Eastside News

Bellevue neighborhood claims the highest rent in the Northwest

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The most expensive place to rent in the entire Pacific Northwest is in Bellevue.

Downtown Bellevue, to be specific, in ZIP code 98004. The average rent there is $2,824, according to a recent assessment by RentCafe. The data is derived from actual rents from market-rate apartment buildings with more than 50 units.

RELATED: Seattle apartment production decelerating, Redmond picks up

But this corner of Bellevue isn’t the only high-priced neighborhood in the region. In fact, it’s only $8 more than the next area on the list — Seattle’s central business district at $2,816.

Bellevue is currently wrestling with its affordability, and how to develop into the future. There are some who argue for less parking in favor of affordable housing in Bellevue. Less parking in new buildings means less construction costs, which means less rent in the end. Others strongly disagree.

Northwest rent

According to RentCafe, “the Seattle metro area managed to hijack the entire list of top 10 ZIP codes with the highest average rents in the Pacific Northwest…” No other Northwest community was able to rank.

Six Seattle ZIP codes make the top 10 list of most expensive Northwest rents, while Bellevue, Issaquah, Mercer Island, and Redmond round out the rest. Bellevue’s 98004 neighborhood saw the greatest increase in rent (year-over-year) by 4.6 percent. The next closest spike is Mercer Island with 2.8 percent. Overall, however, rents slowed in more areas around Puget Sound, some even showing a decline.

The highest average rents — by ZIP code — in the Pacific Northwest are:

  1. 98004: Bellevue, $2,824
  2. 98101: Seattle, $2,816
  3. 98121: Seattle, $2,642
  4. 98109: Seattle, $2,414
  5. 98029: Issaquah, $2,254
  6. 98040: Mercer Island, $2,216
  7. 98104: Seattle, $2,189
  8. 98119: Seattle, $2,124
  9. 98103: Seattle, $2,113
  10. 98502: Redmond, $2,109

Housing affordability is a top concern around King County. The median price of a single-family home reached a record high in excess of $725,000 in May. It marks a decade low in housing affordability across the country.

Don’t feel too glum about the pricey news. While these neighborhoods are expensive, none of the Northwest can compete with rents elsewhere in the nation — Manhattan, Los Angeles, and San Francisco claim the priciest  rents overall.

RELATED: Seattle’s working class is running out of options

Want to seek out the lowest average rent? The locale with the lowest rent in the entire United States is Wichita, Kansas at $422. The closest area to Seattle on RentCafe’s list of lowest rents in the country is Tucson, Ariz. at $571.

RentCafe points out that many cities delivered fewer new apartments than expected in 2018, leading to increased competition and higher rents.

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