Seattle rents have been rising overall, but have increased more in the parts of King County where South Lake Union Tech Corridor workers tend to live.
Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas goes deep in his analysis at the block level of tech corridor effects on Seattle area rent power, looking for data-driven context for the emotionally charged debate about the South Lake Union tech boom specifically and rising rents across Seattle and King County in general. Here's a few of the take-aways:
For many Seattleites struggling to keep pace with rising rents, rapid growth in the city’s booming tech sector is an easy scapegoat – an attitude shared by residents in other large tech boomtowns nationwide. There are many interconnected reasons why Seattle rents have been rising, certainly including the strength of the local labor market, but also:
- The difficulty and relatively high costs associated with building new homes and apartments in the city.
- Shifting population preferences for where and how to live.
- The relative affordability of the city when compared to other major tech centers in California and the Northeast.
- The higher rents (and often greater amenities) of newer apartment buildings.