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Report: 520 Tolls Taking Toll on Eastside Rent Market

Redmond, Kirkland and East Bellevue experienced a 3-percent quarterly decline in average rents, according to The Seattle Times.

An increase in apartment vacancies is slowing down rent increases around the Eastside, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

According to the Times report, Redmond, Kirkland and East Bellevue saw a drop of more than 3 percent in average rents during the last quarter of 2012.

A representative from research firm Apartment Insights Washington said the year-old tolls on the State Route 520 toll bridge also could be making an impact on rent, 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? Tell us in comments section.

For those buying and selling, first-time home buyers and shrinking inventory 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.

Jeff Hoerth January 15, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Without more data, I don't see how the toll affects rates. The Eastside does have a few employers and the toll works both ways. So if Seattle job holders are choosing to stay in Seattle, then Eastside job holders would stay on the Eastside based on the logic presented. It's probably more about inventory, mortgage rates that encourage buying, and maybe even more people doubling and tripling up to save money as the recovery continues to move at a snail's pace. Apologies to snails which are probably just fine with their pace.
Michelle Spohrer January 16, 2013 at 04:18 PM
I do think many renters want to be on the same side of Lake WA where they live to avoid the tolls, but the downturn in rental rates is because of 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 by many. Due to low inventory of single family homes for rent and for sale, we are seeing both rents and prices rise in this housing category. Simple supply and demand dynamics are at play here.

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