Category: Rental Market (4)

In recent years, the Seattle area has attracted new residents in droves. The booming job market, nearby outdoor amenities, and relatively affordable cost of living has many considering our region the most desirable for relocation. Can you blame them? With Amazon and Microsoft  regularly making huge business moves (not to mention Starbucks, Facebook, Google, T-Mobile, Expedia, REI, Apple, etc) the job market is consistently flourishing.

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It’s no secret that over the past several years Seattle has been a haven for relocating families, foreign investors, and transferring tech workers. That’s why it also came as no surprise to us that home values have been steadily increasing; and that the Seattle real estate market continues to be ranked one of the hottest in the nation. A recent article in the Seattle Times stated that 40% of all homes for sale in Seattle were listed at $1 million (in March). That’s months before the home-buying season even truly begins!

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It’s no secret that Seattle is a haven for the millennial-aged crowd. However, with the recent construction and real estate boom in the Puget Sound area, is the growth leaving this young crowd in the dust? A recent Seattle Times article would report a resounding “yes.” It states, “Local young adults ranked housing costs as their biggest concern…” and 45% of millennials in our area expect to relocate somewhere more affordable to live the life they want. What’s even more troubling is that they would all actually prefer to stay in the region! The potential impact of a mass-millennial-exodus is nothing to sneeze at. “King County alone has 400,000 millennials…” which is the second highest rate nationwide, just losing out to Brooklyn. This is the future of the Seattle-area workforce and you better believe a drastic shift would affect more than just the morning line at your neighborhood coffee shop.

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Marc Stiles reported in a recent Puget Sound Business Journal  feature that “More than a fifth of renters in Seattle could afford to buy houses,” a fact that is contributing to the seemingly ever-rising cost to rent in Seattle.

Seattle’s rent is currently growing faster than any other city in the U.S., this according to the Seattle Times as June 2015 vs. June 2016 rent comparisons revealed a staggering 9.7% increase. What’s more, “rents are soaring so fast that June’s 1.1 percent monthly price gain in the Seattle area beat out the growth that Chicago and Washington, D.C., have seen in an entire year.

As Stiles says, “there are various reasons why apartment rents are soaring in the Puget Sound region, and an overlooked one is that Seattle has a relatively high number of renters who could buy but are not necessarily looking to do so.” This statistic, as the article outlines, puts “Seattle fifth on a new Zillow list of markets with the highest share of renters who are qualified to buy.” And when these potential buyers choose to rent, it “increases competition for apartments,” which drives rents up, “hurting lower-income households the most.”

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