Renting Vs. Buying a House or Condo in Seattle

People who want to move to Seattle or have lived there for a while are often faced with the question of whether to rent or buy a property in the biggest northwestern city. What is cheaper? There’s obviously no easy answer to this.

How do things look month by month? A recent study by Zillow, a real estate listing firm, shows that in the US, there exists a tendency where a typical tenant can purchase a property that is 50 percent more expensive than the average, but they can still sustain the same monthly housing costs. The property markets of almost all US cities conform to this tendency.

However, Seattle does not.

According to the listing firm, the average rent in Seattle is $2,620 per month. In order to keep monthly housing costs the same, experts estimate that a typical tenant would need to buy a home valued at just under $520,000. This sum includes insurance, property taxes, some maintenance costs, and a 30-year mortgage with average interest rates.

The money needed to make a down payment is another issue. According to experts, saving for a down payment is the biggest obstacle to owning a house or condo. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In comparison to just 3% of the price of a typical house in Seattle, even the biggest security deposit appears insignificant.

And that’s not the only problem. Only 25% of houses and condos in Seattle would actually save tenants money on a monthly basis. Average home values are increasing. According to data of the agency, they’re over $658,000.

Of course, this isn’t true in all cases. Every person’s situation is unique, and many people can’t afford the average rent price to begin with. But if one compares the typical cases, it would seem that Seattle’s exponentially rising home values are outpacing rental prices, which are skyrocketing too.

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