More square feet and a dog run but higher rents in Everett

Median rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments are higher in Everett than Seattle, study says

EVERETT — Looking for a one or two-bedroom apartment in Everett? These days, it could cost you more than similar digs in Seattle, a new report says.

The study, released at the beginning of the year, pegs the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom Everett apartment at $1,350 and a one-bedroom in the Emerald City at $1,320, according to Apartment List, a nationwide online market for apartment. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Everett, at $1,680, also topped Seattle’s median of $1,650, the report said.

Last year was the first time that Everett’s median apartment rents topped Seattle’s since the study began tracking rates in 2014, said Chris Salviati, the report’s author and a housing economist.

The analysis gauged monthly rents in 18 cities in the Puget Sound region, including Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Everett and Marysville.

“People tend to be surprised to learn that Everett’s median rent is higher than Seattle’s,” Salviati said.

A flurry of new construction has helped ease Seattle’s housing crunch. That hasn’t happened in Everett, Salviati said.

Seattle’s apartment choices are more varied, from older buildings in lower-income neighborhoods to high-end suites downtown.

Everett, on the other hand, presents a more “homogeneous” mix of apartments and prices — hence the higher median, Salviati said.

Everett also experienced, on average, a greater year-over- year rent hike.

About one-third of Snohomish County’s approximately 300,000 households are renters. Everett has one of the lowest rates of homeownership in the state.

In the past 12 months, Seattle rents rose less than 1 percent compared to 3 percent in 2017.

Everett rents increased 4 percent during the same period, up from 3.4 percent in 2017. Still, that’s less than the whopping 10-plus percent rent spike in 2015, the report said.

So, what does a 4 percent hike look like?

For Nancy Orwin of Everett, it means an additional $45 a month out of pocket.

The rent on her Everett apartment increased from $1,089 per month to $1,134 per month this winter.

Orwin, for now, is staying put, having signed a 12-month lease.

If the rent goes up another $75 to $100 next year, “I’d think about moving,” she said.

Around Puget Sound, some of the highest year-over-year rent increases were in Tacoma, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and south Snohomish County, where median rents rose more than 6 percent in the past 12 months, the report said.

Snohomish County’s development appears to be most intense near I-5 and I-405 and close to Seattle. Last spring, it was reported that more than 2,000 rental units are being built in Snohomish County, with some 5,000 more in the planning stages.

In Mountlake Terrace, rents were up 6.6 percent from a year ago December. There, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,550 or $1,940 for a two-bedroom, the report said.

Still, a one or two-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County may be a better deal than in Seattle if you’re in the market for more square-footage — and more amenities, such as a swimming pool or a dog run, Salviati said.

Marysville was one of last year’s outliers. Rents there declined 4 percent.

The median rent in Marysville last month was $1,320 for a one-bedroom and $1,640 for two bedrooms, the report said.

On average, monthly rents in the Puget Sound region are up about 3 percent from a year ago.

Across the state, the median rent rose about 1 percent.

For example, rents have grown by nearly 2 percent in Vancouver and less than one-half percent in Spokane, the report said.

Other highlights:

In December, the Everett median rent was nearly twice the price of a two-bedroom in Spokane, which stood at $880 a month.

Everett’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,680 is above the national average of $1,180.

Nationwide, rents have grown by 1 percent over the past year.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada; 425-339-3097. Twitter: JanicePods.

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