The Role Demographics Play in Everything From Farmers Market Prices to the Demand for Rentals in Seattle


Demographics: they’re a huge and silent force behind just about every trend. From the interest in kale at the farmers’ market to the shift in demand for rentals in Seattle — demographics are there, shaping the ways in which groups of people interact with the places around them. If you’re a landlord in Seattle, you need to understand how demographic trends influence your tenant market.

demographics-trends-real-estateHow Do Demographics Influence Rental Pricing?

From the diversity of an area to the age of your tenants, demographic trends influence who rents your properties and for how much. For example, the Baby Boomers are retiring, and this means that they’re more interested in smaller homes rather than larger family homes, since they now have an empty nest. They’re living on more limited incomes, but moving to a smaller home gives them more financial flexibility.

The active housing market also influences rentals. As housing prices go up, landlords need to charge more to offset those prices. However, this also drives those in the younger age demographic to rent rather than to buy, since they simply can’t afford to own a home. Today, more than half of Seattle’s residents rent their homes.

What Homes Do Seattle Renters Want?

It’s not just the neighborhood that counts when you’re renting. It’s also the type of home. From downtown apartments to large suburban lots, there’s a wide diversity of rental property available in Seattle. What do your tenants want? Those young to middle-aged couples and singles moving into Seattle enjoy smaller homes with easy access to jobs and walkable neighborhoods. College-bound youth are looking for places that are small, inexpensive, or easy to share, with access to transit to take them to school. As you or your property manager markets your property, you’ll need to take a look at your property and your neighborhood and consider who would find your property to be a great fit.

What Amenities Do Seattle Tenants Want?

Why is the price of kale higher at the farmers’ market in town than it would be in a rural area? It’s not just the cost of shipping the kale – it’s because of the demand and the ability your kale buyers have to pay for unique varieties and premium quality. When you have a rental property that’s in an area with highly-desirable amenities, you have the same experience. You can charge more for your property because it happens to be a fit with the amenities that people want right now.

Seattle’s market has many younger singles and couples, and there’s a big demographic bulge in people from their mid-thirties to mid-forties. While only a fifth of Seattle residents have younger children, you may have property located in a neighborhood that appeals to this demographic. When you’re trying to appeal to a family market, you need to find neighborhoods with good schools, access to recreation, and employment without a large commute.

The seniorsí market is not as huge as some, but itís quite active as Baby Boomers contemplate a move. Mature households in our area have a variety of things they look for in a neighborhood.† Some, tired of the rural life seek convenience and services, proximity to cultural destinations and great restaurants.† Giving up the big yard doesnít have to mean no gardening.† Easy care yards or ability to have flower pots allow a scaled back version.† They are looking for recreation within walking distance, and like families, they also appreciate a neighborhood that feels calm at night.

As you look for assistance with your rental properties, contact Lori Gill and Associates. We’re here to provide you with the help you need to find and screen new tenants and ensure that your properties are well-maintained. Whether you’re looking for a little help with a single property or you’re trying to find a property management company that can provide full service to all of your properties, we can help. Contact us today for more information.

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