Rent Estimates In Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Area


(Ashley Ludwig/Patch)

SHORELINE-LAKE FOREST PARK, WA — Home prices in the United States have risen dramatically in large swaths of the country, but the same can't be said for all rentals.

While rents for single-family homes have experienced big increases as renters and buyers compete for the same limited quantity of homes on the market, apartment rents haven't increased as swiftly.

In Shoreline-Lake Forest Park, the fair market rent estimate for a one-bedroom rental property in ZIP code 98177 decreased from $1,820 in fiscal year 2020 to $1,640 in fiscal year 2021, while a four-bedroom rental decreased from $3,680 to $3,320. Fiscal year 2021 runs from October 2020 to the end of September 2021.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides data for all U.S. communities on fair market rents, which are estimates of the rent paid for a modest dwelling by someone who recently moved into the market, including such items as essential utilities. The numbers given are for the 40th percentile, meaning that 40 percent of renters would pay less than this figure.

Below are fair market rent estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for ZIP codes in the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park area. Search by town or ZIP code here as well.

ZIP code: 98177

Fiscal year 2021

  • One-bedroom: $1,640
  • Two-bedroom: $1,980
  • Three-bedroom: $2,810
  • Four-bedroom: $3,320

Fiscal year 2020

  • One-bedroom: $1,820
  • Two-bedroom: $2,190
  • Three-bedroom: $2,810
  • Four-bedroom: $3,680

ZIP code: 98133

Fiscal year 2021

  • One-bedroom: $1,570
  • Two-bedroom: $1,890
  • Three-bedroom: $2,700
  • Four-bedroom: $3,180

Fiscal year 2020

  • One-bedroom: $1,710
  • Two-bedroom: $2,060
  • Three-bedroom: $2,940
  • Four-bedroom: $3,460

ZIP code: 98155

Fiscal year 2021

  • One-bedroom: $1,610
  • Two-bedroom: $1,920
  • Three-bedroom: $2,700
  • Four-bedroom: $3,180

Fiscal year 2020

  • One-bedroom: $1,730
  • Two-bedroom: $2,090
  • Three-bedroom: $2,980
  • Four-bedroom: $3,510

Fair market values exclude luxury and non-market rental housing in the area, along with rentals built in the past two years. The rates are used to determine amounts for government assistance programs, including rental vouchers.

Fair market rent is used as a forecast; national trend data is used when local area trends aren't available, according to HUD.

In Washington, an estimated 4 percent of rental properties were vacant during the first quarter of 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The national rental vacancy average was 6.8 percent, which was about the same as the first quarter of 2020 and 0.3 percentage points higher than the rate in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Competition among renters and buyers

Single-family rent prices were up 3.9 percent nationwide in February 2021 compared with February 2020, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index. During the previous year, those rents rose 3 percent.

Prices were up 7.1 percent year over year for detached homes, compared with 1.5 percent for attached homes such as condominiums.

"What that is suggesting is that the same people that are looking for these rentals are competing with folks who are looking to buy single-family homes," said Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic.

Some factors that increased home prices also increased rents for single-family dwellings. There is a historic imbalance of supply and demand in the housing market that is only partly related to the pandemic.

Ultimately, the supply and demand for housing will converge when more homes are built, Hepp said, noting that home construction has lagged behind demand over the last decade.

"While we do hope more people are going to start moving as more people get vaccinated, there is still a huge demand for more homes to be built," she said.

Lower-priced single-family rentals (75 percent or less than the regional median) were up 2.9 percent year over year.

The change in rents paralleled other economic trends caused by the pandemic, Hepp said. Renters in the lower-priced tier haven't fared as well with job availability and earnings as middle- and high-income earners, which has driven down demand in the lowest market segment.

There are also large price swings in different metropolitan areas. The Tucson, Arizona, metro area saw the greatest year-over-year growth of 11.2 percent for single-family homes, according to CoreLogic. Boston saw an 8.9 percent decrease in prices, in part due to lower demand from college renters, Hepp said.

Single-family rental supply may be driven down by mom-and-pop landlords, who may want to sell due to current high home values.

Apartment rents haven't seen as much robust growth as single-family homes. Many metropolitan areas have seen only modest rent increases; central city luxury apartment rents have generally declined.

The expectation is that central city luxury apartment rents will recover as workers return to the office, Hepp said. However, the long-term effects of more office employees working from home remains to be seen. It will depend on whether employers become more flexible on remote work policies or if they go back to pre-pandemic ways.

"We really don't know how this is going to play out," she said.

Even a modest increase in remote work could push up demand for homes in suburban areas, she said.

Editor's note: This post was automatically generated using fair market rent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Please report any errors or other feedback to

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