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Affordable housing becoming increasingly difficult to find in Seattle

KOMO

SEATTLE -- Seattle is seeing a growing number of renters looking for housing, but finding an affording rental property is become increasingly difficult.

Seattle based Zillow found median rent for the least expensive multifamily rental home is rising faster than median rent overall. And only a small portion of all new apartments are at the low-end

“Right now it’s actually really difficult to find afford rental housing,” said Svenja Gudell, the chief economist for Zillow. “We are seeing that most of the new construction in apartment space is towards the higher end of the market.”

Gudell says 65 percent of Seattle housing construction has been high end construction since 2014. She added, only roughly 7 percent has been at the low end.

And you don’t have to look far to find people impacted. Zillow Economist Aaron Terrazas moved to Seattle’s Capitol Hill two years ago.

“They pretty quickly raised the rent," said Aaron Terrazas. “They have also done a couple back door rental increases. Parking had been included. Storage had been included – now it’s not included. They charge for those things now.”

Aaron’s rent went up $100. He contested the jump.

“The line was pretty clear, I’m not negotiating,” said Terrazas. "What do you do? You suck it up.”

Rents are rising fastest among low-end apartments, despite a growing number of renters in the market.

“We have certainly seen higher rental grow over the last 3 years,” said Gudell. “But this is extreme if you think about normal rental rates should grow around 3 to 4 percent. So when you see a rate of 14 percent for the bottom end of the market – it’s roughly three to four times as much.”

But for Terrazas it’s his business to watch the market. But he says it’s for his personal benefit, adding he’s prepared to move if rent goes up again.

“I hope prices will slow as supply catches up with demand that’s my hope. We’ll see if that plays out in reality, said Terrazas

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