• Good news for Seattle-area renters

    By: John Knicely


    SEATTLE - If you rent an apartment in the Seattle area you know it's not cheap. But, coming off a year of skyrocketing rent prices, 2014 looks to slow down a bit.

    "I was really surprised how high rents can get here," said Suyash Singh, who recently moved to Seattle to work for Amazon. "In Austin (Texas) I would pay like $800 for rent and in Seattle minimum was $1,200 and that was for a 340-square foot studio."

    Rent prices are leveling off, according Apartment Insights, which tracks rents and vacancies. Their research showed rent increased 6.5 percent in the past year in King and Snohomish Counties but prices dropped an average of $5 per unit in the past three months.

    Part of the reason is vacancy rates which have risen. King County is at 4.59 percent and Snohomish County is at 4.77 percent.

    One big reason rent isn't expected to increase is the supply. This year, the Seattle area added more than 6500 new units, the most since 1990. And even more come on the market next year. Apartment Insight is expecting more than 9,700 new apartment units.

    Singh has found apartment buildings near construction sites offering discounts.

    "Their main selling pitch is the construction only happens from 8-5," said Singh.

    With more competition come other benefits. Apartment Insight found complexes increased rental incentives from $9 to $15 per unit in the past three months.


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