Seattle ranks third most expensive city to rent in Washington

Written by MLHA Team

June 17, 2021

UNITED STATES – MAY 21: A sign advertises an apartment for rent on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A for rent sign

SAN FRANCISCO – JULY 08: A sign advertising apartments for rent is displayed in front of an apartment complex July 8, 2009 in San Francisco, California. As the economy continues to falter, vacancy rates for U.S. apartments have spiked to a twenty two year high of 7.5 percent, just short of the record high of 7.8 percent set in 1986. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Despite rental rates falling significantly since the start of the pandemic, Seattle was ranked third most expensive to rent in a recent Zumper Seattle Metro Report.

The report — which analyzed active listings in May 2021 across 13 metro cities — found one-bedroom rates in the city averaging $1,560 per month, higher than the state’s median cost of $1,339. The study also found that Seattle had one of the largest rent declines, with a 13.3% drop in cost from last year.

In the report, Bellevue and Redmond tied for the most expensive cities to rent in the metro area, with an average monthly rental rate of $1,950 for a one bedroom. Despite the large price tag, this is a decline of about 9% for Bellevue. Alternatively, Redmond increased 3% from last year.

Kirkland came in second place, at an average of $1,760 per month for a one bedroom. This is a whopping 16% decrease from the previous year, and the largest decrease in rent recorded in the report.

The largest increase was that of Olympia, where rent rose 25% to an average of $1,400 per month. Despite the shocking gain, it’s still one of the more affordable cities cited in the report.

Lakewood is the least expensive city to rent a one bedroom as of May, with an average of $1,190. Despite the low number, this is a gain of 18% from last year.

Other cities in the report include Bellingham, coming in second place for most affordable, with an average one-bedroom rent of $1,220 per month. Everett is also on the affordable end at $1,260 per month.

While Seattle’s average monthly rate dropped from last year’s average, it’s starting to grow again as the pandemic ends. Zumper found one-bedroom rates increased by 4% from April to May, while two-bedroom rates stayed the same at an average of $2,000.

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