The coronavirus pandemic has reversed a yearslong climb in Seattle rent prices.

Here's an election distraction for you: apartment hunting. Sure, you might be tempted to Google ways to exit the country, but leave a tab open for Craigslist too.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, rents in Seattle have plunged 14 percent, the third-most of any major city in the U.S. during that time, per Apartment List data. In October, rents were 12.2 percent lower than a year ago. The median monthly price for a one-bedroom now sits at $1,483; it's $1,849 for a two-bedroom.

This decline shouldn't come as a shock, nor should the abundance of rental concessions that are currently on the table. While local single-family home prices have surged in recent months, condos and apartments remain a tough sell as city dwellers trade shoebox units for larger spaces to quarantine.

In the city itself, that is. Rents stayed flat or even climbed in Kent, Federal Way, Auburn, Everett, Tacoma, and Lakewood during October, ApartmentList notes (the site's methodology, which aims to counteract a traditional "skew toward luxury apartments" in rental market calculations, can be found here). Prices in Bellevue and Redmond dropped a bit last month, but they're still high; the median two-bedroom in Redmond is $2,131 a month.

Which means city residents shouldn't assume they have to leave the shadow of the downtown core to find the best price per square foot. Even if you don't ultimately invest in that two-bed with space for a home office, it's better to let your mind wander there than to swing state speculation.

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