Just as Seattle-area rents went up for seven straight months earlier this year, apartment dwellers can watch another market streak—this time in their favor. Rents declined in September and again in October, falling the third fastest in the nation.
The November data from Apartment List makes it a third month in a row when rents declined month over month. This time, Seattle experienced the second-largest monthly drop of major metro areas in the U.S. with a -3.4 percent month-over-month rent decline and a -0.6 year-over-year dip. (Lexington, Kentucky, came in last at -4.4 percent month over month.)
What may be more interesting, however, is the picture out in the suburbs. Many formerly hot areas are also experiencing monthly declines, but the year-over-year comparison shows rents are still more expensive in some communities than they were the same month last year. Bring on the list.
The country's average month-over-month rent growth in November was -1 percent, which makes Seattle's fall to the bottom of the curve pretty remarkable. Not that you see any renters here complaining.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,589
Median two-bedroom rent: $1,921
Month-over-month rent growth: -3.4 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: -0.6 percent
The numbers tell the tale of two Rentons. While the monthly comparison shows a sharp decline somewhat in line with Seattle's drop, the year-over-year growth paints a completely different story. Perhaps some priced-out potential homebuyers decided to settle for another year of renting instead?
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,665
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,109
Month-over-month rent growth: -3.1 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 7.4 percent
Bothell continues to show solid year-over-year growth and had a modest month-over-month decline. The burb to the north contained some of the most competitive microhoods in 2021.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,854
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,160
Month-over-month rent growth: -1.6 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 4.5 percent
5. Mercer Island
An improvement in Apartment List's data reporting brings this wealthy community to the list. Those declines, though, show renters may have hit their spending limits, driving prices downward.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,982
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,607
Month-over-month rent growth: -3.5 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: -4.3 percent
As with other formerly hot suburbs, Redmond experienced a monthly decline but saw numbers go the other way when it came to year-over-year rent growth. Perhaps space-seeking Microsofties are mellowing out their home searches.
Median one-bedroom rent: $1,991
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,247
Month-over-month rent growth: -4.3 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 4.1 percent
The king of the Eastside is the first on this list to have a median one-bedroom rent topping the $2,o00 mark. And while rents have certainly gone down from former highs (a one-bedroom cost $2,190 here back in July 2022, for example), they're still nothing to scoff at.
Median one-bedroom rent: $2,000
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,232
Month-over-month rent growth: -3.0 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 3.2 percent
Despite a significant dip in median rent from October to November, Kirkland managed to maintain a second-place position by four measly dollars. The year-over-year growth in the positive column may just mean this suburb can't be counted out just yet.
Median one-bedroom rent: $2,004
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,182
Month-over-month rent growth: -4.1 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 2.7 percent
We have a new winner, folks, with this city just south of Bellevue's Factoria neighborhood taking the top spot. Although it too experienced a month-over-month decline, its year-over-year growth suggests maintained interest from renters.
Median one-bedroom rent: $2,031
Median two-bedroom rent: $2,165
Month-over-month rent growth: -2 percent
Year-over-year rent growth: 4.9 percent