As Seattle’s Housing Market Stalls, The Rental Market Continues to Get Stronger

The Seattle PI reported last week on the downturn in the local real estate market, and how that’s driving the rental market.

Vacancy rates, which are at 4.6% right now, are dropping and are predicted to continue to drop throughout the rest of the year. While vacancy rates are falling, rental rates are rising. Rates have risen about 2.5% recently and will continue to grow.

Not only will rental rates go up, but fewer concessions will be offered to entice renters.

The rental market is being driven by simple supply and demand, with the number of apartment buildings unable to match the increasing stream of renters. The supply of units will likely not match the demand for at least another, as apartment projects beginning construction now will take that long to be completed.

This Week’s Multi-Family Housing News!

This has been a busy week for Seattle’s rental market. Apartment buildings have been listed for sale, plans have been made to demolish old buildings and to construct new buildings. More below:

  • The Stratford Company has renewed its plans to demolish the dilapidated Marion Apartments at Bellevue and Pine. Construction of a new project will begin as soon as possible. The new project, called the Pine Street Apartments, will have 132 units and 4,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. More info here.
  • The Schuster Group has done away with it’s plans to build a condominium tower in Belltown in favor of building a 12-story apartment tower. Construction should begin in about nine months. Details here.
  • This week, plans for a 4-story, 48-unit residential building underwent review by the Design Review Board. Look at the plans here.
  • A 20-unit apartment building at 1023 Pike Street was listed for $4.65 million. The current owner is looking to sell to someone motivated to preserve the building, instead of developing it into something else. Read more here.
  • Seattle University announced they are having an Off-Campus Housing Fair on April 11th. They are inviting Property Managers/Owners to set up a table for free to connect their students with places to live in the coming year. For more information call 206-296-6305 or email Kathleen Baker at bakerkat@seattleu.edu.

Backpage Now Charging for Job & Rental Listings

Backpage.com announced at the end of last month that they will be charging for job and rental listings now.

The transition to pay-per-listing on the classified site was predicated on the idea that paying for listings reduces the amount of spam. From their press release:

“We now charge $1 per post in some larger cities for Jobs and Apartments/Homes for Rent postings. We are doing this to combat spam and scam postings… [Advertisers] tell us they get much better response and that it is well worth the $1 to keep their ads near the top of the listings.”

The pay-per-listing structure is also expected to be adopted by the classified-listing giant Craigslist.org sometime in the coming year.

How will this affect the rental market in Seattle? Does this change the way you plan on advertising? Tell us your thoughts below, on Facebook or through Twitter!

Mixed-Use Building Being Designed for Demolished Capitol Hill Block

After a project at 2200 24th Ave E was cancelled in 2006, the demolished block sat undeveloped and ignored. That’s changing now though, as Boston 2200 LLC is designing a new mixed-use building for the site.

The new building is being designed by Roger Newell Architects and will be comprised of apartments, town homes, retail and office spaces.

Currently the design for the project is being reviewed by the Capitol Hill Design Review Board, and a decision should be reached at tomorrow-night’s meeting.

You can check out the submitted design plans here.

Which of the proposed designs do you like best? Comment below, on Facebook or through Twitter!

For more information, visit this blog.