Bellevue is the most expensive place in the region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis. Courtesy photo

Bellevue is the most expensive place in the region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis. Courtesy photo

Several King County cities are among most expensive to rent in Northwest

Bellevue topped the list for highest apartment rents during the first half of 2019.

Bellevue is the most expensive place in the Puget Sound region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis, but several other Eastside ZIP codes got honorable mentions.

The analysis was conducted by RentCafe and looked at rent charged in apartment buildings with more than 50 units across the country during the first two quarters of 2019. Bellevue’s 98004 ZIP code was the most expensive in both Washington and Oregon, with the average monthly apartment rent sitting just under $2,850 a month. The area includes downtown Bellevue as well as the wealthy Hunts Point and Beaux Arts Village areas.

Seattle ZIP codes codes filled in the next three spots, including the neighborhoods of Belltown, Lower and East Queen Anne, and South Lake Union. Average rents ranged from between roughly $2,520 to $2,835 each month.

Redmond and Issaquah were also on the list and notable for having areas where rent has been growing the fastest. Redmond saw its average rent swell year-over-year by 5%, leading to an average monthly rent of $2,229. Issaquah’s 98027 ZIP code, which includes nearly the whole city excluding the Highlands, had an average rent of $2,445, marking a 6.2% increase over last year. The 98027 ZIP code also includes areas surrounding Tiger Mountain State Forest, including Mirrormont to the south and Preston to the east.

This Issaquah Highlands and Klahanie neighborhoods also saw significant year-over-year rental increases of 4.4%, bringing rents up to $2,445.

While rents on Mercer Island remained high at $2,242, it saw a modest increase in cost with rents rising by half a percentage point.

Nationwide, the New York City borough of Manhattan had the highest rents, clocking in at more than $6,200 each month.

When factoring in all housing costs, Bellevue got even more expensive. According to Zillow’s monthly charts, the average rent for all housing types in the city was $2,950 in August. For Redmond, rents were $2,800 on average, followed by $2,795 in Issaquah. However, these were dwarfed by the $3,650 monthly average for rent for all housing types on Mercer Island.

Nationwide, housing inventory may have finally hit a floor, according to a June analysis from Zillow. Housing stock had been dropping since late 2014, when there were more than 2 million units for sale in later months. This has more or less steadily declined until late last year when it reached around 1.55 million units. It has fluctuated since then, but in June there were more than 1.58 million units available.

The West Coast inventory has been on the rise since early 2018. In Seattle, there were 12,267 units for sale and 8,011 in San Francisco. Over the previous two years, there has been more than a 40 percent increase in listings in Bellevue, and a more than 30 percent increase in Kirkland. However, while rent increases have leveled out in Bellevue and Seattle, South King County cities like Renton, Kent and Federal Way all saw increases in 2019.

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