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Ballard sees largest rent increase, higher vacancy rate in new study

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on June 27th, 2014

By Joe Veyera

According to our news partner The Seattle Times, a new study from Seattle-based Apartment Insights Washington shows that Ballard posted the biggest increase in apartment rents for new leases, along with the highest vacancy rate in the Seattle area in the second quarter of this year.

As reported by The Seattle Times’ Sanjay Bhatt:

Apartments in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood saw the biggest increase in rents. The average asking rent was 12.3 percent higher over the quarter, rising to $1,628.

But Ballard also had a vacancy rate of 8.6 percent, the highest in Seattle. And when new apartments that just opened are included, the vacancy rate shoots up to 18 percent.

The apartment boom in Ballard has led to a doubling of the inventory over the past six years, said Tom Cain, head of Apartment Insights Washington. When the units now being built are complete, Ballard’s inventory will have quadrupled.

New units rent for a premium, and they’re part of what’s driving up market rents, Cain said.

The figures are for rents for new leases (not accounting for utilities or other fees) from a May survey of 50+ unit apartment properties.

In comparison, Seattle area (King and Snohomish County) rents climbed 4.1 percent to an average of $1,284 per month, with rents in the Seattle city limits averaging $1,441. The vacancy rate in both Seattle, and in King and Snohomish counties is at 4.2 percent.

To read the entire story from the Times, click here.

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23 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Hobo Hilton // Jun 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Nice to live in a popular neighborhood.

    Oh wait, I can’t say that, it will upset the perpetually aggrieved.

  • 2 Jane // Jun 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Ballard used to be a decent working class neighborhood, now the working class can’t even afford to live there!

  • 3 Hobo Hilton // Jun 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    So now it’s indecent Jane?

  • 4 Lunacy // Jun 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    My rent for a 2 bedroom in a fourplex was just raised from $1200 a month (no utilities incl) to $1450. That hurts I have to say. That’s a 22% jump. Ugh. Although I will say my rent was low and the place is definitely worth it. But rent inflation in this city really is not equitable to pay inflation/cost of living raises.

  • 5 Hobo Hilton // Jun 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Never been a better time to buy!

  • 6 Dan // Jun 28, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Jane– you ignorant slut.

    Ballard will remain decent, despite the increased density and lack of parking. Many of us will need to learn to ride bikes, or otherwise walk to destinations we previously drove to.

    Get with it.

  • 7 Maggie // Jun 28, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Your are dreaming Dan, not to mention rude.

  • 8 guesty // Jun 28, 2014 at 7:50 am

    …and what % will be vacant when all the huge projects going on are finished?

  • 9 Uncle Pete // Jun 28, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Walk or ride a bike? C’mon son! I can’t stand most people who have moved to Ballard in the the last 15 years, seems like that’s when the influx of micro brew drinking, hipster stiffs invaded.

  • 10 lynn // Jun 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Maggie – Dan is actually being quite funny with his opening line – google “Jane you ignorant slut – saturday night live”.

  • 11 mjd // Jun 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I thought that when vacancy rates went up that rents were supposed to go down?

  • 12 Jed // Jun 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    mjd – Rents are going up, in large part, because many of the units are new and require/demand higher rents. Vacancy has gone up because these new apartment building start off being empty.

  • 13 Demian Johnston // Jun 29, 2014 at 6:53 am

    I love how the dissenting voices on this comment threads only come from trolls like Hobo Hilton who has been trolling this site forever it seems.

  • 14 Josh // Jun 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    This thread says it all. Ballard completely changing from a working class neighborhood of kind polite people who drove cars to the new rude insulting pig invasion on bicycles calling all the long time residents names and asking us to leave. Glad my house will be worth so much more money when I sell it to you and honor your request. All things must pass. No doubt Seattle is becoming an entirely different place than it once was. A place I like less as time passes. But it is still fortunate compared to many places. It could be worse, Sven.

  • 15 Bob // Jun 30, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Working class neighborhood of kind, polite people?
    What alternative universe do you live in.

    Ballard has never been kind. All the scandanavian settlers were a cold, inhospitable people who shunned outsiders.

    And if your house is in a zone where it will be razed to make room for new development, you won’t get nearly as much money for it as you think. In fact, the price is dropping as we speak.

  • 16 Profile photo of Jimmy Rustler Jimmy Rustler // Jun 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

    “This thread says it all. Ballard completely changing from a working class neighborhood of kind polite people who drove cars”

    1. Does the term “working class” only apply to some jobs? Like, does it only apply to fishermen and construction workers? Do people with jobs in tech or healthcare not work for a living?

    2. If only cyclists are invading then why is everyone always complaining about a lack of parking?

  • 17 Josh // Jun 30, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Thank you Bob and Jimmy for substantiating my remarks. OK, working class better said as blue collar. Seattle flipped from a blue collar city to a white collar city as a lot of the US has, just more dramatically here.

    And parking disappears without being replaced elsewhere. High density housing goes in with little requirements for parking but every unit still has one or two cars.

    Seattle is drunk with the bicycle thing. They put bike lanes on Greenwood Ave N no one uses. Bikes block bus lanes on Elliott Ave W going 10 mph because they are too inconsiderate to get up on the sidewalk for 5 seconds and let the bus by. All this money spent for little benefit to most people. You are not saving the planet. The are more emissions from traffic backing up everywhere from fewer traffic lanes so 1-2% of commuters can bicycle. Give bicycles the right of way on side streets and leave the arterial streets for cars and buses. Green Lake accommodates bikes and pedestrians, why can’t Elliot Ave W and similar higher speed streets? Bikes should not even be allowed on Aurora Ave lanes. SDOT is anti-car and bicycle fanatic.

  • 18 Sasha // Jun 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

    My rent went from 865 a month to 1,595.
    The six-plex was sold a month ago.

    I work for the city od Seattle. I cant afford to live here.

  • 19 Hobo Hilton // Jun 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm


    Sherwood Apartments
    3030 NE 143rd Street, Seattle, WA 98125

    1 bed, 421 sq ft

  • 20 Troy // Jun 30, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    your mom goes to college

  • 21 Rachel // Jul 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Hobo Hilton,
    143rd St isn’t Ballard! Of course the rent is cheap there – you can’t walk anywhere convenient. That’s practically Shoreline.

  • 22 Hobo Hilton // Jul 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    “143rd St isn’t Ballard! ”

    It’s Seattle and has cheaper rent for the aggrieved poster.

    You don’t have a right to live where ever you want, you live where you can afford. Can’t afford Ballard? Move to Greenwood or Lake City Way.

    I wanted to buy a house in Queen Anne to be closer to work; you don’t see me stomping my feet and demanding the gub’ment help me because I couldn’t afford the right size home there.

  • 23 Stinky Bum // Jul 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Hobo Hilton rules! 143rd St. – no bikes, plenty of parking, “working class” folks, few hipsters and no microbrew drinking to be had. Pete, Josh, Demian, Maggie and Jane “you ignorant slut”, sounds like paradise, right?

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