As Seattle earned the designation of "biggest loser" in this year's housing market cooldown, and year-over-year price growth either evened out or declined in the city and the burbs, where does that leave renters?
This year, Seattle-area rents have gone up for seven straight months, but in September, things were finally looking, er, down. According to the latest Apartment List data, month-over-month growth declined last month across the metropolitan area. But rents were still up slightly when compared to the same time in 2021. So what will a one- or two-bedroom cost you now? Bring on the list.
Renters have probably never been so happy in their life to see a negative number. As month-over-month rent growth slowed considerably this summer, September marked the first time in seven long months that number has gone in the other direction. Prices are still up, however, compared to 2021.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,700
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,050
Month-over-month rent growth: -1.1 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 2.6 percent
While Renton's tear this year has slowed considerably, check out that year-over-year rent growth. Its price comparison to last year still reflects the popularity of suburbs traditionally viewed as more affordable than Seattle proper.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,730
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,190
Month-over-month rent growth: 0.1 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 11.5 percent
6. Mountlake Terrace
This enclave to the north has featured a bumpy housing market in 2022, and that's reflected in rentals as well. While month-over-month growth has slowed to nearly nothing, its annual price growth is still robust.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,790
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,100
Month-over-month rent growth: 0.5 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 12.1 percent
Has the allure of the suburbs disappeared with rising inflation and interest rates? Bothell presents just that sort of quandary with a smidge of a month-over-month decline but an annual price growth that's nothing to scoff at.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,920
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,240
Month-over-month rent growth: -0.2 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 8.9 percent
Of all the cities on this list, Bellevue has had perhaps the swiftest reckoning. The rents in this Eastside city were down 1.1 percent in August and continued their tumble in September. But, of course, that year-over-year price growth is still in the positive column.
Median one-bedroom rent: $2,130
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,380
Month-over-month rent growth: -1.7 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 6.5 percent
Although the monthly rent growth dipped in September, the price of a one-bedroom apartment in Kirkland still costs more than a two-bedroom in Seattle. Only time will tell if that rent slide continues through the rest of the year.
Median one-bedroom rent: $2,150
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,340
Month-over-month rent growth: -1.2 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 8.6 percent
In some ways, Redmond tells the story of rents in this area. While price growth has stalled out compared to recent months, even that decline is still considerably more than rents were in 2021.
Median one-bedroom rent: $2,170
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,450
Month-over-month rent growth: -1.5 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 10.3 percent
Issaquah's one-bedroom rental data is lacking, but that hefty median rent of a two-bedroom unit is what's keeping this Eastside community at the top of our list. It's the only city where rents have topped that $2,500 mark, and with steady year-over-year price growth too.
Median one-bedroom rent: N/A
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,530
Month-over-month rent growth: -0.7 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 10.2 percent