Seattle’s strong economic expansion has lasted beyond expectations. Good demographic trends have strengthened the multifamily market and pressured developers despite the robust supply additions of recent years. Significant completions have kept rent growth moderate, up 2.9 percent year-over-year through October to $1,903. Demand for apartments remains elevated, with the occupancy rate in stabilized properties rising 40 basis points year-over-year to 95.8 percent in September.
The market gained 61,100 jobs in the 12 months ending in September for a 3.1 percent year-over-year increase, only trailing Orlando (up 3.7 percent) and Dallas (up 3.2 percent). With a strong presence in the medical and tech industries, the metro continued to add jobs at a fast pace in these sectors—education and health services gained 11,800 jobs and professional and business services added 10,800 jobs. With medical facilities likely to expand for decades to come and with large corporations attracted by Seattle’s talent pool and highly skilled workforce, both sectors are poised for growth for the foreseeable future.
Investment volume surpassed $3.8 billion in 2019 through October, with a per-unit price up 3.1 percent to $281,472. The development boom continued this year through October: 9,917 units came online while another 20,852 units were under construction.