Seattle’s Banner Year

The city’s vibrant economy has produced job growth in a broad range of sectors, supporting housing demand and kickstarting an apartment boom, Yardi Matrix data shows.
Seattle rent evolution, click to enlarge

Seattle’s vibrant economy has produced job growth in a broad range of sectors, supporting housing demand and kickstarting an apartment boom. Nearly 10,000 new units are planned to debut this year. Despite the surge in supply, affordability remains a concern, increasingly driving renters and investors out of the city’s core and submarkets into the farflung suburbs.

Job growth isn’t just in technology but in industries that are expanding to service and/or support the metro’s main drivers. Trade, transportation and utilities (13,300 new jobs during the past year), hospitality, education and health services, and construction also grew at fairly robust levels. The prosperity starts with the metro’s tech sector, though. Amazon, for example, is constructing a 306,000-square-foot office building in the Denny Triangle neighborhood.

To keep up with demand for housing, construction is on the rise, with more than 69,000 units in the development pipeline. Average rents are at $1,657 and new inventory is primarily focused in the upscale Lifestyle segment, pushing residents into fringe submarkets. However, consistent job growth and rising home prices are boosting apartment demand, and occupancy remains high. With demand not likely to let up soon, we expect rent growth to remain strong, at 7.6 percent for 2017.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.