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Seattle renters give city an A for jobs, F for affordability

Apartment List surveyed Seattle renters to find out how they feel about their home as costs rise

Seattle rents increased by 0.3 percent over the past month and are up 8.0 percent since according to Apartment List’s Seattle Rent Report. According to their numbers, a one-bedroom in Seattle will run you $1,750/month while a 2-bedroom goes for $2,360/month.

Those are the kinds of numbers we’re used to seeing and most folks can agree that it tells the story of a rental market that’s pricing too many people out and causing huge demographic shift ripples throughout the city.

But how do renters themselves feel? What’s like for the people renting these apartments when the issue isn’t a macro sense of Seattle but just a simple sense of quality of life for one person?

Apartment List also conducted a survey of 30,000 renters nationwide but were able to zero in on Seattle-specific answers in order to get a sense of what it’s like to rent here.

“Seattle renters are generally satisfied with their city overall, with most categories receiving average or above average ratings” says Andrew Woo, Director of Data Science at Apartment List. “With rents rising especially in coastal cities, it comes as no surprise that cost of living is a source of dissatisfaction here.”

Using grades for each category, Apartment List found that Seattle renters gave their city a B+ overall in satisfaction. The highest-rated categories for Seattle were access to public transit (A) as well as local jobs and career opportunities (A-). Renters were generally satisfied with things like safety (B-), commute times (B-), and access to parks (B+). The biggest sources for dissatisfaction here are the quality of local schools (C+) and affordability/cost of living (F).

They found that Seattle was on par for renter satisfaction with Portland (B) but fell behind other similarly-sized cities like Denver (A-).

No surprise on the affordability grade. Public transit is a little higher than we expected, though we assume many renters are living in places that now have light rail access and bus stops nearby. Also surprised commute times did as well as they did, all things considered.

If you’re a Seattle renter, chime in and let us know if you think these grades match your experience. If they don’t, what’s different for you?