Department of Numbers

Whatcom County Washington Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Whatcom County WA was $1,078 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Whatcom County was $1,125 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 Whatcom County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Whatcom 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%
Whatcom County WA Median Gross Rent $1,078 +12.41% +12.53%

Whatcom County WA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,078, real median gross rent in Whatcom County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,125, real average gross rent in Whatcom County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

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

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Whatcom County

Date US
Median
Washington
Median
Whatcom County WA
Median
Whatcom County WA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,216 $1,078 $1,125
2016 $996 $1,153 $959 $1,023
2015 $987 $1,111 $957 $994
2014 $956 $1,057 $958 $1,050
2013 $924 $1,010 $913 $964
2012 $912 $984 $906 $937
2011 $912 $974 $928 $1,004
2010 $927 $984 $895 $945
2009 $931 $1,007 $864 $955
2008 $947 $1,004 $881 $947
2007 $899 $930 $842 $890
2006 $909 $928 $897 $960

Whatcom 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 Whatcom County Washington was 2.59% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Whatcom County Washington

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Washington 3.68% +0.45% -0.55%
Whatcom County WA 2.59% +0.77% -1.53%

Trends in Whatcom County WA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Whatcom County peaked in 2009 at 5.86%. Since then it has fallen by 3.27% to 2.59%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Whatcom County WA, Washington, US

Rental vacancy rate in Washington

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Whatcom County

Date US Washington Whatcom County WA
2017 6.18% 3.68% 2.59%
2016 5.89% 3.23% 1.82%
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%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Whatcom County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Whatcom County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 21.14% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Whatcom 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%
Whatcom County WA 21.14% +1.06% +0.21%

Trends in Whatcom County WA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Whatcom County 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 0.23% to 21.14%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Whatcom County WA, Washington, US

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

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

Date US Washington Whatcom County WA
2017 20.13% 20.56% 21.14%
2016 20.43% 20.30% 20.08%
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%

Renter Fraction in Whatcom County Washington

You can calculate the renter fraction in Whatcom 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 Whatcom County as a fraction of total Whatcom County households. In 2017 38.38% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Whatcom 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%
Whatcom County WA 38.38% -2.31% +0.86%

Trends in the Whatcom County WA Renter Fraction

The Whatcom County household renter fraction peaked in in 2016 at 40.69% and is now 2.31% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

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

Fraction of renters in Whatcom County

History of Whatcom County Renter Fraction

Date US Washington Whatcom County WA
2017 36.13% 37.21% 38.38%
2016 36.88% 37.53% 40.69%
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%

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.