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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.

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Seattle  Real Estate Investment Performance
Facts and Market Trends in Seattle
Homes For Sale
171
Airbnb Properties
3,058
Rental Properties
3,660
Traditional Vacancy rate
5.50%
Airbnb Occupancy Rate
62.38%
Mashmeter
66.95%
Median Price
$728,680
Median Rent Price
$2,247
Price/sqft
$496
Median Days on Market
54
Price to Rent Ratio
25.4
Average Cap Rate
Airbnb
1.75%
Traditional
1.20%
Average Rental Income
Airbnb
$3,152
Traditional
$2,396
 
Median Household Income
$82,133
Population
724,745
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$1,961$2,078$2,622$3,450$4,632
Traditional$1,570$1,468$2,027$2,785$3,376
Seattle, WA - Homes for Sale - Newly Listed
$441,000
MLS
8909 10th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108
South Park
Single Family Residential
2 beds1 baths860 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.89%Airbnb 3.70%
$569,000
MLS
8515 S 115th St
Seattle, WA 98178
Rainier View
Single Family Residential
2 beds2 baths1,500 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.56%Airbnb 0.01%
$812,000
MLS
1713 NW 80th St
Seattle, WA 98117
Loyal Heights
Single Family Residential
4 beds1 baths1,130 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.14%Airbnb 4.47%
$812,000
MLS
1713 NW 80th St
Seattle, WA 98117
Loyal Heights
Single Family Residential
4 beds1 baths1,130 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.14%Airbnb 4.47%
Top Performing Seattle Properties
$1,050,000
MLS 1456188
3010 S Atlantic St
Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,007 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.42%Airbnb 6.84%
$1,050,000
MLS 1458406
3008 Atlantic St,
Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,007 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.42%Airbnb 6.84%
$1,100,000
MLS 1461632
1417 32nd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths3,020 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.11%Airbnb 6.29%
$314,900
MLS 1478137
3421 SW Roxbury Street #103
Seattle, WA 98126
Fauntleroy
Condo/Coop
2 beds2 baths976 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.61%Airbnb 5.79%
Recently Sold Homes in Seattle, WA
$1,085,000
MLS 1439384
2412 N 44th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
Wallingford
Single Family Residential
3 beds3 baths2,090 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
$675,000
MLS 1401866
7323 7th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98106
Highland Park
Single Family Residential
4 beds1 baths1,490 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
$625,000
MLS 1437314
3527 SW Thistle St
Seattle, WA 98126
Roxhill
Single Family Residential
3 beds3 baths1,440 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
$850,000
MLS 1452528
115 NE 77th St
Seattle, WA 98115
Green Lake
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,570 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
$699,900
MLS 1478696
5120 S Roxbury St
Seattle, WA 98118
Dunlap
Multi Family
9 beds6 baths3,480 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.21%Airbnb N/A
$1,499,999
MLS 1452235
1235 3rd Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
Lower Queen Anne
Multi Family
4 beds2 baths3,100 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.92%Airbnb N/A
Homes Below Median Price in the Seattle, WA Real Estate Market
$1,050,000
MLS 1456188
3010 S Atlantic St
Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,007 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.42%Airbnb 6.84%
$1,050,000
MLS 1458406
3008 Atlantic St,
Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths2,007 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.42%Airbnb 6.84%
$1,100,000
MLS 1461632
1417 32nd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths3,020 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.11%Airbnb 6.29%
$314,900
MLS 1478137
3421 SW Roxbury Street #103
Seattle, WA 98126
Fauntleroy
Condo/Coop
2 beds2 baths976 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.61%Airbnb 5.79%
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
$78 per night
Entire home/apt · 2 beds
Beautiful, Private Spot in Quiet Ballard
739
$67 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Beautiful Guest Suite for 2 in Ballard
731
$88 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Cottage in the Heart of the City
572
$84 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Cottage in the Heart of Ballard
542
Seattle, WA Homes for Rent
$2,100
$2,350
$2,350
$2,245
Seattle, WA Open Houses
Open 12 PM to 3 PM
$629,000
MLS 1492553
6342 5th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Roosevelt
Townhouse
2 beds3 baths1,440 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.12%Airbnb 0.43%
Open 1 PM to 4 PM
$845,000
MLS 1490322
9534 32nd Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Wedgwood
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,620 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.88%Airbnb 0.55%
Open 12 PM to 4 PM
$389,000
MLS 1492539
1804 S 107th St
Seattle, WA 98168
South Beacon Hill
Single Family Residential
2 beds1 baths1,240 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.17%Airbnb 0.19%
Open 12 PM to 2 PM
$400,000
MLS 1477947
245 S 126th St
Seattle, WA 98168
Highland Park
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,270 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 3.03%Airbnb 0.68%
Best Seattle Neighborhoods for Buying Investment Property
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$1,049,950
Median
cap rate
4.26%
Traditional
4.52%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,729
Traditional
$3,957
Airbnb
homes for sale
1
occupancy rate
64%
Airbnb
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$750,000
Median
cap rate
6.12%
Traditional
6.60%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,824
Traditional
$4,123
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$657,452
Median
cap rate
5.67%
Traditional
7.37%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,104
Traditional
$4,040
Airbnb
homes for sale
2
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
82%
Mashmeter
property price
$844,725
Median
cap rate
4.71%
Traditional
5.75%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,315
Traditional
$4,045
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
82%
Mashmeter
property price
$299,995
Median
cap rate
13.62%
Traditional
16.96%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,405
Traditional
$4,240
Airbnb
homes for sale
3
occupancy rate
65%
Airbnb
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