Department of Numbers

Washington Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Washington was $1,216 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent was $1,246 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Washington median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Washington (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
Washington Median Gross Rent $1,216 +5.46% +15.04%

Washington Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,216, real median gross rent in Washington was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,246, real average gross rent in Washington was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

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

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Washington

Date US Median Washington Median Washington Average
2017 $1,012 $1,216 $1,246
2016 $996 $1,153 $1,202
2015 $987 $1,111 $1,148
2014 $956 $1,057 $1,107
2013 $924 $1,010 $1,059
2012 $912 $984 $1,038
2011 $912 $974 $1,027
2010 $927 $984 $1,036
2009 $931 $1,007 $1,052
2008 $947 $1,004 $1,051
2007 $899 $930 $974
2006 $909 $928 $965

Washington Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Washington was 3.68% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Washington

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Washington 3.68% +0.45% -0.55%

Trends in Washington Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Washington peaked in 2006 at 6.14%. Since then it has fallen by 2.46% to 3.68%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2016 post peak low of 3.23%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.45%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Washington, US

Rental vacancy rate in Washington

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Washington

Date US Washington
2017 6.18% 3.68%
2016 5.89% 3.23%
2015 5.85% 3.27%
2014 6.32% 4.23%
2013 6.49% 4.65%
2012 6.77% 5.30%
2011 7.40% 5.59%
2010 8.17% 5.80%
2009 8.43% 5.98%
2008 7.86% 5.09%
2007 7.87% 4.83%
2006 7.70% 6.14%

Washington Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Washington, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Washington, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 20.56% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Washington Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
Washington 20.56% +0.26% +0.38%

Trends in Washington Rent as a Fraction of Income

Washington renters paid 20.56% of median household income towards the median monthly gross rent in 2017. This is the highest fraction of median household income going to rent since the series originated in 2005.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Washington, US

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

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

Date US Washington
2017 20.13% 20.56%
2016 20.43% 20.30%
2015 20.63% 20.21%
2014 20.89% 20.18%
2013 20.78% 20.32%
2012 20.65% 19.88%
2011 20.70% 19.64%
2010 20.50% 19.59%
2009 20.12% 19.33%
2008 19.00% 18.06%
2007 18.66% 17.61%
2006 18.90% 17.78%

Renter Fraction in Washington

You can calculate the renter fraction in Washington 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 Washington as a fraction of total Washington households. In 2017 37.21% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Washington Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
Washington 37.21% -0.32% -1.04%

Trends in the Washington Renter Fraction

The Washington household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 38.25% and is now 1.04% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Washington, US

Fraction of renters in Washington

History of Washington Renter Fraction

Date US Washington
2017 36.13% 37.21%
2016 36.88% 37.53%
2015 36.97% 37.58%
2014 36.90% 38.25%
2013 36.50% 38.06%
2012 36.09% 37.67%
2011 35.42% 37.18%
2010 34.65% 36.90%
2009 34.13% 35.70%
2008 33.36% 34.72%
2007 32.80% 33.93%
2006 32.73% 34.46%

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.