Snapshots

In search of relative affordability, multifamily rental demand shifts to the Eastside

Multifamily rental rates in downtown Seattle have reached an all-time high, which is pushing residents to the suburbs in search of relative affordability.

Multifamily rental rates in downtown Seattle have reached an all-time high, which is pushing residents to the suburbs in search of relative affordability. Robust rental demand on the Eastside has pushed vacancy down to an impressive 3.9 percent, compared to 5.2 percent in urban Seattle. Additionally, the Eastside submarkets are experiencing stronger YOY rent growth compared to urban Seattle submarkets.

In addition to affordability, suburban multifamily product provides larger unit sizes which is attractive to both aging Millennials seeking more space and Baby Boomers downsizing. The average unit size in urban Seattle is 696 square feet, while Eastside units average 927 square feet.

Due to limited single family development and continued population growth, long term renting is becoming the norm in both urban and suburban areas. With the barrier to homeownership increasing, renting in suburban submarkets, namely the Eastside, gives renters access to larger units and quality schools, while maintaining access to major employers.

Source: JLL Research, YardiMatrix

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