Seattle’s Apartment Rental Market: Things to Know For 2023

Seattle is the shining star of Washington State, and arguably all of the pacific northwest. Its gorgeous natural landscapes, iconic landmarks, state-of-the-art schools and business opportunities make the city of Seattle a great place live, whether you’re looking to kickstart your career or settle down. But, it has a bit of a bad reputation for being pointlessly expensive. Our apartment rental market experts here at ApartmentLove want to help prospective renters understand the Seattle rental market. That way, you can make the most informed decisions. Let’s get into it.

Apartment Rental Trends in Seattle

Over half of Seattle’s housing market is occupied by apartment rentals. During the peak of the COVID19 pandemic, rent prices fell. But as life has largely returned to normal, so have rent prices. In general, Seattle’s rent prices are up by 5% from 2022. That translates to roughly a $95 increase. What does this look like for rent prices? As of January 2023, the median rental price in Seattle is $2,000. This trend is expected to continue for 2023. However, this prediction could be wrong, as Seattle’s regional vacancy rate was at 10.52% in the last quarter of 2022.

How Much is Rent in Seattle?


It’s important to remember that these averages vary based on location and unit size, as well as potential amenities. Studio apartment and one-bedroom apartments come in at a price range between $1,000 to $1,200 per month. Two-bedroom apartment rentals are typically in the $2,000 range. Capitol Hill is the most popular neighborhood for anyone in search of a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment for rent in Seattle. This neighborhood is trendy, with loads of boutiques, attractions and other amenities suited for students and young professionals. In fact, Capitol Hill is often nicknamed “the Brooklyn of Seattle”. And, compared to a similar major neighborhood in Brooklyn, rent is very affordable. To compare direct numbers, a studio or one-bedroom apartment for rent in Brooklyn has an average rent $2,000 per month, compared to Seattle’s $1,200 per month.

If you’re looking for a for a family sized home, Seattle has some great options in popular family-oriented neighborhoods like Magnolia or Queen Anne. These neighborhoods are known for their large, elegant, historic homes and family-friendly activities like parks, theaters and museums. Three-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments for rent in neighborhoods like Magnolia and Queen Anne range between $3,000 to $4,000 a month, depending on the amenities, pet policies and backyard availability. While these prices may seem high, the cost is actually well worth it. When compared to other major metropolises like New York or San Franciso, the cost of a family-sized rental unit has remained relatively affordable. To compare, the average three-bedroom or four-bedroom apartment rental unit in New York City goes for $6,500 a month. In San Francisco, the average is $5,800 a month. Those prices make Seattle look like a steal! For more affordable family-sized options in Seattle, Laurelhurst is a great option. In general, the monthly rent is about $500 less than Magnolia or Queen Anne.

What is the Cost of Living in Seattle?

A city’s affordability is more than just the rent itself being affordable. Affordability includes the overall cost of living and average salaries too. So where does Seattle stand in terms of affordability when compared to national averages? According to ZipRecruiter, Seattle’s average salary as of 2023 is about $75,000 annually. As for the average cost of living, a single person’s monthly cost of living before rent is $1,345 and a family’s average monthly cost of living is $6,540. For a single person, Seattle’s cost of living is on par with national averages. Fore families however, Seattle has a higher cost of living than the national average. However, Seattle is surrounded by natural beauty, and there are a wealth of amenities and attractions to educate and entertain kids. So, it’s well worth the cost.

Still not sure about Seattle? Check out some of our other articles:

Seattle vs Philadelphia

Seattle vs Portland

Top 5 Suburban Neighborhoods in Seattle

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Published: July 07, 2021