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Seattle Apartment Vacancies Just Hit a Five-Year High

Is Seattle finally hitting the point where it's built too many apartments for it's own good?

Seems like Seattle can't build enough houses or condos to keep up with demand. Apartments, however, appear to be reaching some kind of equilibrium.

Per PSBJ, a new report from Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors of Seattle shows that in-city apartment vacancy rates have increased 0.2 percent from last month. While that seems pretty inconsequential at first, that brings the vacancy rate to 3.5, the highest it's been since Fall 2010.

PSBJ notes that of the 58,000 apartment units planned to open 2016 and 2020 in the region, almost 36,000 are located in Seattle. No wonder Dupre + Scott is also seeing rents stabilize (luxury apartments notwithstanding) and expects that trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

In a survey of landlords, only about a third told Dupre + Scott that they planned to increase rents over the next six months by an average of 3.6 percent. That's a big change from 2011-14, when more than 60 percent consistently said they planned to raise rents.

Perhaps tellingly, apartment vacancies are going down all around Seattle, from the Eastside to South King County. As people shift their focus to living where it's more affordable, there's less inventory to go around.
· There are more empty apartments in Seattle than there have been in five years [PSBJ]