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June 13, 2017

Seattle area needs 98,000 new units by 2030: NMHC

A new report from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) says that the greater Seattle area will need over 98,000 units by 2030 to keep up with projected demand.

The study relies in part on research from Axiometrics, which has reported average annual construction of 5,884 units for the past five years. That number would need to increase by about 19 percent.

In a statement, the Washington Multifamily Housing Association's Jim Wiard said, “We're experiencing fundamental shifts in our housing dynamics, as more people are moving away from buying houses and choosing apartments instead. People moving to the area continue to outpace natural population growth as the source of new renters for the Seattle metro area.

“The rental stock here is older, but less than a third of renters are living in older, more affordable apartment units, he said. “Our renters tend to be younger, and living in smaller households. Demand for apartments will continue to be strong, and is expected to increase each year through 2030.”

Future demand will be created by factors including an aging population, immigration and the decline in home purchases, the report said.

The authors said Seattle is ranked 11th out of 50 metro areas in terms of projected apartment demand by 2030.

The report estimates that this region now has about 406,000 apartments. To meet projected demands, apartment supply would have to increase by 24 percent.

In a separate report for the month of May, Axiometrics said that rent growth for the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett market had declined 0.4 percentage points from April to 5.4 percent. Annual rent growth for the same market was up 8.1 percent.

The vacancy rate is essentially unchanged from last May, at 96 percent.

Axiometrics estimates average rent for the market, from luxury to older budget properties, is now around $1,860. In its last quarterly report, Axiometrics forecast 3.3 percent rent growth for the rest of the year.

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