An apartment at the new Madison Plaza Apartments in downtown Kent at West Meeker Street and Madison Avenue. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

An apartment at the new Madison Plaza Apartments in downtown Kent at West Meeker Street and Madison Avenue. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

Apartment rents flat in Kent in September but up 8.2% from 2021

No price increase after slight drop in August from July; median one-bedroom rent at $1,470

Kent apartment rents remained flat in September, however, they are up sharply by 8.2% year-over-year.

Currently, median rents in Kent stand at $1,470 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,895 for a two-bedroom, the same price as in August when rates dropped 0.4% from the previous month, according to the latest monthly report. Kent’s year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 5.6%, as well as the national average of 7.5%.

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of Kent, but across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metro area.

• Renton has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro area, with a year-over-year increase of 11.5%. The median two-bedroom there costs $2,193, while one-bedrooms go for $1,731.

• Over the past month, Bellevue has seen the biggest rent drop in the area, with a decline of 1.7%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $2,379, while one-bedrooms go for $2,132.

• Lakewood has the least expensive rents in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, with a two-bedroom median of $1,441; rents decreased 1.1% over the past month but were up 1.7% over the past year.

• Redmond has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the Seattle metro area, with a two-bedroom median of $2,446; rents went down 1.5% over the past month but rose 10.3% over the past year.

As rents have increased sharply in Kent, a few large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more modestly. Compared to most large cities across the country, Kent is less affordable for renters.

Washington as a whole has logged 5.6% year-over-year growth, while rent trends across other cities throughout the state have varied. For example, rents have grown by 8.2% in Vancouver.

Kent’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,895 is above the national average of $1,360. Nationwide, rents have grown by 7.5% over the past year compared to the 8.2% rise in Kent.

While Kent’s rents rose sharply over the past year, many cities nationwide also saw increases, including New York City (plus 12.1%), Austin (plus 8.3%) and Boston (plus 6.6%).

Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Kent than most large cities. For example, Spokane has a median two-bedroom rent of $1,330, where Kent is nearly one-and-a-half times that price.

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