Understanding the Current State of the Seattle Rental Market

While rents have been steadily on the rise the past few years, renters in Seattle have recently received a bit of good news in that fewer landlords have increased their rents over the past year.

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015

  General   Rental Market   Washington   

While rents have been steadily on the rise the past few years, renters in Seattle have recently received a bit of good news in that fewer landlords have increased their rents over the past year. Furthermore, an increasing number of landlords are now providing sign-up bonuses and concessions to new tenants. In fact, the Seattle Times recently reported that 11 percent of landlords in King County offered concessions. Those concessions averaged almost $1,100. Furthermore, only about one-third of landlords in the Seattle area have indicated plans to increase rental prices over the course of the next six months. Last year, more than 80 percent of landlords indicated plans to increase rent prices in the Seattle area.

Challenges Still Remain for Renters in Seattle Amid Tech Crunch

Still, although rent prices appear to finally be settling Seattle and the surrounding area, a significant number of renters have found they are being forced out of the area due to the rising number of tech workers. With tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon calling Seattle home, a number of multifamily rental housing properties are being transitioned into luxury condos.

Currently, the most expensive areas in Seattle in which to rent are located in Downtown, Belltown, and South Lake Union, where rents are up more than four percent compared to one year ago and are now hovering near $1,900 per month. The least expensive markets in Seattle can be found in Rainier Valley, although rents there are still up more than eight percent compared to one year ago and are now about $1,100 per month.

Among the most significant challenges faced by renters in the Seattle metro area is that the average renter is now paying more than 30 percent of their total monthly income to rent. By most standards, housing costs of more than 30 percent of total income is categorized as unaffordable.

What Landlords Need to Know about Responding to the Current Seattle Rental Market

As rental prices in Seattle finally begin to settle somewhat, landlords will need to ensure they have a solid plan in place for advertising vacancies. In the past, the most common way to do this was by placing an ad in the classifieds or by placing a For Rent sign in front of the property. Today, methods for advertising available properties have changed as more and more prospective renters are now online. Services like VerticalRent have made it increasingly easier to advertise properties online. For instance, with VerticalRent, landlords and property managers can post vacancy ads to Craigslist as well as accept rental apps online from their ads with the use of a unique QR code. It even becomes possible to share vacancy advertisements on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networking sites.

Despite the fact that rents are now longer rising as rapidly in Seattle, landlords must ensure they are prepared for all eventualities. Advertising vacancies online through quick response methods can make it much easier to do that.


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