According to the November 2016 National Apartment List Rent Report, Tacoma ranks No. 1 among cities with rapidly growing rents, up 9.2 percent year over year. Seattle comes in No. 4, up 6.9 percent. (Follow the link for information on methodology.)
The report finds,
Nationwide, rents fell for the second straight month, with significant declines in San Francisco, Houston, and Portland. We expect to see continued declines as we enter the renting off-season.
Seattle shows an average rent for a 2-bedroom unit of $2,300, ranking No. 10 in the nation.
The inability to find affordable rental housing has been a major issue in metro Seattle and across the nation. We looked at the issue in June.
Stories of young families unable to buy homes or tenants squeezed out by rising rents are all too familiar. In addition, as we’ve written, housing affordability quickly becomes a problem for employers. Last month we cited research from California that found,
In a 2014 survey of more than 200 business executives conducted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, 72 percent cited “housing costs for employees” as the most important challenge facing Silicon Valley businesses.
Metro Seattle can’t be far behind.
It’s not. And the political responses to the challenge have caused some policymakers here to consider rent control, a policy that invariably fails to provide a satisfactory resolution of the problem. High rents are also implicated in calls for mandated compensation policies, like the recent increases in the minimum wage in Seattle and Tacoma. And, restrictive land use policies, like the Growth Management Act, contribute to the affordability problem.