Rental rates skyrocketing in Seattle, expected to keep rising

SEATTLE — As rental rates are skyrocketing across the country, Seattle is no exception.

According to Redfin, nationwide, average monthly rent is $1,891 — a 15% increase over last year.

In Seattle, rents are up 29% more, with an average month’s rent at $2,774.

So what’s driving up that number? The demand to live in Seattle, which is fueled by high-salary job growth.

That demand, combined with a market saturated with new, luxury apartments, a lack of affordable housing options, and rising mortgage rates that turn would-be buyers into renters, has made rates continue to rise.

“I think that this is probably the worst of it fingers crossed, but rents are going to rise. They rise every year and this is a particularly noteworthy year** and I think they’re going to continue to rise going forward

I think that this is probably the worst of it — fingers crossed — but rents are going to rise. They rise every year, and this is a particularly noteworthy year. I think they’re going to continue to rise going forward,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

As rates continue to rise, some renters can’t keep up with the increases and cities outside Seattle are feeling the effect.

“A lot of people are just being priced out and having to move to more far-flung areas, and in turn, are driving up rents in those far-flung areas,” said Fairweather.

According to data from Apartment List, in Seattle, a one-bedroom apartment rents for about $1,650. A two-bedroom rents for a little over $2,000.

For those renting in Tacoma, the savings are only about $400.

Fairweather said the solution comes down to building more affordable rental options, but in the immediate future, budgeting and moving far from metropolitan areas may be the best bet.

While Fairweather said she expects rent prices to keep going up, she hopes the large price increases will slow down in the second half of the year.