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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 24, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 08
Seattle one of the most expensive rental markets, new study says
Section One
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Seattle one of the most expensive rental markets, new study says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Having a hard time paying the rent on your Capitol Hill apartment and still keeping up with your other bills? Of course you are! Seattle is one of the most expensive rental markets in the world.

A new study from the online property marketplace Nested has the bad news.

According to the study, Seattle is the fifth most expensive rental market in the country, with San Francisco topping the list, followed by New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC.

To rent here, you'll pay an average of $3.07 per square foot of space. According to an international housing study by the Greater London Authority, you'll need a minimum of 420 square feet if you live by yourself, for an average Seattle rent of $1,288.76.

If you have a partner and kids, you'll need 797 square feet for four people to live comfortably, so your rent will go up to $2,445.34.

According to the Loughborough University Institutional Repository, you should pay no more than 29% of your gross income for rent if you want to live with financial security. That means that if you're living by yourself, you'll need to make $53,328 per year to live in Seattle. If you have a family of two adults and two kids, you and your partner will need to make a total of $101.186.48.

The median family income in Seattle was only $91,123 in 2015, $10,000 short of what you, your partner, and the kids need to live here comfortably. No wonder so many of your neighbors are moving to Federal Way!

Expensive as Seattle is, it's nothing compared to San Francisco, where a single person would need to make $85,985.38 to live comfortably ($163,151.17 for a family of four).

As it turns out, San Francisco is the most expensive rental market in the world, topping even Hong Kong, Singapore, and London.

Seattle wasn't rated among world cities, but Washington DC - which comes just before us in the list of US cities - is number six in the world, and LA - which comes just after us - is number 10 on the international list.

Seattle rental prices are not only high but they're rising rapidly. Data from the property rental website Zumper shows that the price of a Seattle one-bedroom unit has gone up a whopping 8.5% in the past year alone.

Want to buy a house instead? According to Zumper, low inventory and rising home prices also make it hard to buy a home, so buyers also have a tough time in Seattle's housing market.

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