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As Vacancy Rates Rise, Seattle Rent Drops

Posted by Johnine Larsen on January 16, 2018
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Compared with last quarter, Seattle-area rent has DROPPED an average of $50.

This headline has been dominating the news (or at least the news we follow). From The Seattle Times, for instance:

Rents are dropping significantly across the Seattle area for the first time this decade, as a flood of new construction has left apartments sitting empty in Seattle’s hottest neighborhoods.

The average rent across King and Snohomish counties dipped 2.9 percent in December compared with the prior quarter, according to a new quarterly landlord survey by Apartment Insights/RealData.

But that’s not the whole story. Rent has dropped this quarter, but—including this dip—rent has still increased year-over-year by about 3 percent.

So, the real question: what does this mean for home-ownership? Quarter-to-quarter market fluctuations can’t provide a reliable basis for buying or selling a house, especially since homes, generally, are years- or decades-long investments. The only way to really understand a particular home’s value is by seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of other homes.

• Where does one house fit relative to the rest of the market?

• How will a property fare in future market cycles?

• Is buying or selling a home a worthwhile investment when you consider future potential income, cost of living, and city growth?

These are questions we ask and answer daily. We teach all our clients about the real estate market, and we help them consider the nuances of a house’s investment potential.


Whether you’re looking to escape the rental life or add a new revenue stream as a landlord, we can help you make an informed plan based on how your specific financial situation fits into Seattle’s real estate market.

We’ve helped hundreds of people like you find the perfect home. Let’s make a plan together.