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How much did the rent go up (or down): August 2017 edition

What’s rent like in Seattle right now?

Three rows of floor to ceiling windows on the outside of a beige building with intermittent balconies. Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Median rent in Seattle, by all accounts, has gone up. But how far—and the actual dollar figure—vary depending on what data you’re looking at. The summary: For a one-bedroom, it’s anywhere from $1,370 to $1,940.

Again, like in previous months, Apartment List (AL)’s lower number comes from different methodology. Their goal is to figure out what median rent people are actually paying, not just on active apartment listings, like the data you get from the census, but on a monthly basis.

In short: AL’s estimates are more likely to be the overall number, whereas other estimates, like the ones from Zumper and Abodo, are more reflective of apartments currently available to rent.

AL’s one-bedroom estimate this month, $1,370, and their two-bedroom estimate, $1,710 for a two-bedroom, contribute to a 1.4 percent increase month over month and 5.6 percent year over year.

Of course, that’s not as useful to someone looking for an apartment right this second. Zumper’s rankings are based on active listings from both their own listings and third-party data from MLS listings.

They found that one-bedrooms in Seattle experienced a 7.9 percent increase over this time last year to $1,940. Two bedrooms, at $2,480, saw a 4.2 percent increase year over year, but a slight decrease month over month.

Studios, per Zumper, have a median price of $1,475, up 1.7 percent from last month but down 8.4 percent compared to last year.

For the past several months at least, city rankings have held steady. But according to Abodo’s rankings, which also are more likely to reflect current listings, Seattle fell from 10th-most-expensive to 11th-most-expensive nationally.

One bedrooms are virtually the same as last month: $1,746. Two-bedrooms haven’t changed much month-over-month either—Abodo calculates median two-bedroom rent as $2,337. Both one- and two-bedrooms decreased dramatically year over year though, at 8.1 and 6.5 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, RentCafe calculates Seattle’s average rent overall at $2,002—that’s a 7.6 percent increase overall.

For clarity, we’ve compiled everyone’s rent estimates, national ranking for Seattle, and year-over-year change.

How much did the rent go up (or down): August 2017

Listing site Studio Year over year One-bedroom Year over year Two-bedroom Year over year National rank
Listing site Studio Year over year One-bedroom Year over year Two-bedroom Year over year National rank
Apartment List (Median) N/A N/A $1,370 N/A $1,710 Overall: 5.6% 12
Zumper (Median) $1,475 -8.4% $1,940 7.2% $2,480 4.2% 8
Abodo (Median) N/A N/A $1,748 -8.1% $2,319 -6.5% 11
RentCafe (Average) N/A N/A N/A N/A Overall: $2,002 Overall: 7.6% 27
AL, Zumper, Abodo, RentCafe

RentCafe notes that Bellevue’s rent, by their calculations, is higher than Seattle’s, at $2,160 on average.

Tacoma, meanwhile, has some of the fastest-rising rents in the region, as both AL and RentCafe note. AL calculated a 7.4 percent increase year over year with a median one-bedroom rent of $1,230—barely a hundred short of Seattle’s—and $1,530 for two-bedrooms.

RentCafe ranks Tacoma eighth nationally in fast-rising rents, with a whopping 9.2 percent increase in average rent year over year to $1,156. Kent ranks ninth, with a 9.1 percent increase to $1.409.