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2015's Apartment Influx Won't Stop Seattle's Rising Rents

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Here's the good news, Seattle renters: almost 13,000 new apartments will be available in the region in 2015. Here's the bad news: Even then, you're still probably going to have to pay through the roof to rent them. According to a new report by Apartment Insights Washington, the average rent for new leases in apartments in King and Snohomish counties during Q4 2014 was $1,313, up 8% from last year. That's 2% more growth than the previous year and four times the rate of inflation. Plus, considering many of the new apartments will be located in luxury towers in high-growth areas such as Denny Triangle or downtown Bellevue, renters might see more availability but not at a cheaper price.

In the meantime, average monthly rents for a 1-BR in November were $1,513 in Seattle, $1,475 in Bellevue, $1,372 in Kirkland and $1,326 in Renton.

Ballard makes for an interesting case study in how the new apartments won't necessarily make it easier for renters. Ballard's average rent was $1,603 in Q4, up almost 14% from last year. If you want to live in a Ballard apartment built mid-century, you can find something for around $1,110. However, if you want live in a Ballard apartment built since 2010, average rent is around $1,731.

Other neighborhood 1-BR rents include $1,785 in Downtown Seattle, $1,627 in Belltown and $1,627 in West Bellevue.

And if all of this isn't morbid enough, Zillow just released new analysis saying that Seattle residents paid $7.8B (as in billion) in rent in 2014, which is up 8.6% from 2013.
· Rents surge, but a record number of new units may slow future hikes [ST]
· Zillow: Renters paid $441 billion in rent in 2014 [HW]