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520 Bridge Tolls Taking Toll on Eastside Rent Market

Local landlords may have to get used to a flattening market, with more vacant apartments and smaller rent increases, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

Local landlords may have to get used to a flattening market, with more vacant apartments and smaller rent increases, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

According to the Times report, Redmond, Kirkland and East Bellevue saw a more than 3 percent quarterly drop in average rents.

The year-old tolls on the State Route 520 toll bridge also could be making an impact on rent, the report stated, as people may have decided to live in places where crossing a bridge won't be necessary for work.

Do you think this is true? Have you seen more vacancies where you rent? Is your rent staying the same, or declining? Tell us in comments.

For those buying and selling, first-time home buyers are continuing to help fuel a rebound in Western Washington's housing market, according to a December report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).

NWMLS, which includes local real estate agents and brokers, said buyers made offers on 5,314 residences last month while 3,857 owners listed their homes for sale. This marks the fourth consecutive month that offers have outnumbered new listings.

Michelle Spohrer January 16, 2013 at 04:14 PM
I do think that renters want to be on the same side of Lake WA where they live, but the downturn in rental rates was predictable with the high level of apartment construction that has taken place the last couple of years. This was a bubble that was bound to burst and was predicted Due to low inventory of single family homes for rent and for sale, we are seeing both rents and prices rise. Simple supply and demand dynamics are at play here.
Casper January 16, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Yes
Venice Buhain January 16, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Thanks for adding that observation, Michelle. There does seem to be quite a glut of apartments available in Bellevue, and there's been recent new (or new-ish) construction in downtown Bellevue. Walking around my neighborhood just south of downtown Bellevue, which has plenty of apartments and condos, I always see vacancy signs on apartment buildings.

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