From the SeattlePI
Seattle apartments are increasingly expensive and hard to find, according to a new report. But a building boom could change that.
The average rent for an apartment in the city hit $1,165 this month, up 4.2 percent from March and 5 percent from September 2010, according to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors, which tracks buildings with at least 20 units. The market vacancy rate, which excludes new buildings in the process of leasing up and those undergoing major renovation, is now 3.47 percent, down from 3.5 percent in March and 3.61 percent last September, and the lowest since the fall of 2008.
I personally believe rents will fall flat through the fall and might actually decrease as new supply comes on the market. Additionally, an increase of supply should continue to formulate as foreclosures, short sales, and the burgeoning Belltown condo market continues to cycle through inventory.
However, given the lackluster housing forecasts which will probably continue driving home prices down, especially through the dismal winter buying season, the demand for rentals in Belltown could outpace the oncoming supply of inventory. If overall home prices continue to decline, you can bet along the with the majority of analysts that rental prices will continue to climb in urban areas.
Formulate your own opinion and hedge your lease bets accordingly.