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February studies show increase in one bedroom rent

The monthly rent numbers are in, and surprise, they mostly went up

Two apartment buildings with downtown in the background Mary Knox Merrill/Getty Images

Now that March has officially arrived, it’s time to look back at February 2017, and surprise: The rent went up again, for the most part, according to three rental listing sites.

Rental listing site Zumper bumped us up two places in their ranking of most expensive U.S. cities, at eighth, down from 10th last month. One tiny piece of good news for renters: The site saw a 2 percent decrease month over month in two bedroom rent, more than the 1.7 percent increase they calculated for one bedrooms in the same time period.

In a similar study, Abodo ranked us 12th in one bedroom rent from February 1 through March 1, but eighth in overall increase. By their calculations, one bedroom rent went up double Zumper’s figure, at 3.4 percent. Two bedroom increases were negligible, at .6 percent.

Apartment List, another rental site that releases monthly rankings, showed a 1.7 percent increase in median rent for one and two bedrooms combined.

It’s not a huge bump, either way—a $30 or $35 increase for one bedrooms, respectively—but it adds up over the course of a year. Zumper saw a 7.1 percent increase in one bedroom rent compared to this time last year; Apartment List calculated 5.6 percent.

But what about studios? Data provided to Curbed Seattle by Zumper shows a steady decline in studio rent since July. Median rent on a studio apartment in Seattle in February was $1375, down about 3.2 percent from January—but up about 5.8 percent from this time last year.

In the metro area, though, one city does continue to outpace Seattle: Bellevue. The eastside city’s rent, according to Apartment List, their median rent for a one bedroom outpaces Seattle’s by nearly $300.

Apartment List’s rankings also show Seattle’s rent spreading rapidly to the surrounding area. Tacoma’s rent, according to their data, rose nearly 10 percent in the past year.

Last month, rental site Nested used averages to calculate most expensive cities, and placed us fifth in the U.S. These monthly tallies use median rent, so while the difference is interesting, it’s not comparable.

The studies may quibble on the details, but there’s one thing they all seem to agree on one thing that’s no surprise to renters: In most cases, rent continues to go up.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include studio apartment rental data from Zumper.