Affordable rental prices are a common issue in locations that see a high rate of new residents and Seattle is a city very popular with people looking to relocate to the West Coast. The resulting lack of affordable rental housing along with other concerns such as a rising homeless population has Seattle residents looking for places with more affordable rental property such as property found in Bellingham, WA.
Renters are moving from Seattle to Bellingham for the price of rental property
In recent years, averages of 104,000 people have moved away from King County every year. Many of the relocating residents (46 percent) are younger in age, between 18 and 34. These younger residents moving to Bellingham account for 80 percent of the city’s new residents. Naturally, as home to Western Washington University, a good portion of these new, young residents are students. The others are young working adults who leave Seattle for various reasons including the price of rental property.
- Seeking lower rental property rates: The causes of high rental rates in Seattle are twofold. First, the increase in residents reduces the number of vacant rental properties in the market making housing a premium and driving up rental prices. Second, in many cases the market cannot build housing fast enough to meet the growing demand which in turn increases the prices on existing property. These two factors combine to create a situation where rental property is harder to find and what is available is also more expensive. While property in Bellingham has seen an increase in rental rates even faster than those in Seattle, in terms of overall cost rental rates remain far more affordable than Seattle.
- Escaping a high overall cost of living: as with many large cities that are considered an attractive place to live, Seattle has a higher cost of living than many surrounding areas. While a high cost may not matter to those in upper income levels, it can drive lower paid workers out of an area in search of a more affordable life.
- Other concerns: lastly, some residents relocate from Seattle due to other concerns. These grievances range from heavy traffic, disagreements with local government, local tax rates, or the city’s homeless population. While such issues are somewhat generalized (and often found in other larger cities) they are reasons that have been expressed by those moving away from Seattle.
As the above information shows, residents are renting property in Bellingham for several different reasons but the driving forces are rental prices, rental availability, and the overall cost of living. Many simply feel priced out by Seattle’s housing market and choose to leave as a result. These factors will likely continue to impact the growth of Bellingham’s property market and rise in rental property rates and other nearby mid-sized communities.
Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.