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Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated population of 755,745 people, it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Northwestern U.S. The Seattle metropolitan area has a population of over 3.9 million residents, making it the 15th largest metro area in the nation. 

The Seattle real estate market benefits from the fact that Seattle is one of America’s fastest growing cities (ranked #2 by Forbes in 2018), with a population growth rate twice the national rate. This is particularly due to the strong annual net migration that the city experiences. Also, according to NeighborhoodScout, more than 53% of the population are renters rather than homeowners, making the Seattle real estate market a top location for rental property investments.

The “Emerald City”, as it is famously known, enjoys a thriving and diverse economy. It is home to eight Fortune 500 companies, including some of the biggest tech companies in the world. Software giant Microsoft, internet retailer Amazon, and warehouse store Costco all have their headquarters in and around the city.  The aerospace industry remains a major contributor to Seattle’s economy after the local Boeing company established the city as a center for aircraft manufacturing nearly a century ago; Boeing is the largest private employer in the Seattle area with about 80,000 employees. International trade is another leading industry in Seattle due to its strategic location: The port of Seattle is a major gateway for trade with markets in Asia and serves as a departure point for cruises to Alaska. Seattle is also a hub for startups, particularly in eco-friendly building and clean technologies.   Other industries based in the city include transportation equipment manufacturing, finance, biotechnology, healthcare, insurance, tourism, agriculture, construction, and retail. 

Due to the healthy employment market, Seattle is witnessing a big influx of young techies moving into the city, increasing the demand for the city’s real estate, especially when it comes to traditional rental properties. The multiple economic sectors, together with the strong economic growth, make the city a magnet for real estate investors.


Seattle was the #1 hottest real estate market in 2018 but slipped to #16 in this year’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate: United States and Canada 2019 report by PWC. Nonetheless, it is still viewed as an attractive place in which to invest; According to the report, real estate investor demand in Seattle is still the highest in the U.S. Pacific region.

Seattle Realtors and Real Estate Agents

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Seattle  Real Estate Investment Performance
Facts and Market Trends in Seattle
Homes For Sale87
Airbnb Properties2,446
Rental Properties1,686
Traditional Vacancy rate4.00%
Airbnb Occupancy Rate56.23%
Mashmeter66.01%
Median Price$642,475
Median Rent Price$2,242
Price/sqft$533
Median Days on Market56
Price to Rent Ratio25.1
Average Cap Rate
Airbnb0.76%
Traditional1.86%
Average Rental Income
Airbnb$2,180
Traditional$2,297
 
Median Household Income$82,133
Population724,745
Transportation in Seattle
73 / 100
Very Walkable
60 / 100
Good Transit
70 / 100
Very Bikeable
Seattle  Rent Prices
RENTAL STRATEGY STUDIOS 1 ROOM 2 ROOMS 3 ROOMS 4 ROOMS
Airbnb$1,393$1,455$1,912$3,012$4,977
Traditional$1,683$1,513$2,076$2,811$3,398
Seattle, WA - Homes for Sale - Newly Listed
$295,000
MLS 1756906
1080 W Ewing Place #E8
Seattle, WA 98119
North Queen Anne
Other
2 beds1 baths496 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 4.36%Airbnb 3.97%
$625,000
MLS 1744575
527 NE 127th St
Seattle, WA 98125
Pinehurst
Single Family Residential
3 beds1 baths1,080 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.54%Airbnb 0.03%
$749,000
MLS 1735920
8045 24th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
Loyal Heights
Single Family Residential
2 beds2 baths1,640 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.86%Airbnb 0.51%
$1,650,000
MLS 1755333
2820 28th Ave W
Seattle, WA 98199
Interbay
Single Family Residential
0 beds0 baths3,091 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. -0.70%Airbnb -1.39%
Top Performing Seattle Properties
$742,000
MLS
7506 1ST AVE NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Green Lake
Single Family Residential
4 beds1 baths1,110 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 3.97%Airbnb 5.43%
$929,000
MLS 1730477
184 26th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
Garfield
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,050 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.47%Airbnb 4.38%
$480,000
MLS 1619841
10615 12th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98146
Highland Park
Single Family Residential
4 beds2 baths1,690 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 3.95%Airbnb 4.05%
$295,000
MLS 1756906
1080 W Ewing Place #E8
Seattle, WA 98119
North Queen Anne
Other
2 beds1 baths496 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 4.36%Airbnb 3.97%
Recently Sold Homes in Seattle, WA
$703,995
MLS 82477630
4019 7th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Portage Bay
Townhouse
3 beds3 baths1,300 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
$2,349,900
MLS 1748077
3001 Denny Way
Seattle, WA 98122
Cascade
Other
4 beds4 baths3,858 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
$674,000
MLS
3026 SW Charlestown St
Seattle, WA 98126
North Delridge
Townhouse
2 beds2 baths1,275 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
$410,000
MLS 1677428
3429 Burke Ave N #33
Seattle, WA 98103
Wallingford
Condo/Coop
1 beds1 baths660 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Property Value Changes and Real Estate Appreciation in the Seattle Housing Market

Seattle real estate prices are among the most expensive in the U.S. It is therefore natural to see that property appreciation has been significant over the years. Since the beginning of 2000, Seattle properties have experienced a total appreciation of 169.55% according to NeighborhoodScout, which is an average annual home appreciation rate of 5.29%. 

