Seattle-area rents dump significantly for initial time this decade as new apartments lay empty

January 15, 2018 - Picnic Time

Rents are dropping significantly opposite a Seattle area for a initial time this decade, as a inundate of new construction has left apartments sitting dull in Seattle’s hottest neighborhoods.

The normal franchise opposite King and Snohomish counties dipped 2.9 percent in Dec compared with a prior quarter, according to a new quarterly landlord consult by Apartment Insights/RealData.

Rents infrequently dump by a few bucks this time of year. But a latest quarterly dump is a biggest this decade by far, and amounted to a assets of about $50 a month for a normal dweller opposite a region.

In neighborhoods in and around downtown Seattle, a drop equates to an normal of $100 in monthly assets for renters signing new leases.

The biggest franchise decreases were mostly in a renouned Seattle neighborhoods that are removing a many new apartments. Rents dipped some-more than 6 percent compared with a before entertain in First Hill, downtown Seattle, Belltown, South Lake Union and Ballard, along with Redmond and a Sammamish/Issaquah area.

Compared with a year earlier, rents still increasing 4.5 percent regionwide, though that was a slowest year-over-year expansion given 2011 and down from a double-digit increases that became common over a final few years.

The slack comes as a series of new apartments opening opposite a area has strike record levels and has begun to significantly overtake a series of new renters.

More apartments are sitting dull — quite via downtown Seattle — giving renters some-more negotiating energy over landlords. And even some-more new apartments are set to open in 2018, heading analysts to advise a let marketplace will keep cooling.

Renters have been watchful for service for a prolonged time. Rents opposite a segment had soared 48 percent over a before 5 years, adding an additional $550 a month to a standard renter’s bills. The Seattle area led a republic in franchise hikes in 2016 and early 2017, according to Zillow.

But now incomes are rising faster than rents, following a identical trend that had already taken place in other large cities over a before few years.

“Frankly, Seattle is a final of a unequivocally large markets to see this (cool-down) trend develop. It’s stayed during a tip a lot longer than anywhere else,” pronounced Greg Willett, arch economist for a let information organisation RealPage.

He cited clever pursuit and race expansion as a reason Seattle surged for so long. That direct continues to be healthy, though now supply of new apartments is flourishing even faster.

Willett predicts franchise expansion for a subsequent few years will be about 3 percent a year, or identical to inflation, mirroring predictions from Zillow and other websites that lane a internal market.

Renters, developers take notice

Developers and banks that lend income for new construction have taken notice of a marketplace cooling. While tons of new buildings are already authorized or underneath construction now, a tube for destiny projects that exist usually on paper is shrinking.

Greg Smith, CEO of developer Urban Visions, pronounced he only incited down an offer to build a new high-rise given construction costs have risen so many and rents are no longer gripping pace.

“New projects don’t make clarity — they don’t pencil” out, Smith said. “Most banks are wakeful of that now and are very, really discreet about a volume of debt they’ll put on a property. There’s really a change that has occurred. Some associate developers are stepping behind and saying, ‘I’m not building now.’ ”

For renters, it’s still no cruise out there. But several renters who have been looking for apartments recently pronounced they’ve beheld things during slightest weren’t as bad as they used to be.

Katie Zacharkiw pronounced she only sealed a new franchise Wednesday, and got a initial section she looked at.

“I finished adult during a one-bedroom in Wallingford for $1,400 month, that I’m still a bit repelled about,” she said, observant she approaching to compensate $1,500.


Grant Slemp and his mother changed from Redmond to one of a new South Lake Union buildings final month. “Prices were a small reduce than we was expecting, that was nice,” he said. Still, they were behind when a initial section they looked during was rented out by someone else before they could put in an application.

Seattle stays among a many costly places in a nation to rent. The normal franchise opposite all section forms is $2,330 in downtown Seattle, $2,180 in West Bellevue, $2,120 in South Lake Union and $2,050 in Belltown, according to Apartment Insights/RealData.

On a other end, rents sojourn next $1,300 in SeaTac, Des Moines and Tukwila, and next $1,500 in many of Snohomish County.

Amazonia section frenzy

The cavity rate opposite a segment grew 0.8 commission points to 5.4 percent in Dec — a top given 2010 — a pointer that supply has outgained demand.

In South Lake Union, where developers have been gung-ho about Amazon’s fast growth, so many new apartments have non-stop adult in new years that a cavity rate increasing from 4.6 percent to 7.1 percent (the figure excludes mint buildings only starting to franchise up). That’s a outrageous burst that gives a area a second-highest cavity rate in a region, behind a Everett/Mukilteo area.

About a information — and let consult news

For some-more than a decade, The Seattle Times, other media organizations and central sources like city governments have relied on dual competing landlord consult groups for information on a internal let market: Apartment Insights Washington, and Dupre + Scott. The Times has cited those firms’ information in some-more than 100 stories in a past 10 years.

They intermittently consult probably all internal rental-property owners to furnish some-more accurate and consummate statistics than websites that rest on algorithms and online listings to accumulate stats like normal rents.

Last fall, Apartment Insights Washington owners Tom Cain pronounced he was offered to business partners in Phoenix that put out identical reports in other markets. In December, Mike Scott and Patty Dupre announced they were timid and shutting Dupre + Scott for good.

The new Apartment Insights owners devise to put out quarterly reports updating a information Cain has prolonged released, starting with a fourth- entertain statistics used in this story. They are switching to a code name of Apartment Insights/RealData, though there are no methodology changes. Information from Dupre + Scott will no longer be available.

Among a mint buildings in South Lake Union, about one-third of apartments are sitting empty. And in a core of downtown, about two-thirds of newly non-stop apartments are vacant.

The inundate of open apartments in South Lake Union suggests many of a thousands of new workers filing into Amazon’s campus any year are selecting to live in other neighborhoods.

Overall, there are 24,500 apartments underneath construction now opposite King and Snohomish counties. There are an additional 35,000 units in a pipeline, nonetheless not all of those will get built.

The city of Seattle is getting some-more apartments this decade than in a before 50 years combined. For a Puget Sound segment as a whole, a stream construction frenzy rivals a record section bang from a late 1980s, that was centered in a suburbs.

A apart Apartment Insights/RealData news found a normal franchise opposite Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties was only underneath $1,200 per section in a fourth quarter. Rents in those areas were adult somewhat from a before entertain and grew 7.8 percent from a before year, indicating a South Sound let marketplace is now significantly hotter than King County, even as it stays a many some-more affordable option.

The let slack runs opposite to a for-sale housing market, where home prices continue to fire adult unabated during a fastest rate in a country. A pivotal disproportion is that there are really few new single-family homes being built in a region, in contrariety to a frenzy of section construction.

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