Department of Numbers

Bellingham Washington Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Bellingham, WA (the Bellingham metro area) was $930 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Bellingham was $966 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Bellingham median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Bellingham rental vacancy rates, Bellingham rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Bellingham.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Bellingham Washington (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Washington Median Gross Rent $1,080 +5.16% +12.85%
Bellingham, WA Median Gross Rent $930 -0.21% +5.68%

Bellingham, WA Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Bellingham peaked in real terms in 2014 at $932 and is now $2 (0.21%) lower. Average gross rent for Bellingham peaked in real terms in 2014 at $1,020 and is now $54 (5.29%) lower.

Real Gross Rent in Bellingham: Bellingham WA Median, Bellingham WA Average, Washington Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Bellingham

Date US
Median
Washington
Median
Bellingham, WA
Median
Bellingham, WA
Average
2015 $959 $1,080 $930 $966
2014 $930 $1,027 $932 $1,020
2013 $898 $982 $887 $937
2012 $886 $957 $880 $911
2011 $887 $947 $902 $975
2010 $901 $956 $870 $919
2009 $905 $979 $840 $928
2008 $920 $976 $856 $920
2007 $874 $904 $818 $865
2006 $883 $902 $872 $933
2005 $858 $873 $833 $882

Bellingham Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Bellingham Washington was 1.82% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Bellingham Washington

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Washington 3.27% -0.96% -2.03%
Bellingham, WA 1.82% -2.30% -3.65%

Trends in Bellingham, WA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Bellingham peaked in 2009 at 5.86%. Since then it has fallen by 4.04% to 1.82%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Bellingham WA, Washington, US

Rental vacancy rate in Washington

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Bellingham

Date US Washington Bellingham, WA
2015 5.85% 3.27% 1.82%
2014 6.32% 4.23% 4.12%
2013 6.49% 4.65% 5.00%
2012 6.77% 5.30% 5.47%
2011 7.40% 5.59% 4.57%
2010 8.17% 5.80% 3.91%
2009 8.43% 5.98% 5.86%
2008 7.86% 5.09% 3.60%
2007 7.87% 4.83% 1.35%
2006 7.70% 6.14% 1.49%
2005 7.74% 5.74% 3.95%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Bellingham, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Bellingham, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 20.29% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Bellingham Washington Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Washington 20.21% +0.03% +0.32%
Bellingham, WA 20.29% -0.64% -0.19%

Trends in Bellingham, WA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Bellingham household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2013 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 21.38%. Since then it has fallen by 1.09% to 20.29%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Bellingham WA, Washington, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Bellingham Washington

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Bellingham Washington

Date US Washington Bellingham, WA
2015 20.63% 20.21% 20.29%
2014 20.89% 20.18% 20.93%
2013 20.78% 20.32% 21.38%
2012 20.65% 19.88% 20.47%
2011 20.70% 19.64% 20.64%
2010 20.50% 19.59% 19.85%
2009 20.12% 19.33% 20.18%
2008 19.00% 18.06% 19.53%
2007 18.66% 17.61% 19.07%
2006 18.90% 17.78% 20.63%
2005 18.89% 18.05% 19.17%

Renter Fraction in Bellingham Washington

You can calculate the renter fraction in Bellingham in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Bellingham as a fraction of total Bellingham households. In 2015 36.29% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Bellingham Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Washington 37.58% -0.67% -0.09%
Bellingham, WA 36.29% -1.23% -1.41%

Trends in the Bellingham, WA Renter Fraction

The Bellingham household renter fraction peaked in in 2010 at 38.83% and is now 2.54% below that level. From a recent low of 35.14% in 2011, the household based renter fraction has now grown by 1.15%. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Bellingham WA, Washington, US

Fraction of renters in Bellingham

History of Bellingham Renter Fraction

Date US Washington Bellingham, WA
2015 36.97% 37.58% 36.29%
2014 36.90% 38.25% 37.52%
2013 36.50% 38.06% 37.47%
2012 36.09% 37.67% 37.70%
2011 35.42% 37.18% 35.14%
2010 34.65% 36.90% 38.83%
2009 34.13% 35.70% 37.53%
2008 33.36% 34.72% 38.56%
2007 32.80% 33.93% 38.66%
2006 32.73% 34.46% 37.77%
2005 33.10% 35.34% 37.61%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.