Apartment rents rise as vacancy rates plummet

Jun 24, 2015, 12:48pm PDT Updated Jun 24, 2015, 1:04pm PDT

Rob Smith – Puget Sound Business Journal

The Seattle-area apartment market is booming.

The apartment vacancy rate in King and Snohomish counties has dropped to 4.05 percent, the lowest since Seattle company Apartment Insights Washington began tracking the market 10 years ago.

The Seattle-area apartment market is booming.

Rents, however, are surging. Average rent rose more than 6 percent to $1,408 per unit when compared to the previous quarter. Rents have increased 10.4 percent the past year.

The increase adds to concern that rising costs are pricing out traditional renters, though some data suggests otherwise.

  • — The average rent in Bellevue is now slightly more than $2,000 per month.
  • — At an average of $2,226 per unit, rents in Seattle remain the highest in the region.
  • — Average rents in Des Moines and Edmonds cracked $1,000 per month for the first time.
  • — The Ballard neighborhood has the highest vacancy rate, 17.3 percent.

The report, by Tom Cain, also found that 22,948 units are under construction, 19 percent more than last quarter and 42 percent more than a year ago.

The Seattle company had previously predicted that developers could break a 26-year-old construction record based on projects that have either opened or are under construction with a 2015 completion date, but now says construction delays will prevent that.

Apartment Insights analyzed properties with at least 50 units in King and Snohomish counties.


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