Rental Market Tightens; Vacancy Lowest in Five Years

Did you see the numbers Dupre + Scott put out recently? The rental market has been tightening for awhile now, but their new report confirms it: Seattle area vacancies have hit a five-year low. This record is discussed in detail in Aubrey Cohen’s new article in the Seattle PI.

So what kind of vacancy rates are we talking about? That’s just under 3% vacancy in multifamily buildings–we haven’t seen vacancies this low since 2007. Altogether, King County currently has a market vacancy rate of 4.1%; this is big news!

The exodus from home ownership within the past five years, coupled with the momentum the job market has been gaining just recently, have helped contribute to the current renting boom. Of course, lower vacancy means landlords can charge more per unit; average Seattle rent is currently $1,178, which is over 5% higher than just one year ago. What’s more, Dupre + Scott have found that apartment managers are planning to raise the rent further–nearly 3% just in the next six months. Coupled with fewer incentives, it’s clear the landlords have the upper hand in an unparalleled way in the current market.

Of course, this low vacancy rate hasn’t been lost on developers–while last year had amongst the lowest apartment production of the last forty years, that’s all about to change. According to Dupre + Scott, more than 5,000 units will hit the market in the Seattle Region in 2012 alone.

For even more details, check out the article in the Seattle PI. In the meantime, are you enjoying low vacancy in your building? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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