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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 Sale124
Airbnb Properties2,370
Rental Properties1,661
Traditional Vacancy rate5.50%
Airbnb Occupancy Rate62.98%
Mashmeter65.77%
Median Price$726,730
Median Rent Price$2,239
Price/sqft$490
Median Days on Market60
Price to Rent Ratio26.3
Average Cap Rate
Airbnb1.24%
Traditional1.32%
Average Rental Income
Airbnb$2,484
Traditional$2,301
 
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$2,021$2,026$2,495$3,336$3,440
Traditional$1,570$1,478$2,037$2,794$3,372
Seattle, WA - Homes for Sale - Newly Listed
Investment Properties for Sale
$565,000
MLS 1538642
3935 S Brandon St #F
Seattle, WA 98118
Hillman City
Townhouse
2 beds2 baths1,160 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.05%Airbnb 0.88%
Investment Properties for Sale
$501,111
MLS
10409 20th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125
Victory Heights
Single Family Residential
2 beds1 baths920 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. -0.71%Airbnb 0.02%
Investment Properties for Sale
$375,000
MLS 1538802
2201 3rd Ave #1105
Seattle, WA 98121
Belltown
Condo/Coop
1 beds1 baths557 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.00%Airbnb 3.91%
Investment Properties for Sale
$679,000
MLS 1539322
1756 19th Ave S #B
Seattle, WA 98144
Atlantic
Townhouse
3 beds2 baths1,331 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.56%Airbnb 2.99%
Top Performing Seattle Properties
Investment Properties for Sale
$600,000
MLS 1531203
6412 49th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136
Seaview
Single Family Residential
3 beds1 baths1,340 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.03%Airbnb 6.46%
Investment Properties for Sale
$520,000
MLS 1533516
9267 Renton Ave So
Seattle, WA 98118
Dunlap
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths2,080 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.93%Airbnb 6.29%
Investment Properties for Sale
$496,888
MLS
615 Boren Ave Apt 19
Seattle, WA 98104
First Hill
Condo/Coop
2 beds1 baths1,059 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.99%Airbnb 5.85%
Investment Properties for Sale
$500,000
MLS 1478281
1770 NW 58th Street #421
Seattle, WA 98107
Ballard
Condo/Coop
3 beds2 baths1,579 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.26%Airbnb 5.19%
Recently Sold Homes in Seattle, WA
Investment Properties for Sale
$914,200
MLS
1415 2nd Ave #2009
Everett, WA 98101
Cascade View
Condo/Coop
2 beds2 baths998 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$602,400
MLS
2414 1st Ave #621
Everett, WA 98121
Cascade View
Condo/Coop
2 beds1 baths786 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$583,024
MLS
4200 37th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
Columbia City
Single Family Residential
2 beds1 baths1,780 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. N/AAirbnb N/A
Investment Properties for Sale
$612,081
MLS
1760 N Northlake Way Apt 124
Seattle, WA 98103
Eastlake
Condo/Coop
2 beds2 baths1,113 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
Investment Properties for Sale
$1,329,000
MLS 1516536
1235 3rd Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
Lower Queen Anne
Multi Family
4 beds2 baths3,100 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.17%Airbnb N/A
Homes Below Median Price in the Seattle, WA Real Estate Market
Investment Properties for Sale
$600,000
MLS 1531203
6412 49th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136
Seaview
Single Family Residential
3 beds1 baths1,340 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.03%Airbnb 6.46%
Investment Properties for Sale
$520,000
MLS 1533516
9267 Renton Ave So
Seattle, WA 98118
Dunlap
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths2,080 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.93%Airbnb 6.29%
Investment Properties for Sale
$496,888
MLS
615 Boren Ave Apt 19
Seattle, WA 98104
First Hill
Condo/Coop
2 beds1 baths1,059 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.99%Airbnb 5.85%
Investment Properties for Sale
$500,000
MLS 1478281
1770 NW 58th Street #421
Seattle, WA 98107
Ballard
Condo/Coop
3 beds2 baths1,579 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 2.26%Airbnb 5.19%
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
Seattle Airbnb
$67 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Beautiful Guest Suite for 2 in Ballard
786
Seattle Airbnb
$76 per night
Entire home/apt · 2 beds
Beautiful, Private Spot in Quiet Ballard
776
Seattle Airbnb
$88 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Cottage in the Heart of the City
634
Seattle Airbnb
$83 per night
Entire home/apt · 1 bed
Cottage in the Heart of Ballard
567
Seattle, WA Homes for Rent
Investment Properties for Sale
$2,295
Investment Properties for Sale
$2,095
Investment Properties for Sale
$1,750
Investment Properties for Sale
$1,995
Seattle, WA Open Houses
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 1 PM to 4 PM
$999,000
MLS 1539556
7213 Palatine Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Phinney Ridge
Single Family Residential
4 beds3 baths1,920 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.49%Airbnb 0.38%
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 3 PM to 5 PM
$698,888
MLS 1538585
8739 17th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
Olympic Manor
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths1,360 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 1.92%Airbnb 0.50%
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 12 PM to 3 PM
$1,550,000
MLS 1536266
3054 29th Ave W.
Seattle, WA 98199
Magnolia
Single Family Residential
3 beds2 baths3,000 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. -0.30%Airbnb -0.12%
Investment Properties for Sale
Open 2 PM to 5 PM
$1,250,000
MLS 1534056
3703 37th ave sw
Seattle, WA 98136
Junction
Single Family Residential
4 beds4 baths3,710 sq.ft.
CAP RATE
Trad. 0.50%Airbnb -0.21%
Best Seattle Neighborhoods for Buying Investment Property
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$423,827
Median
cap rate
10.76%
Traditional
11.55%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,801
Traditional
$4,080
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
67%
Airbnb
85%
Mashmeter
property price
$3,500,000
Median
cap rate
1.28%
Traditional
1.43%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,729
Traditional
$4,169
Airbnb
homes for sale
1
occupancy rate
67%
Airbnb
87%
Mashmeter
property price
$627,000
Median
cap rate
6.12%
Traditional
8.01%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,198
Traditional
$4,186
Airbnb
homes for sale
1
occupancy rate
68%
Airbnb
84%
Mashmeter
property price
$844,725
Median
cap rate
4.71%
Traditional
6.00%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,315
Traditional
$4,226
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
67%
Airbnb
82%
Mashmeter
property price
$598,500
Median
cap rate
6.83%
Traditional
8.41%
Airbnb
rental income
$3,405
Traditional
$4,197
Airbnb
homes for sale
0
occupancy rate
68%
Airbnb