Young professionals continue to drive rental demand in Seattle, keeping the metro one of the strongest and most stable multifamily markets in the U.S. Although the healthy, long-term demographic and economic expansions are still pushing up demand, accelerating deliveries have managed to dampen rent growth. At a more sustainable 2.4 percent year-over-year through November, rent growth fell 70 basis points behind the U.S. average.
In the 12 months ending in September, Seattle added 66,300 jobs for a 3.4 percent expansion, a strong 140 basis points above the national figure. Trade, transportation and utilities led growth, generating 17,400 positions. The metro’s $3.2 billion Lynnwood Link Extension is set to add 8.5 miles of light-rail line connecting Lynnwood to downtown Seattle. Professional and business services and information also expanded, adding a total of 23,900 jobs and further boosting upscale housing demand along the way. The information sector, one of Seattle’s main economic drivers, registered the largest year-over-year increase—6.9 percent.
The city’s solid fundamentals continue to attract investors, with nearly $2.3 billion in multifamily assets trading in the first 10 months of 2018. Roughly 8,200 units were delivered in the metro last year through November, with an additional 24,470 apartments underway.