The Ethos Apartments along West Meeker Street in Kent. FILE PHOTO

The Ethos Apartments along West Meeker Street in Kent. FILE PHOTO

Kent apartment rents decline 1.4% in December from previous month

Rate up just 0.6% from same time in 2019

Apartment rents in Kent declined 1.4% in December compared to the previous month, one of the sharpest declines in years.

Rent are up marginally by 0.6% in comparison to the same time in 2019, according to Currently, median rents in Kent stand at $1,264 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,617 for a two-bedroom. Kent’s year-over-year rent growth leads the state average, where rents have fallen 8.0%, as well as the national average’s decline of 1.5%.

Rents in Kent are down 1.1% since the start of the pandemic in March. Year-over-year rent growth in Kent currently stands at 0.6%, compared to 3.5% at this time last year.

Metro area trends

While rents prices have increased in Kent over the past year, trends across the rest of the metro have varied. Of the largest 10 cities that compiles data for in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, some have seen decreases while other cities have rents increasing.

• Tacoma has the least expensive rents, with a two-bedroom median of $1,425; the city has also experienced the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 4.3%.

• Over the past year, Seattle proper has seen the biggest rent drop, with a decline of 19.1%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,677, while one-bedrooms go for $1,345.

• Redmond has the most expensive rents of the largest cities, with a two-bedroom median of $2,094; rents went down 0.4% over the past month and 6.8% over the past year.

Nationwide trends

As rents have increased marginally in Kent, other large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more quickly. Compared to most large cities across the country, Kent is less affordable for renters.

Kent’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,617 is above the national average of $1,090. Nationwide, rents have fallen by 1.5% over the past year compared to the 0.6% rise in Kent.

Washington state as a whole has seen rents decline 8.0% year-over-year, while other cities across the state have seen rents significantly on the rise. For example, rents have grown by 5.9% in Spokane and 5.2% in Vancouver.

Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Kent than most large cities. For example, Spokane has a median two-bedroom rent of $1,049, where Kent is more than one-and-a-half times that price.

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