Real Estate

Downtown Seattle has more residents than ever

The Seattle skyline with the Space Needle at center, shown with a blue sky turning dark.

The sun sets on the Space Needle and the downtown Seattle skyline in 2015. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

A record high 104,000 residents now call downtown Seattle home.

Driving the news: Downtown Seattle, comprising 12 neighborhoods from SODO to South Lake Union, accounts for just over 4% of Seattle's total land area, but is now home to more than 14% of all Seattleites, according to Downtown Seattle Association's (DSA) 2023 economic report.

Seattle's one of the most pet-friendly cities for renters

Illustration of a human hand and dog paw high fiving

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly three-fourths of Seattle rentals allow pets, making it one of the friendliest rental markets in the country for pet owners, according to Zillow.

Why it matters: Trying to find affordable housing is already hard in Seattle, where rent prices trend above the national median. When landlords won't accept dogs and cats, it makes the process even harder for the nearly 50% of Seattle households that own pets.

Mount Rainier park rangers priced out of nearby housing

View from the Skyline Trail at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Housing in parts of Washington state is so expensive that 124-year-old Mount Rainier National Park had to do something it's never done before: Ask landlords for help.

Driving the news: The park — which draws close to 2.5 million visitors annually — put out a request for proposals last month from property owners of houses, apartments and RV pads within 50 miles of Paradise willing to lease their properties to the park.

New Seattle apartments are some of the country's smallest

Caption: Data: RentCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data; Note: Analysis includes U.S. metro areas (defined by Yardi Matrix market boundaries) with the most apartments located in multifamily buildings of 50 units or more; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New apartments in and around Seattle have much less square footage than the national average, with new units built here ranking among the smallest in the country.

Why it matters: Apartment sizes are shrinking nationally, despite a trend that saw rental units get bigger during the early part of the work-from-home era.

Black homeowners gain less ground in Seattle than elsewhere

Illustration of a door knocker in the shape of a dollar sign

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black-owned homes in Seattle aren't appreciating as fast as Black-owned homes in other cities, according to a recently published Zillow analysis.

Driving the news: The national racial home-value gap is the smallest its been in the past two decades, with Black-owned homes appreciating more than any others since the pandemic, according to that same survey.

Seattle's real estate market is "coming back to life"

Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals

With sellers still on the sidelines in the Seattle metro area housing market and buyers coming out of hibernation, demand may be outpacing supply, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report.

  • That could lead to sharper price increases in spring after a relative flattening of the market at the end of last year.
Melissa Santos
Jan 23, 2023 - Politics

Washington state might nix-single family zoning

Illustration of the facade of a triplex being held up by wooden beams.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Washington lawmakers want to see more housing built across the state — and that could mean getting rid of single-family zoning in cities such as Seattle.

What's happening: A bill at the state Capitol would require cities with at least 6,000 residents to allow quadplex housing on all residential blocks, as well as buildings with six units — also known as sixplexes — in areas close to major transit stops.

Seattle sees steepest rent declines among major U.S. metros

Tall apartment buildings near Seattle's Space Needle

The Space Needle stands near apartments in Seattle. Photo: Mike Kane/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While Puget Sound housing remains among the most expensive in the nation, Seattle saw the steepest monthly decline in rent among major metros in December, based on a Zillow report released yesterday.

Driving the news: Typical rents in the Seattle area fell 1% month over month to $2,166 in December, according to the Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI).


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