RentalsSeattle Market November 6, 2014

Seattle’s Rental Market

I’ve got Seattle’s spectacular rental market on my mind today. For a few years, my friends in “apartments” (involved in financing/building them) have been warning of over-supply. But…demand for both the units as rentals and for them as investments continued (many out-of-area money sources looking to get in on the gems of the Emerald City). Just yesterday, I heard a first-hand account of over-supply. The asset: 

  • a condominium unit at Gallery; built in 2009, in what I call the “quiet” part of Belltown, at 2nd and Broad (close to Seattle Center and SAM’s Sculpture Park). Solid gym, party deck, and other amenities.
  • a 2BR/2BA, 2parking, 1160sf unit in the cool glass “bump out” that juts proudly out towards Broad Street

The owners (ThriveSeattle friends!) told me that they just re-rented it after 1 month of looking for a tenant.

The previous tenants had been paying $3,000/month, or $2.59/sf.

The new tenants will pay $2,500/month or $2.16/sf

The owners report having shown the unit to approximately 30 prospective tenants and received 3 applications, with one prospect entering their thoughts into a spreadsheet comparing dozens of options.

Some prospective tenants told the owners that the larger all-apartment complexes (my friend owns in a condo building and rents her unit there out) were offering iPads and other lease-signing bonuses.

I’d heard all this was coming, but hadn’t seen it yet. What’s your experience been?