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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 19 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 38
Census data shows Seattle had steepest rise in rent increase in the nation
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Census data shows Seattle had steepest rise in rent increase in the nation

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Rent is high in Seattle. And people are hurting. Families are scraping by and all that anyone ever gets told about why the rent in Seattle has gone sky-high is that rent is being raised everywhere, nobody is hurting as bad as people are saying they are and so on. It's ridiculous.

Why are we paying New York prices without New York tourism dollars? Why does rent cost more in Seattle than in Miami where there the beaches don't have boulders and big rocks and the sun is out year-round? Regardless, the U.S. Census released data this week that might shed some light on the issue.

Data released Thursday by the Census Bureau ranks Seattle among the 10 most-expensive cities for renters.

According to FYIGuy.com, between 2010 and 2013, Seattle renters took a bigger hit to their pocketbooks than renters in any other large U.S. city. The gross median rent here spiked by $113, or nearly 11 percent. That's the sharpest rise in rent among the nation's 50 most-populous cities.

Seattle is the only large city where rents jumped by more than $100, and by more than 10 percent, in this period.

The median amount paid by Seattle renters, across all size units, reached $1,172 in 2013. The census data also show that three out of five Seattle apartments now rent for more than $1,000.

Rents in Bellevue rose even more dramatically than they did in Seattle, jumping by $152 between 2010 and 2013. The median rent there now stands at $1,494 - that's $3 higher than San Francisco, believe it or not.

The census data also shows that Seattle's apartment-dwelling population reached 307,000 in 2013 - a 13 percent increase since 2010. So while it may not be cheap to rent here, that certainly isn't keeping people away.

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