Axiometrics, a company specializing in apartment and student housing statistics.

The national annual effective rent growth rate was 5.1 percent in June, a 47-month high for the apartment market.

Effective growth is the net amount after any incentives. For example, if an apartment is listed for $1,200 per month, but the landlord offers one month’s free rent, that would take off $100 per month, arriving at an effective rent of $1,100 per month.

“Rent growth is just shy of the post-recession peak and the June metrics reflect the continued strength of the apartment market,” said Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics vice president of research. “The demand for apartments is still strong, despite the record number of new units being delivered this year.”

What’s more, occupancy rates remained at 95.3 percent in June.

“Tight occupancy is why landlords can push rents higher,” McCleskey said. “Axiometrics considers a market or property essentially full at 95 percent occupancy, so there are just not that many apartments available. There’s a reason for all the new supply: The market is still playing catch-up for all the apartments not built during the recession.”

Much of the recent multifamily construction has focused on the luxury segment, which is pricing renters out of the market, according to Harvard University Joint Center’s 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing Report.

The rising costs in multifamily development pushed the median asking rent for newly constructed rental units up to about $1,290 per month as of 2013. That marks an increase of $180 compared to 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Meanwhile, the typical renters’ incomes rose by just $60 a month, going from $32,000 in 2012 to $32,700 in 2013, according to the American Community Survey.

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Seattle rents on the rise, rank 8th in nation