Department of Numbers

King County Washington Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in King County WA was $1,555 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in King County was $1,549 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 King County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in King County 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%
King County WA Median Gross Rent $1,555 +7.99% +23.81%

King County WA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,555, real median gross rent in King County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,549, real average gross rent in King County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent: King County WA Median, King County WA Average, Washington Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for King County

Date US
Median
Washington
Median
King County WA
Median
King County WA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,216 $1,555 $1,549
2016 $996 $1,153 $1,440 $1,480
2015 $987 $1,111 $1,393 $1,414
2014 $956 $1,057 $1,256 $1,311
2013 $924 $1,010 $1,208 $1,256
2012 $912 $984 $1,144 $1,224
2011 $912 $974 $1,118 $1,191
2010 $927 $984 $1,123 $1,203
2009 $931 $1,007 $1,157 $1,226
2008 $947 $1,004 $1,148 $1,229
2007 $899 $930 $1,061 $1,134
2006 $909 $928 $1,042 $1,117

King County 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 King County Washington was 3.50% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in King County Washington

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Washington 3.68% +0.45% -0.55%
King County WA 3.50% +0.84% +0.95%

Trends in King County WA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in King County peaked in 2006 at 6.15%. Since then it has fallen by 2.65% to 3.50%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2014 post peak low of 2.55%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.95%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: King County WA, Washington, US

Rental vacancy rate in Washington

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for King County

Date US Washington King County WA
2017 6.18% 3.68% 3.50%
2016 5.89% 3.23% 2.66%
2015 5.85% 3.27% 2.61%
2014 6.32% 4.23% 2.55%
2013 6.49% 4.65% 3.30%
2012 6.77% 5.30% 4.10%
2011 7.40% 5.59% 4.61%
2010 8.17% 5.80% 5.15%
2009 8.43% 5.98% 5.04%
2008 7.86% 5.09% 4.11%
2007 7.87% 4.83% 3.63%
2006 7.70% 6.14% 6.15%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for King County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For King County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 20.81% in 2017 according to the ACS.

King County 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%
King County WA 20.81% +1.04% +1.39%

Trends in King County WA Rent as a Fraction of Income

King County renters paid 20.81% 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: King County WA, Washington, US

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

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

Date US Washington King County WA
2017 20.13% 20.56% 20.81%
2016 20.43% 20.30% 19.76%
2015 20.63% 20.21% 19.83%
2014 20.89% 20.18% 19.42%
2013 20.78% 20.32% 19.76%
2012 20.65% 19.88% 19.27%
2011 20.70% 19.64% 18.62%
2010 20.50% 19.59% 18.79%
2009 20.12% 19.33% 18.53%
2008 19.00% 18.06% 17.08%
2007 18.66% 17.61% 16.67%
2006 18.90% 17.78% 16.54%

Renter Fraction in King County Washington

You can calculate the renter fraction in King County 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 King County as a fraction of total King County households. In 2017 43.42% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

King County 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%
King County WA 43.42% +0.23% +0.45%

Trends in the King County WA Renter Fraction

The King County household renter fraction peaked in in 2013 at 43.51% and is now 0.09% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: King County WA, Washington, US

Fraction of renters in King County

History of King County Renter Fraction

Date US Washington King County WA
2017 36.13% 37.21% 43.42%
2016 36.88% 37.53% 43.19%
2015 36.97% 37.58% 41.97%
2014 36.90% 38.25% 42.97%
2013 36.50% 38.06% 43.51%
2012 36.09% 37.67% 43.10%
2011 35.42% 37.18% 42.51%
2010 34.65% 36.90% 41.89%
2009 34.13% 35.70% 39.77%
2008 33.36% 34.72% 37.84%
2007 32.80% 33.93% 37.73%
2006 32.73% 34.46% 38.13%

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.