Numbers from the Census Bureau are about as official as it gets for calculating nationwide trends. So call it official: Seattle’s rent is the 10th highest in the U.S. and its rising faster than any other major city.
According to data released by the Census Bureau this month, median rents in Seattle reached $1,172 in 2013 — an 11% increase from 2010. Seattle surpassed Long Beach, CA and Oakland, CA in its rise to the top 10.
The Seattle Times wrote about it here, but buried one important stat: the renter population actually outpaced the rent increases as the city added 13% more renters in the same time period. In 2013 some 307,000 people were renting in Seattle.
On Capitol Hill rents are rising faster.
Earlier this summer CHS reported that average rent in the neighborhood had reached $1,557, a 12% increase in just one year. According to the latest quarterly apartment survey from analysts Dupre+Scott, median rent on the Hill is at $1,462. What’s even more impressive is the rent increases are happening amid a boom of new units. From March to September the report counted 605 new units — almost double the next highest amount in the past five years over the same time period.
Last year CHS wrote about several Capitol Hill tenants that had seen their rents jump drastically, some up to 20%. Recently we reported that average apartment rents in the neighborhood reached $1,557 a month, up $162 from last summer.
In an effort to help provide residents some relief, Mayor Ed Murray has said he will be tackling affordable housing as his next major policy issue. Following his strategy for tackling minimum wage, Murray’s first move on affordable housing was to announce the formation of a crowded advisory committee. Prolific Capitol Hill developer Maria Barrientos will take one seat on the 28-member Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee, which was announced on Tuesday.
Murray also announced plans for a an emergency task force on homelessness. “Nothing will be off the table, including the issue of how best to address homeless encampments in our city,” Murray said.
Meanwhile, the City Council is working on its own affordable housing plan with council member Mike O’Brien at the helm. The council is scheduled to discuss the plan on October 14th.