Seattle's median asking rent falls 7.3%, biggest drop in U.S.

Seattle’s median asking rent has fallen 7.3% in just one year, the largest drop of any U.S. metro area.

According to a report from real estate company Redfin, the biggest rent declines year over year have been in America’s Sun Belt—the lower, warmer half of the continent, which includes Southern California, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and the like.

The major exception is Seattle, which has seen the biggest decline of all the metro areas studied by Redfin.

Meanwhile, the median asking rent rose 1% to $1,648 nationwide.

Compared to Seattle’s 7% drop, Sun Belt metro areas that have seen rent declines include Austin (-6.6%), Nashville (-5.9%), Jacksonville (-5.6%), Miami (-5%), San Diego (-4.7%), Phoenix (-4.6%), Charlotte (-.5%), Tampa (-4.3%) and Orlando (-3.2%).

So, what’s driving the rent drops for Seattle apartments? Analysts attribute it to the surge in apartment construction the past several years.

"[These metro areas have] built a ton of new apartments in recent years, partly to meet the surge in demand brought on by the flood of people who moved in during the pandemic housing boom. But the boom is over, and now property owners are struggling to fill vacancies, which is causing rents to fall," said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari.

Inversely, rents have risen dramatically in the Midwest and Northeast, including areas like Minneapolis (+10.3%), Cincinnati (+9.9%), Chicago (+9.1%), New York (+8.9%), Washington, D.C. (+8.6%), Indianapolis (+8%), Virginia Beach (+7.7%), Houston (+6.7%), Boston (+5.7%) and Detroit (+4.9%). Experts have tied this to elevated mortgage rates for homes, which they suspect has bolstered rental demand.

Even still, Seattle’s median asking rent sits at $2,072, the ninth-highest on the list of major U.S. metro areas, eclipsing the national median ask of $1,648.


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