A new survey shows rental prices in the Seattle metropolitan area dropped in December.
The report by Apartment Insights/Real Data says rents in the Seattle area fell 2.9% in December compared to the previous quarter. That drop saved renters about $50 a month, according to the survey of landlords.
In some Seattle neighborhoods, including Belltown, Ballard and South Lake Union, rents in December dropped closer to 6%, or $100 per month, according to the survey.
KIRO-7 asked an economist at Zillow about the slowdown.
The first question senior economist Aaron Terrazas asked about the Apartment Insights/Real Data survey was whether or not the data factored in seasonality.
Terrazas says December is traditionally a slow time of year.
KIRO-7 contacted Apartment Insights/Real Data and was told they didn't factor in seasonality.
"Overall the Seattle housing market has slowed compared to two years ago when it was growing, rents were growing 7-8 percent," said Terrazas. "Now they're growing about 3 percent, according to our most recent data."
Zillow's latest data found the median rent in Seattle is $2,200 a month, which is up $700 from five years ago, up $70 from last year.
Terrazas expects the slowdown to be temporary.
"We expect rents to continue growing at the 2-3 percent range over the next year. So the number of vacancies we see on the market right now I do think is associated with Q4 and that winter holiday season. I think once the hiring season picks back up, once interns come back to town, rents will start going up rather quickly again," said Terrazas.
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