The in-city housing market in our Emerald City has a split personality. Buy or rent, the message is the same – it’s going to cost more and more to live here. This fact is reigniting the debate between renting and homeownership and developers are listening.
Downtown Seattle is a very robust rental market, which has welcomed more than 12,500 new construction units since 2011. Despite this massive increase in supply, economist Brian O’Connor says rents have still grown by more than 40-percent over this term due to an imbalance with supply and demand. According to Zumper, Seattle is now in the top ten most expensive rental markets in the nation with a median price of $1,800 per month (half are more, half are less) for one-bedroom apartments. Average rents of newer apartment towers downtown can demand $3.50 to $4.25 per square foot, per month. So a 600 sq. ft. one bedroom could easily cost a renter $2,100 to more than $2,500 per month. That kind of monthly payment could service a healthy mortgage. Recently, Zillow stated that 22-percent of Seattle’s renters can afford to buy. They have the incomes and credit scores to own, so why don’t they?
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