The Tale of Prices of Seattle Apartments
Among the three basic necessities, the shelter is the most expensive one. But to the contrary, the prices of the apartments in Seattle are experiencing low growth. Seattle sees growth in apartment construction, but one apartment in every ten apartments is now lying unoccupied. Landlords are trying new ways to attract the customers starting from lowering rent to offering more perks to tenants.
Apartment Insights/Real Data’s survey says this time of the year generally sees a low growth but this year has been way more exceptional. This year the rate of unoccupied apartments is affecting the landlords in a starker way, and the rents have shown a dip owing to that.
Across King and Snohomish counties, rents in apartments have seen a drop of 1.1 percent in the third to fourth quarter, which is the second biggest drop after 2.9 percent drop in the last year at the same time.
The drop takes into factors many things like a free month’s rent or four month’s parking free etc. These things have led the rent to dip $24 a month.
These incentives are new in the newer apartments, but, the older places have been accustomed to these kinds of ads and incentives. Some property managers are even offering mystery gifts to the tenants.
As per some rental ads, one apartment landlord is offering $2.5k Amazon Gift Card with their new apartment building, another landlord is offering two month’s rent free with a 1k gift card in Kirkland, and in Sammamish, one landlord is offering 1-month rent free with two month’s parking free.
As per the statistics, the Eastside is experiencing the highest dip. Rents here have dipped to 2.5 percent or about $50 a month. But the rents in the South King County and Snohomish County are almost stable.
Rents have dipped around three percent from the last quarter in Belltown, South Lake Union, Fremont/Wallingford, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish/Issaquah, and Edmonds.
According to one realtor managing company, the rent in the Seattle is dropping at the fourth fastest rate after Cleveland, Oakland, and Spokane. And it should be reported here that a few years back, Seattle’s rent growth was one of the highest in the country.
Kjerstin Wood a tenant since 2014 said that for the first time he felt that he had negotiation power with landlords, he had been bombarded with offers from landlords and every landlord he met wanted to apply for the vacancy right there.
Candice Chevaillier, an apartment broker with SVN Whitecap who has begun surveying landlords as co-founder of the new Commercial Analytics firm, said that in the coming time no landlord would opt for a rent increase as the construction of the new apartments was at the same growth as it had been in the last few years.
The reason for this drop in the market is the constructions in the market are helping the supply outnumbering the demand for rentals. In 2019 as well, the city would see a lot of apartment delivery that may continue till 2020 as well.
Seattle has been experiencing much growth in an apartment building while among all the apartments here in the city, 10.5 percent homes are empty, the figure was 9 percent in the last year and only 7.7 percent in the year two years back. But, this thing is not limited to Seattle only, the region is experiencing 8.6 units empty, and it is the highest since 2009.
In South Lake Union, 18 percent of units are empty; downtown Seattle core is seeing a 16 percent empty houses, 13 percent in First Hill, 11 percent in Queen Anne/Magnolia and 12 percent in Redmond and 15 percent of units are empty in both Tukwila and Sammamish/Issaquah.
Though the numbers have been largely affected by the new constructions, the older houses are also seeing issues with renting out. The regional vacancy rate for the older stabilized houses stands at 5.5 percent, highest since 2010 when it was 3.9 percent.
But, owing to the dull picture in the rental market, the developers are not backing out from construction. In Seattle only, 24000 new houses are under construction which seems unchanged from the past couple of years.
Number of Buildings-
As per the Census, Seattle has 15th largest population among all the metros in the United States but has got the approval of fourth most multifamily units approved in 2018. The metros with higher numbers than Seattle are New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
The approved units in Seattle are twice than the units approved in Chicago or Boston region, and these two cities are quite larger than Seattle. It also has the approval of 25 percent more than San Francisco, which is not only bigger but has a rental amount double than Seattle.
While the rate of unoccupied homes is growing, the apartments are still unaffordable for many. Average asking price by the landlords in Seattle is $1,924 and $1,954 on the Eastside. Rents are at $1,502 in Snohomish County and $1,448 in South King County on average.
Region-wide even with rent decrease, the average rent is not much affected; it was $1034 in 2010 and $1725 in 2018.
But this opportunity is giving chances for the tenants to get homes on better terms and as per the tenants, almost every apartment now offers the same kind of amenities, but what really makes a factor is the location.
With the increase in the Realtor business in Seattle, we should definitely expect a huge crowd of tenants in Seattle, and it may ultimately lead to better growth of the city and working opportunities as well. We should expect the market to behave as it should after the boom in construction. The landlords, as well as the tenants, should be mutually benefitted from this growth by getting better terms. But, the growth should not limit itself to one location only; the whole State should see the growth and development so that inequality never persists region wise.