However, Zillow reports that Seattle property values have declined by 4.5% over the past year and are predicted to fall 3.8% within the next year. It is believed that the Seattle real estate market is cooling down due to a decrease in hiring at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in recent months. In fact, Seattle housing prices rose to record levels in recent years, fueled largely by the success of Amazon. Since that peak, however, they have started to cool down. Now, real estate properties are selling at the market price, which is a good sign for future Seattle real estate investors. 

The Seattle housing market is currently a buyer’s market as there are more homes for sale on the market than people looking to buy. It is possible that the Seattle housing market cool down is just a sign that buyers reached their limit after years of incessant sales. As a real estate investor, you should take advantage of this state and buy an investment property in Seattle.

Seattle, WA Top Multi Family Homes
$778,000
MLS 1721328
7735 15th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98117
Whittier Heights
Multi Family
4 beds2 baths2,540 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.52%Airbnb N/A
$1,479,000
MLS 1718896
3522 Densmore Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Wallingford
Multi Family
0 beds0 baths3,870 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.31%Airbnb N/A
Homes Below Median Price in the Seattle, WA Real Estate Market
$742,000
MLS
7506 1ST AVE NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Green Lake
Single Family Residential
4 beds1 baths1,110 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 3.97%Airbnb 5.43%
$929,000
MLS 1730477
184 26th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
Garfield
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,050 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.47%Airbnb 4.38%
$480,000
MLS 1619841
10615 12th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98146
Highland Park
Single Family Residential
4 beds2 baths1,690 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 3.95%Airbnb 4.05%
$295,000
MLS 1756906
1080 W Ewing Place #E8
Seattle, WA 98119
North Queen Anne
Other
2 beds1 baths496 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 4.36%Airbnb 3.97%
Seattle Airbnb Growth and Regulations

The last few decades have seen the “Emerald City” blooming and turning into a top destination for people from all around the world. With it being such a tourist-friendly location, Seattle short-term rental properties are a great real estate investment. The monthly Airbnb rental income reported in 2018 for the city of Seattle was $3,225 on average.  

The City of Seattle has enacted a number of regulations governing short-term rental businesses in the last couple of years. All Airbnb Seattle investors planning on hosting short-term stays (less than 30 nights at a time) must obtain a Short-Term Rental Operator’s Licence through the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), in addition to a Business Licence Tax Certificate.  This licence costs $75 per unit and must be renewed each year. Airbnb Seattle investors are allowed to operate up to two dwelling units they own, one of which must be their primary residence. If the Airbnb listing is a secondary home (non-owner occupied), hosts are required to register the rental property with the city’s Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance Program, for a fee of $70. 


There is however an exception to this particular Airbnb regulation: Hosts already operating a short-term rental in the Downtown Urban Center will not be subject to any limits on the number of units they can rent out.

Seattle, WA Top Airbnb Homes
$62 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Beautiful Guest Suite for 2 in Ballard
978
$76 per night
Entire home/apt · 2 beds
Beautiful, Private Spot in Quiet Ballard
836
$89 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Cottage in the Heart of the City
709
$118 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Tiny House in Seattle
655
Seattle, WA Homes for Rent
$4,395
MLS 1711604
4843 Beach Dr SW
Seattle, WA
Seaview
Single Family
2 beds2 baths2,111 sq.ft.
$1,795
MLS 1695302
$1,650
MLS 1682238
4752 41st Ave SW #404
Seattle, WA
Fairmount Park
Apartment
1 beds1 baths833 sq.ft.
$2,595
MLS 1680150
737 Olive Way #3506
Seattle, WA
Denny Triangle
Apartment
1 beds1 baths808 sq.ft.
Seattle, WA Open Houses
Open 11 AM to 2 PM
$625,000
MLS 1744575
527 NE 127th St
Seattle, WA 98125
Pinehurst
Single Family Residential
3 beds1 baths1,080 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.54%Airbnb 0.03%
Open 12 PM to 2 PM
$1,650,000
MLS 1755333
2820 28th Ave W
Seattle, WA 98199
Interbay
Single Family Residential
0 beds0 baths3,091 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. -0.70%Airbnb -1.39%
Open 1 PM to 4 PM
$1,379,950
MLS 1748142
6219 31st Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Ravenna
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,685 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.70%Airbnb 3.71%
Open 12 PM to 3 PM
$699,500
MLS 1753934
10736 5th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98177
Blue Ridge
Single Family Residential
3 beds1 baths1,080 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.10%Airbnb 0.66%
Best Seattle Neighborhoods for Buying Investment Property
88%
Mashmeter
property price
$1,195,000
Median
cap rate
3.74%
Traditional
3.33%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,728
Traditional
$3,312
Airbnb
homes for sale
3
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$2,349,900
Median
cap rate
1.60%
Traditional
1.70%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,136
Traditional
$3,324
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$589,000
Median
cap rate
7.89%
Traditional
7.96%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,873
Traditional
$3,905
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
63%
Airbnb
84%
Mashmeter
property price
$430,000
Median
cap rate
9.37%
Traditional
7.03%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,356
Traditional
$2,518
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
63%
Airbnb
81%
Mashmeter
property price
$748,500
Median
cap rate
3.85%
Traditional
5.65%
Airbnb
rental income
$2,402
Traditional
$3,522
Airbnb
homes for sale
2
occupancy rate
63%
Airbnb