• Report: After years of spiking prices, Seattle rent growth slowing


    SEATTLE - After years of spiking apartment prices in Seattle, new numbers show the city is in the middle of a major slowdown.

    According to a new report, investors should plan for higher vacancies and fewer rent increases.

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    It’s welcome news for renters and something real estate analysts have been anticipating.

    There are two reasons for the change. After unprecedented growth, the number of new renters coming to Seattle has started to drop significantly and the number of new apartments continues to grow.

    Across Seattle, rents grew an average of 6.3 percent in the last year, down from double-digit increases renters have seen recently.

    It's the slowest pace in more than five years.

    Average rents on Capitol Hill are up just $35 from last year. That's in line with inflation.

    In Ballard, rents are up just 2 percent since last year.

    And in the Rainier Valley, rental prices are actually down a little since earlier this year.

    Overall, rental rates across the Puget Sound are still rising faster than they have historically, keeping it one of the hottest markets in the US.

    But analysts say things are clearly reaching a plateau, thanks to fewer renters and more apartments. Developers have opened more new apartments in Seattle in the last five years than in the previous 25 years.

    Of course, a lot of renters have already been priced-out of Seattle and have been forced to look farther out for affordable places to live.

    But the experts say the toughest growth is probably behind us.

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