Rent prices continue to rise in Seattle after dropping throughout coronavirus pandemic: report

Written by MLHA Team

April 29, 2021

A real estate sign in Seattle.

After dropping for months during the coronavirus pandemic, rent prices in Seattle are on the rise once again.

In April, rent prices in Seattle went up by about 3.5% month over month, according to the latest report from ApartmentList. Seattle had the fifth highest increase in rent prices in April compared to the previous month, among the 100 largest cities in the country.

Compared to the same time last year, rent prices in the city are still down nearly 15%. But recent months have indicated they could continue rising in the coming months. 

Nationally, rent prices are also going up. Across the country, rents went up by about 1.9% month over month, which was the “largest monthly increase ever in our estimates, going back to the beginning of 2017.”

“The data continue to exhibit significant regional variation, but the days of plummeting rents in pricey coastal markets are officially behind us,” the report said.

“9 of the 10 cities with the sharpest year-over-year declines have now had three consecutive months of rising rents. At the other end of the spectrum, many of the mid-sized markets that have seen rents grow rapidly through the pandemic are showing that there’s still steam left in the current boom — Boise rents jumped by another 5.2 percent this month, the biggest increase among the nation’s 100 largest cities.”

The pandemic has had a significant impact on where people live, as some employees have been able to work remotely and have more flexibility on where they live, while others have lost their jobs and struggled to afford rent prices in the more expensive cities. While many of the expensive coastal cities saw rent prices drop throughout the pandemic, the more affordable saw the opposite.

“These sudden changes to budgets and preferences led to a convergence in rental prices across the U.S. — the most expensive markets saw rents fall rapidly while a number of more affordable mid-sized cities experienced accelerating rent growth,” the report said.

“We are now seeing that the markets where rents had been falling sharply have turned a corner, and in some cases, prices in these cities have started to rebound rapidly. But although some may be moving back to superstar cities, affordable mid-sized markets are continuing to boom. As vaccine distribution continues to gain momentum, rental markets may be beginning to reflect the preferences of a post-COVID future.”

Keep reading to see which cities have seen the largest drops and rises in rents over the past year.

Rent prices in San Francisco were down by 19.5% year over year, but they have increased by 8.5% since January of this year.

Rent prices in New York were down by 15% year over year.

SEATTLE, WA – 2009: The downtown skyline and Space Needle is seen from Queen Anne Hill in this 2009 Seattle, Washington, early morning city landscape photo.

Rent prices in Seattle were down by about 14.6% year over year, but are on the rise, having increased by 3.5% in April.

Boise, Idaho

Rent prices in Boise have shot up 23% year over year.

Fresno, California

Rent prices in Fresno have gone up 13% year over year.

Rents in Spokane have gone up 13% year over year. 

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