Before planning a panic-induced move, it’s important to note the distinction between this new data (which measures national rent growth rates) and the national ranking of the highest overall rent prices. Though Seattle hovers well above other urban areas in the former ranking, the city sits at 8th place in the latter (following San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Boston and D.C.). Nonetheless, though renters in San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Boston and D.C. remain the biggest spenders, the momentum behind Seattle’s monthly price hikes officially trumps all when we compare June’s $2,031 average to the prior year’s $1,852.
This news may not come as a surprise considering the pain Seattle renters have grown accustomed to amid long-running historical highs. According to Zillow, average Seattle metro rent costs exceeded $2,000 for the first time in spring 2016, and has since grown four times faster than other large U.S. cities. In fact, when monthly costs rocketed by 1.1% in June, Seattle experienced faster growth than either Chicago or D.C. have seen so far in 2016.
With Portland trailing closely behind Seattle at 2nd place and San Francisco clocking in at 3rd, it seems the West coast might indeed be the best coast in renter’s minds — but unfortunately, its popularity has driven up rent prices accordingly.
Though we hope to see housing affordability level out for renters, it may be more cost effective for some to buy in the current market — depending heavily on your desired length of residency, preferred location, financial flexibility and more. To inform your personal decision, start by using an online rent vs. buy calculator. If buying is in your near future, contact us to get started on securing the best mortgage option for you.