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Seattle rent report: February 2018

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Could rent increases still be slowing down?

Oksana Perkins/Shutterstock

Last month, Realpage’s quarterly report showed one of the largest quarterly rent decreases in Seattle’s recent memory. But how’s that holding up month to month?

We’re mid-quarter at this point, so we only have other data sources to take a look at—which is a little like comparing apples to oranges, but can give us a sense of what’s happening across the city. Each data source differs a little and has its own sets of limitations, though.

Listing site Apartment List (AL)’s numbers track by city limits, and unlike a lot of listing site data, its numbers are weighted with census data to compensate skewing toward luxury listings. It still attempts to track what a new renter or apartment-hunter could expect to pay for their new pad, though, as opposed to what the typical renter is currently paying.

This month’s data tracks with a continued slowdown. Not only are rents down—albeit very slightly—month over month, the year-over-year increase is falling, too. According to AL’s data, Seattle rent is actually starting to increase at a slower rate than not just Washington state, but the whole country.

Specifically: AL clocks a 0.6 percent decrease month over month, and a 2.4 percent increase year over year. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, per AL, is $1,310, or $1,630 for a two-bedroom.

Rentcafé, using data from Yardi Matrix, looked at the city limits, but only at buildings with 50 units or more. That helps verify the data pool, but skews the numbers toward larger buildings. For Seattle proper, it found the typical renter is paying $1,972 per month across home sizes—virtually no change from last month or a 5 percent jump year over year—but again, that’s only in certain kinds of buildings.

As for other listing site data: Zumper, which can skew toward luxury listings, found very little change in the past month or year for one- and two-bedrooms. Abodo had similar results. According to Zumper, Seattle has been steadily the eighth-most-expensive city for rent for quite some time now, with a median one-bedroom rent of $1,830. Abodo, meanwhile, puts one-bedroom rent at a little below that, at $1,771.

For clarity, we’ve compiled various data sources in a table below.

What’s the rent: February 2018

Source One-bedroom Two-bedroom Overall
Source One-bedroom Two-bedroom Overall
Rentcafé $1,972
Apartment List $1,310 $1,630
Zumper $1,830 $2,400
Abodo $1,771 $2,273